Events around date of publication of this item.
|Thu, 23 Apr 2009|
|Israeli interior ministry forces demolish grocery shop in the unrecognized village of Hura|
|Tue, 21 Apr 2009|
|Israeli occupation forces invade several West Bank towns; ransack houses, harass and kidnap at least 15 Palestinian civilians|
|Mon, 20 Apr 2009|
|start of Durban Review Conference|
|Sat, 18 Apr 2009|
|end of Ehud Barak orders the closure of the West Bank during the Passover holidays|
|Fri, 17 Apr 2009|
|Israeli occupation forces violently repress non-violent Palestinian demonstration at Bilin; one dead, dozens wounded|
|Thu, 16 Apr 2009|
|Settlers threaten to invade the Haram Sharif compound where the Al Aqsa mosque is located|
|Israeli occupation forces invade several Palestinian villages in the West Bank; harass and kidnap Palestinian civilians; ransack kindergarten|
|Tue, 14 Apr 2009|
|Israeli occupation forces several villages in the West Bank; kidnap and harass Palestinian civilians; close-off village|
|Mon, 13 Apr 2009|
|start of Ehud Barak orders the closure of the West Bank during the Passover holidays|
|Wed, 8 Apr 2009|
|Settlers with IOF support conduct pogrom in the village of Safa; dozens of Palestinians wounded|
The two-headed Middle East monster
: The two-headed Middle East monsterBy
: Nomi Morris Published in
: The Globe and MailDate of issue
4 may 2009Topic(s) addressed
: People/entities mentioned in this item:
There was a time, not so long ago, when the terms “one-state solution” and “Jordanian option” were anathema to moderates seeking a fair and workable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conundrum.
A bi-national, democratic “state of all its citizens” encompassing Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip was code-speak for the end of the Jewish state, since Palestinians would outnumber Jews within a decade or so – less if there were an immediate influx of refugees. (For those who never saw the need for a Jewish national polity anyway, the question remained: Why should a Jewish minority entrust its safety and rights to an Arab majority?)
The “Jordan is Palestine” option seemed equally extreme, whether Israel or Jordan were to annex the West Bank. The first scenario would mean expelling West Bank Arabs to Hashemite-ruled Jordan, where Palestinians were already a majority.
Alternatively, Jordan would reassert sovereignty over the West Bank, taking it off Israel's hands. Either option implied a redefinition of Palestinian and Jordanian national identities that was imposed by Israel's need to remain demographically Jewish. Both were considered non-starters, especially the one involving ethnic cleansing of the West Bank.
But with the death of the Oslo peace process of 1993-2000, the more logical two-state solution – still official U.S. policy – has become so remote that few Israelis or Palestinians believe in it any more. The one-state solution – not discussed seriously for five decades – has recently become the thesis du jour for a respectable swath of academics and intellectuals in the West.
Now, controversial Israeli historian Benny Morris has stepped forward to counter that movement with his new book, One State, Two States , which endorses the more benign version of the Jordanian option – in effect, a federation of Jordan and the Palestinian territories.
“Given current realities, this would seem the only logical – and possible – way forward,” Morris writes, concluding a 200-page essay on the non-viability of all other options, including the two-state solution that envisions Israel in something like its 1967 borders beside a Palestine in the West Bank and Gaza.
Morris may offend some readers with his view that 'authoritarian and religious' Arab values make meaningful co-existence with Israeli Jews impossible within one state
Benny Morris (no relation to this reviewer) rose to prominence in 1987 when he published The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem . He was hailed as the dean of the “new historians,” whose unvarnished look at Israel's founding years debunked several myths cherished by Israelis and pro-Zionists abroad. Among them was the idea that Israel was “a land without a people for a people without a land,” and that the Palestinian exodus in 1948 was caused not by Israel but by Arab leaders who urged Palestinians to leave their homes until they could return triumphantly as neighbouring armies – Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Jordan – pushed the Jews into the sea.