Harvard — February 28, 2012 3:21 pm

A Destructive “Solution”

By and
Joshua Lipson is the Senior World Editor of the Harvard Political Review.  He and Beth are co-presidents of Harvard Students for Israel, writing on behalf of the group. The Harvard Political Review is a nonpartisan political review and a platform for student writing at Harvard. Watch this space for a letter of response from the organizers of the One-State Conference.

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This weekend, various on-campus organizations will be sponsoring a “One-State Conference,” which calls for the creation of a single state for both Israelis and Palestinians. Although the conference touts this proposal as a viable resolution to the ongoing conflict, we are gravely concerned that a one-state “solution” would both mean the end of Israel as a sovereign state and create the circumstances for a human rights catastrophe.  Despite claims to the contrary, the creation of a binational state would be both radical and antithetical to genuine peace.

The one-state idea marks a departure from the well-established premise of “two states for two peoples,” a solution supported by a strong majority of both Israelis and Palestinians. Support for a binational state is ignorant of the undeniable fact that Israeli and Palestinian societies are drastically different in terms of economic development, political orientation, and cultural identity—a situation which would not change with the removal of a political border. Given the two sides’ history of mutual hostility and resentment, the creation of a single state will likely lead to violent ethnic conflict, a result desired by none but the most radical elements in the region. As a result, a majority of experts across the political spectrum agree that despite difficulties in reaching an agreement, a two-state solution is far preferable to a one-state non-solution.

We unequivocally support the right of all Harvard students to political expression. However, we are disturbed by the one-sided nature of this particular conference, whose program is assembled around a radical idea without providing a balanced discussion of the alternatives.

Dean David Ellwood of the Harvard Kennedy School shares our concerns: “I was deeply disappointed to see that the initial list of speakers for this student conference was so one-sided. I very much hope this will change. Without the balance of divergent views that characterize the most enriching discussions, the credibility and intellectual value of any event is open to question.” In the same letter, Dean Ellwood makes clear that Harvard by no means endorses the views or political aims of the One-State Conference.

We completely reject the premise of this conference, which runs counter to the very existence of a Jewish state as enshrined in international law. Accordingly, we ask the Harvard community and all supporters of peace to recognize the implications of this “solution” and decry such calls for the dismantlement of a sovereign state. Our group urges you to continue to engage in constructive dialogue, and to lend your support to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and other viable and mutually agreeable initiatives toward peace.

Signed,
Beth Drucker and Josh Lipson
Co-Presidents, Harvard Students for Israel

  • Guest

    The equivalent of this editorial = “My view on abortion is absolutely correct and there is no way there can be rational support for the other side. Those on the other side are completely unreasonable. Therefore, I demand that any conference organized by True Love Revolution ensure that at least 50% of its speakers are pro-choice, preferably all.”

    - A Pro-Choice Supporter of Free Speech

  • Ibn Yaqzan

    “the creation of a single state will likely lead to violent ethnic conflict”

    wait… unlike the ethnic cleansing Israel of 800,000 Palestinians perpetrated in 1948 (documented by Israeli historians) or the occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Golan Heights since 1967 which has killed thousands upon thousands of Palestinians and placed an entire people under military rule?

    OH, i get it, you mean it would cause “ethnic conflict” for Jewish Israelis! You’re right, Palestinian life is cheap, but god forbid an Israeli have to live alongside those s/he has occupied for so many years! 

    Since Israel is a democracy, the majority of Israelis have in fact voted for leaders who engage in war crimes. It’s not just that they are stuck with an evil government (like, say, Syria or Saudi Arabia)- Israelis overwhelmingly vote for war criminals, and are thus culpable as well for these crimes! Yes, god forbid they have to face any consequences for the catastrophes they have brought upon their neighbors.

    Insane to hear these same, tired arguments repeated in American academia…

  • Simpson Buster

    The One State solution is NOT the end of Israel!
    It WOULD solve the thorniest problems that have stymied the negotiations for the past 20 years:
    Settlements – can stay
    Jerusalem – joint custody- no problem
    Refugees – possibly.  Maybe set immigration limits for both Jews (who today need only step on the TLV airport tarmac to gain citizenship) and Palestinians.

    Jews would have to give up the Zionist dream, but not the Hebrew language or Jewish customs or holidays.

    If Israelis prefer the two state solution (BTW, where is that fact from? not from their voting patterns – that’s sure), they had better get moving because that train is leaving.

  • Simpson Buster

    The One State solution is NOT the end of Israel!
    It WOULD solve the thorniest problems that have stymied the negotiations for the past 20 years:
    Settlements – can stay
    Jerusalem – joint custody- no problem
    Refugees – possibly.  Maybe set immigration limits for both Jews (who today need only step on the TLV airport tarmac to gain citizenship) and Palestinians.

    Jews would have to give up the Zionist dream, but not the Hebrew language or Jewish customs or holidays.

    If Israelis prefer the two state solution (BTW, where is that fact from? not from their voting patterns – that’s sure), they had better get moving because that train is leaving.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Eliyahu-Ben-Abraham/1534644655 Eliyahu Ben Abraham

    to Ibn Yaqzan, Arabs/Muslims oppressed, exploited economically, and humiliated  Jews under their rule for more than a 1000 years. Jews were dhimmis along with other non-Muslims but Jews were kept in a lower status even than other non-Muslims. In the Hitler period most Arab nationalists were pro-Nazi, while the top leader of the Palestinian Arabs, Amin el-Husseini, collaborated with the Nazis in the Holocaust. After the UN General Assembly partition recommendation of 11-29-1947, Arab irregulars began attacking Jewish civilians throughout the Land of Israel on 11-30-1947 [11-29-1947 New York time]. Throughout December 1947 attacks on Jewish civilians continued. Jews were driven from neighborhoods near Arabs, such as south Tel Aviv, adjacent parts of Jaffa, from Haifa and from parts of Jerusalem, such as the Shimon haTsadiq Quarter around the Tomb of Simon the Just, on which a shameful protest movement is now focused. Ibn Yaqzan ought to learn the real history instead of Arab and Western Judeophobic propaganda.

  • Davevk

    Why don’t we consider this argument once one or two Arab states develop a peace loving democratic country where women and minorities have rights. Once we see one or two of these then we can debate. Can you name such a country?

  • Shalom Freedman

    The one- state solution conference might as well be called the ‘end of Israel’ conference. As that is the declared goal of the participants of this conference it somewhat disturbing that Harvard should willingly play host to it. Can one imagine a conference calling for the end of any other country in the world, without this being summarily rejected?
    The evil of the organizers and participants of the conference is matched by the folly and lack of backbone of those who permit its occurrence.

  • Peter Burman

    You write that the two sides have “mutual hostility.”  I believe that’s wrong.  Arab and Palestinian hostility against the Jews far exceeds any shown by the Jews to the Arabs.  The reason the League of Nations and UN proposed two separate states was because of Arab pogroms against Jews, such as the 1929 Hebron massacre.  What limited “hostilities” Jews have inflicted on Palestinians has been done by extremist individuals who were NOT acting on behalf or under the direction of the State of Israel.  The Arabs nations, Palestinian Authority, Fatah, Hamas, et al., have a history of sponsoring or inciting violence against Israel and Jews worldwide.  That is a big difference.  There is nothing “mutual” about it.

  • Peter Burman

    You write that the two sides have “mutual hostility.”  I believe that’s wrong.  Arab and Palestinian hostility against the Jews far exceeds any shown by the Jews to the Arabs.  The reason the League of Nations and UN proposed two separate states was because of Arab pogroms against Jews, such as the 1929 Hebron massacre.  What limited “hostilities” Jews have inflicted on Palestinians has been done by extremist individuals who were NOT acting on behalf or under the direction of the State of Israel.  The Arabs nations, Palestinian Authority, Fatah, Hamas, et al., have a history of sponsoring or inciting violence against Israel and Jews worldwide.  That is a big difference.  There is nothing “mutual” about it.

  • Peter Burman

    You write that the two sides have “mutual hostility.”  I believe that’s wrong.  Arab and Palestinian hostility against the Jews far exceeds any shown by the Jews to the Arabs.  The reason the League of Nations and UN proposed two separate states was because of Arab pogroms against Jews, such as the 1929 Hebron massacre.  What limited “hostilities” Jews have inflicted on Palestinians has been done by extremist individuals who were NOT acting on behalf or under the direction of the State of Israel.  The Arabs nations, Palestinian Authority, Fatah, Hamas, et al., have a history of sponsoring or inciting violence against Israel and Jews worldwide.  That is a big difference.  There is nothing “mutual” about it.

  • Peter Burman

    You write that the two sides have “mutual hostility.”  I believe that’s wrong.  Arab and Palestinian hostility against the Jews far exceeds any shown by the Jews to the Arabs.  The reason the League of Nations and UN proposed two separate states was because of Arab pogroms against Jews, such as the 1929 Hebron massacre.  What limited “hostilities” Jews have inflicted on Palestinians has been done by extremist individuals who were NOT acting on behalf or under the direction of the State of Israel.  The Arabs nations, Palestinian Authority, Fatah, Hamas, et al., have a history of sponsoring or inciting violence against Israel and Jews worldwide.  That is a big difference.  There is nothing “mutual” about it.

  • Peter Burman

    You write that the two sides have “mutual hostility.”  I believe that’s wrong.  Arab and Palestinian hostility against the Jews far exceeds any shown by the Jews to the Arabs.  The reason the League of Nations and UN proposed two separate states was because of Arab pogroms against Jews, such as the 1929 Hebron massacre.  What limited “hostilities” Jews have inflicted on Palestinians has been done by extremist individuals who were NOT acting on behalf or under the direction of the State of Israel.  The Arabs nations, Palestinian Authority, Fatah, Hamas, et al., have a history of sponsoring or inciting violence against Israel and Jews worldwide.  That is a big difference.  There is nothing “mutual” about it.

  • Simpson Buster

    The Israeli  resistance to the One State solution is simply a manifestation of the justified fear that the Palestinians may treat the Jewish minority as they have been treated by Israel.

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  • Davevk

    Change the words Israeli to Jewish. And yes, we have seen how well Arabs treat their Jewish minorities as well as their women and foreigners.

  • Guest

    Made up factoids do not make a compelling contribution. Go home. Read some real history, then come back.  Egypt Syria Jordan Iraq declared war on israel in 1948 with express objective to destroy the nascent state. They lost. And again in 1967 when Egypt closed shipping to Israel.  They lost then too.  Meanwhile, 800,000 Jews left Arab states to come to Israel. 

    Insane to hear your same, tired invented stories.

  • Wallace Edward Brand

    There was only one view presented at the March 3,4 conference.  That was the view of a one [Arab Majority] state solution.  But the term “Arab Majority’ wasn’t mentioned.  With an Arab majority, the Jews in Israel will start feeling like unwelcome guests in their own National Home of  1920.  The Jews in the Diaspora, will no longer have the knowledge that if things get too rough, for example , as  in Toulouse where two  young children and a man of the cloth were gunned down, the only place on earth were the Jews live in the majority will have disappeared.  Simpson Buster is afflicted by a poetic truth that the Jews have mistreated the Arabs local to Palestine.  That is known as the Narrative of Perpetual Palestinian Victimhood and its cure can be found at the Gatestone Blog.  Facts and logic usually don’t help.  http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/2586/palestinian-victimhood-narrative  If you are not suffering to badly from it and credible facts, logic, and reason will still work, try Efraim Karsh, What Occupation http://www.aish.com/jw/me/48898917.html , and George Gilder, The Israel Test,   and his “Economics of Settlement http://spectator.org/archives/2011/06/08/the-economics-of-settlement

    In 1920, the British recognized the long history of the Jews in Palestine and decided to award them the exclusive political rights to that country.  At the time, they were only 60,000 out of 600,000 in all Palestine, although they had a plurality in Jerusalem as early as 1845 and a majority since 1863.  So, to avoid an antidemocratic solution, they put the Jewish political rights in trust or “mandate” as they chose to call it.  England volunteered to be trustee or “Mandatory Power”. The rights would vest when the Jews became a majority population.   The sort of arrangement is all spelled out in Article 22 of the League of Nations Charter.  It had been drafted by Jan Smuts.  With a trust came fiduciary obligations to enforce the trust, but Perfidious Albion disregarded those obligations — not to cede any part of Palestine to a Foreign Power such as Abdullah and his Hashemite tribe from the Arabian Peninsula, disregarded its  express  obligation to facilitate the immigration of Jews into Palestine by blocking their immigration in 1939 when they were fleeing for their lives from the ovens of Auchwitz.  Winston Churchill told Chamberlain he was reneging on England’s promise to the Jews.  The 1920 grant of collective political or national rights lives on, surviving the demise of the League of Nations Under Article 80 of its charter.  Israel in 1994 released its claim to Jordan in return for Jordan’s quitclaim to CisJordan, all of Palestine West of the Jordan River. So it would be lawful for Israel to assert sovereignty over Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip.  But the question remains would it be practical to do to.  If annexing Judea and Samaria, with all its inhabitats would place the Jews in the minority, immediately or in the long run, you would no longer have a country with western values.  The answer is to annex Judea and Samaria because their population statistics have been overstated and its annexation would NOT lead to an Arab majority.  Gaza can be retaken as it keeps firing rockets, missiles and mortar rounds at Israel, a casus belli.  I would give the Gazan’s Home Rule so long as they avoid candidates or political parties that are terrorists.  That would satisfy the standard of the British Mandate for Palestine, based on the French process-verbal that all agreed to.  It set the standard at not causing the non-Jews to surrender their existing rights.  Over time, as the Jewish law of return brings in more Jews and a Jewish majority population is established over all, Gaza can be annexed also.  

    This would provide one lawful state west of the Jordan River, with everyone’s civil and religious rights preserved as agreed in the founding documents of 1920.  If you want the skinny on the two state solution, try: Arutz Sheva, Remember the Qurayza, http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/11433  But if you have the time to read the whole story, read my op ed in Arutz Sheva in two parts.  
    Part 1: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/11408 
    Part 2: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/11412

    Wallace Edward Brand, 
    The Harvard Law School
    class of 1954

  • Anonymous

    There was no ethnic cleansing of Israel of 800,000 Palestinians according to Mahmoud Abbas in an article in Filastin, the official organ of the PLO.  This was revealed in the Wall Street Journal. Mahmoud Abbas wrote that almost all left at the call and threats of the Arab Higher Executive without ever seeing a Jewish soldier; and after a manufactured report of a massacre at Deir Yassin by an Arab radio commentator, ultimately corrected by the BBC interviewing the  Arab news commentator of 1948.  Interestingly, the Haganah did nothing to correct the report of a massacre by the Irgun as the Haganah was the political enemy of the Irgun. In fact the voluntary mass exodus of 800,000 Arabs from Palestine is what helped to give the Jews a majority of population in Israel and thus vest the exclusive political rights that were granted to them at San Remo in 1920.

  • Wallace Edward Brand

     The one [Arab Majority] state is indeed the end of Israel for all Jews.  The Jews in Israel would become unwelcome guests in their own National Home.  The Jews in the Diaspora, such as in Toulouse, would no longer know there was one place in the world where they could go and not be in a minority. 
    When the Jews were granted a National Home, it was a temporary solution because at that time the Jews were a 10% minority population in all Palestine.  Arnold Toynebee and Lewis Namier wrote a memo on September 19, 1917 replying to opponents of the proposed Balfour Declaration who opposed it on the basis that conferring sovereignty on a minority would be antidemocratic.  They agreed that that would be antidemocratic, but as applied to the proposed policy, that argument would be “imaginary” as either the US or the UK would be appointed as a trustee of those exclusive political rights that would not vest until the Jews attained a majority status. 
    This view was confirmed by David Lloyd-George at the Paris Peace Conference and by Winston Churchill to a visiting delegation of Arabs to London after WWI.  The Arabs made this known at the UNSCOP hearings and it was later published in Musal Alaimi, “The Future of Palestine” which you can likely find at the Harry Elkins Widener Library. 
    It was always contemplated that when the Jews had attained a majority of the population, they could reconstitute a Jewish State.  The Jews now have a population majority they got fair and square.   Some 700,000 Arabs left Palestine voluntarily at the request of the Arab Higher Executive if you believe the account of Mahmoud Abbas in “Filastin” they official organ of the PLO.  If you believe the mainstream media’s “poetic truth” the Narrative of Perpetual Palestinian Victimhood,   http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/2586/palestinian-victimhood-narrative  you will reject his account in favor of Arab Propaganda and Soviet dezinformatsia. The other cause of the Arabs fleeing was a false account of the battle of Deir Yassin that was turned into an alleged massacre at the behest of the Arab Higher Executive to help justify the invasion of the newly declared nation-state of Israel by the armies of all the surrounding Arab states.  The account of Mahmoud Abbas was revealed by the Wall Street Journal, July 5, 2003 http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1501222/posts ; the account of the false broadcast was revealed many years later in 1998 by a BBC interview of the Arab radio broadcaster in 1948 who admitted falsifying his account.   Nussibeh asked  Khalidi how we should cover the story.
    He said, ‘We must make the most of this.’ So he wrote a press release,
    stating that at Deir Yassin, children were murdered, pregnant women were
    raped, all sorts of atrocities. Gelber writes that Khalidi told journalists on April 11 that the
    village’s dead included 25 pregnant women, 52 mothers of babies, and 60
    girls.

  • Anonymous

     Indonesia, Lebanon.

  • salubrius

    The Narrative of Perpetual Palestinian Victimhood repeats endlessly that the Jews stole the land of the Arabs. A closer look at the history obscured by time and by anti-Zionists is that the Arabs have, since 1920, been trying to take the exclusive political rights of the Jews to Palestine recognized at San Remo, away from them. They have used threats of violence and actual violence to do so. When the Mafia uses those tactics in this country we refer to it as extortion. These threats, made in 1948 when the British abandoned their trusteeship resulted in the UN General Assembly recommending a partition in which the Jews would voluntarily give up part of its rights. The Jews were willing to do so. But the Arabs declined and went to war so the recommendation was of no legal effect. You can find a list of these threats in a memorandum submitted by the Jewish Agency for Palestine to theUnited Nations Palestine Commission, Feb. 2, 1948; Moshe Shertok, “Letter from the Jewish Agency for Palestine dated 29 March, 1948, addressed to the Secretary-General Transmitting a Memorandum on Acts of Arab Agression,” UNSC, S/710, Apr. 5, 1948 http://domino.un.org/pdfs/AAC21JA12.pdf

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  • Gee Buttersnaps

    While the single-sided nature of the conference is certainly an issue, to oppose Israel is not an evil in of itself. Israeli policies concerning Palestinians and Muslims are extremely discriminatory and constitute many violations of human rights. The goal (however unrealistic it may be) of a single state is to create a secular state, so that all may be treated equally.

  • Gee Buttersnaps

    Turkey

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