Palestine and Israel : The solution nobody wants to talk about.

Israel-Palestinian Conflict Erupted In Middle East & In Court Of Public Opinion - YouTube
Let’s face it: There is no peace process taking place at the moment, as much as some leaders want to say there is to be politically correct and to maintain some salaries revolving around conflict resolution experts, ministries and other positions related to a possible re-birth of two nations at peace with each other.
The hope for the most popular possible solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict of a two state ending has vanished.  
The end of a Two State Solution? 
Two States for two peoples? Credit : WiseGeek
The two state solution faces several obstacles. When The UN Security Council recently voted to condemn Israeli settlements, Jerusalem’s municipality responded by intending to approve the construction of 600 more houses in the East of the city. At the moment, there are more than half a million Israelis living in what’s supposed to be a future Palestinian state. We are not talking about moving a few families to the western side of the green line: we are talking about entire cities built as settlements.
In a hypothetical case of an agreed two state solution, a possible scenario, depending on the incumbent administration at the time of the negotiation, would force the Israeli Arab population to relocate to the Palestinian state, and very understandably, the majority of them would oppose the idea – Cities on which they have been living for generations would be left on the western side of the partition, possibly with better life quality and work opportunities than in the Palestinian side.
In a two state solution, as seen through the eyes of some opponents of the idea of keeping Israeli Arabs within Israel,  there is little demographic sustainability to maintain a Jewish State, specially since birth rate of the Arab population can easily increase. At the moment, Arabs comprise 20% of the Israeli population, and according to a study made in 2006 presented in the Sixth Herzliya Conference (Zimmerman, Seid and Wise) the  population forecast for 2025 predicted that Arabs would comprise 25% of the Israeli population. Not a very accelerated rate, but then again, this is only a prediction.
Settler companies play a fundamental role in Palestinian economy
Furthermore, not only the Israeli civilians living in the occupied territories would represent a challenge, but the Israeli companies located there as well. Though not denying the unlawful nature of settlements, we should admit that removing settler companies that provide jobs to Palestinians would harshly harm Palestinian economy. Over 60% of the employees in Aluminum Construction corporations, for example, are Palestinian.
With plenty of these companies giving Palestinians a far better salary than Palestinian businesses, having them removed from the West Bank can potentially harm both sides. This isn’t hard to imagine, since something similar happened back when SodaStream was forced to leave the West Bank, succumbing to BDS pressure, laying off approximately 500 Palestinians.

More than 20,000 Palestinians are employed in the settlements, with thousands more working without permits. That would mean leaving more than 20,000 Palestinians unemployed, and some of their families without another income, possibly drowning the West Bank in poverty.

Moreover, foreign influence over a possible peace process, more specifically the United States, whose narrative has always been to supposedly support a two state solution, is also not very conclusive. Obama’s foreign policy, in general, and distinctively in Israel/Palestine, was very vague. The only conclusion drawn by the end of his term, for which Kerry was vilified for, was stating a truth even the most Zionist Israelis know deep in their hearts: Settlements are an obstacle for peace. I would rephrase it – Settlements are not necessarily an obstacle to peace, but more specifically to a two state solution.
The Trump Factor
This ambiguous policy might change with President elect Trump, but doubtlessly to favor the two state solution. He has declared openly that Jerusalem shall be the capital of Israel, and  David Friedman, his prospect pick for ambassador to Israel has open support for settlements. 
The most extreme sectors of the Israeli society also oppose the idea of withdrawing from the West bank under the premise of it becoming a second terror state like Gaza – though they tend to disregard mentioning that the 2005 disengagement from Gaza was completely unilateral, with no mediation nor transition process. It is also unquestionable that Netanyahu is also not enthusiastically rooting for a two state solution, even when he says he wants it – there is clear dichotomy between him saying that under his term there will not be a Palestinian state, and him accepting to negotiate a two state solution in Moscow; definitely one of the biggest incongruities to be seen in the whole context. 
The involved leaders would not dare to concede that the two state solution is deceased, and they would want to avoid the unpopular repercussions with their people. But as we are not trying to be popular but rather realistic, we can safely conclude that the two-state solution is unattainable. So let us now move forward and imagine the scenario of the most possible (or less impossible?) unfolding. The one that nobody wants to talk about. Both Palestinians and Israelis fear it, but it is slowly happening. Without further to say, I present to you, the feared, the unpopular, the unnamed: Bi-national state. One state, two people. If we are analytical about it, it already is, since a state that governs two nations is bi-national. What would change, if it does, is it becoming official and institutionalized.
It will not be easy. It has not been easy in Ireland. It has not being easy in a first world, civilized Belgium. For most rational, civilized sapiens, the idea of two ethnic groups living together peacefully in one land is not unreasonable, but humans have a bellicose nature; and while “civis”, gives us composure, amity is not quite at the core of our innate gifts. But let us leave the anthropological analysis for another article. If even The Roman Empire, one of the largest empires that ever existed, without the civilization concepts of the 21st century, managed to govern hundreds of different ethnic groups and languages (omitting it was at the expense of democracy), it should not be too wild to have a joint coalition of Israelis and Palestinians governing two peoples.
In a less utopian, peaceful view of the future, in which a two state solution is left out of the equation, Institutions should be established to ensure that security and equal rights to both ethnic groups are guaranteed. Very, very difficult, but undeniably less impossible than a two state solution, is a “Good Friday Agreement”, that guarantees both peoples the right to live in peace.
Rosario Hernandez
About Rosario Hernandez 8 Articles
Rosario Hernandez is a promising political analyst from Venezuela that grew up with the challenges of the 21st century. She studied journalism, holds an M.A in Political Science and a diploma in Political Marketing. She is specialized in the changing political landscapes of South America and the Middle East.

16 Comments on Palestine and Israel : The solution nobody wants to talk about.

  1. I don’t understand why the Arabs have the right to have more than 20 states and the Jews, the Berbers, Kurds, Copts, Assyro-Chadeans, and all the others native people don’t have the right to their own states? The state of Arab of Palestine already existe: is Jordan. Jordan results of the partition of Palestine in the 20’s.

    • Simply because palestinians live in Palestine, their homes are in Palestine and they have alwyas been living there… at least during the last 2000 years! Saying they should move away just because they are arabs and that, for this reason, they are not supposed to live in Palestine, but in Jordan means that you don’t understand what values the civil rights and the human rights are based on. Palestinians are, first of all, people: I don’t think the idea of National home, of National-State can overwhelm the fact that they have some basic rights which, according to what you say, can be denied.

      • Riccardo, Why do you deny national rights to the native people (Kurds, Berberes, Jews, Chaldeans, Copts, etc) who where living in their lands before the arab invasion in the 7th century?

        • It’s not a competition about Who was the First to arrive there. You have to look at what people are now living there and assure them anche acceptable live which is worth living. Thats all. The right to live comes before the national rights.

          • No one denies Palestinians a State. You cannot also deny the need for Israelis to live in security. Peace will come with Justice and Security. You need to analyzes the two sides and not only one to understand fully the situation.

  2. Very interesting. Yet I would’ve liked to understand the practical implications of a bi-national solution. Would Jews feel safe in Hebron? Would Arab Palestinians be able to enter Israel from Gaza freely? How would the voting system work? In what way does bi-nationality promote stability and peace?

  3. Excellent idea but for a very divided nations of Israeli and Palestinian is far from impossible. And I argue that without solution for two issues the peaceful middle east hard to build one is Israeli Palestinian issue second issue of Kurd in the middle east because these nations have something to fight for.

  4. At first your article sounds like a great advertisement for Settlements. I mean you describe them as obstacles and in the same time listing all the benefits Palestinians get out of them, i wonder why you didn’t mention all the disadvantages (apart from being an obstacle for peace).
    About the Bi-national state solution, I WISH.

  5. The two state solution is the way to go. It worked for Kosovo and is still working. The distrust rooted in the two parties is so deep. Remember,two walls make good neighbours.

  6. Your statement that settlements are an obstacle to the two state solution is false. It is based on the false premise that a Palestinian state would have to be al areas occupied by Jordan before the six day war. But really you could just have a Palestinian state (a.k.a. Total sovereignty as opposed to autonomy ) in the areas that do not have Israeli settlements. Or whatever percentage of west bank is agreed on then the state would have it’s capital in Ramallah and Jerusalem would be the undivided capital of Israel. The reason that’s not possible is because Palestinian leadership is corrupt and doesn’t want a state because ” pity payments”. From Europe which currenly are used to line their pockets would stop. So obstacle to peace is not israeli settlements which currently cover a grand total of ONE PERCENT OF WEST BANK but the Palestinian leadership which does not want peace

  7. What is this talk about agreeing to onestate with allowance of free practice or whatever. Israel has a large population of Arabs and the Arabs have their own party with more than 10 percent of the seats of the Knesset ( Israeli parliament ) and Israeli Arabs have full rights. Just so people should know by the way the last time a new Israeli settlement was built was more than TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO in 1992.

  8. The first step towards a one or two state solution is for Israel to start treating the Palestinian people in the Occupied Territories with some dignity and respect and like human beings, not like caged animals! Only when the Israelis finally allow the Palestinians their basic human rights will the hostility reduce and provide a basis for a lasting peace.

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