Friday, February 19, 2010

The Binational State Right In Front Of Our Noses

Nathaniel Berman:

“One-state” is neither a “solution” nor a “dream” nor a “nightmare”: it is what we have now, have had for almost 43 years, and likely will have for the next several decades. What kind of state is this “one-state”? It’s a state in which some live under military occupation (Arabs in the West Bank and Golan), some live under blockade by the army of the “one-state” (Gazans), some are routinely discriminated against and told that their identity is not that of the state (Israeli Arabs), some have full democratic rights (Israeli Jews), and some have de facto extralegal power (Jewish settlers). Everyone who lives in, or is passionate about, Israel, must face that reality and consider its ethical implications. For example, should full civil and political rights be given to all inhabitants of the “one-state,” including all Palestinians? Or, on the contrary, should the granting of such rights be limited by the Green Line, whose erasure was the explicit goal not only of the settler movements but also of all previous Likud governments beginning in 1977? How can such a limitation on rights be morally justified given that the erasure of the Green Line has been at least partly achieved,and has been maintained in law in a manner designed precisely to limit such rights?