This article summarises the moral and legal contentions that undermine Israel’s claim to legitimacy. From Golda Meir’s infamous contentions that the country is the realisation of a promise from God to the current capitulation by the Palestinian leadership to notions of Israeli sovereignty, the author suggests there can be no peace without an acceptance of the concept that the existence of Israel has no normative foundation.
Volume 1 – Issue 2
In this second piece written two years later, Said looks critically at the Palestinian failure to harness cultural sympathy with the struggle for self-determination and expose the true nature of Zionist exclusivism. He sees the failure rooted ultimately in the failure to provide an alternative solution that did not rely on American benevolence and which failed to address the idea of a shared and common humanity.
Surmising that: ‘Once we grant that Palestinians and Israelis are there to stay, then the decent conclusion has to be the need for peaceful coexistence and genuine reconciliation’, Said’s seminal essay on the subject of a one-state solution assesses the reality of just and sustained peace as an outcome of the two state solution and the alternative proposed by the author himself. One state that delivers the ideal of the “idea and practice of citizenship, not of ethnic or racial community, as the main vehicle for coexistence.”
Using the example of institutionalised racism in South Africa, the authors place the idea of a one-state solution within the context of the UN Charter and the Geneva Conventions. A two-state solution, with its concretisation of racist and colonial injustices, cannot allow for the development of Palestinian self-determination.
The purpose of this article is to stress the pattern of continuity in Palestine’s modern history, beginning with the late Ottoman Period, as a geo-political entity with its own cultural cohesiveness and distinctiveness. The search is for both the political structures that existed and those offered as alternatives.
In the context of a failing process begun at Oslo, the author contends that the only viable solution to the impasse and violence is the development and emergence of a binational state through international pressure. Without this as the stated goal of peacemakers in the region, the author sees catastrophe and disaster on the horizon.
Since the now iconic handshake between Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin on the White House lawn in 1993 the two-state solution has gained currency as the best possible chance of peace in the Middle East. The awkward shake was the culmination of the Oslo Accords,