Two state solution?
Which way for the antiwar movement?
By Bonnie Weinstein
It seems that leaders from both sides of the struggle promote the two-state solution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine (where the Palestinians get the dirty end of the stick). In the antiwar movement some argue that if the leaders from both sides agree that this is the best solution under the circumstances, then we are obligated, in the name of self-determination, to support that solution. A democratic, secular Palestine where people of all religions and beliefs can live together equallythe most logical solutionis considered unachievable and therefore the two-state solutiona lesser evil positionremains our only choice.
Self-determination does not mean removing Palestinians from their land and homes, bulldozing homes, building a wall that will imprison them and then calling it a separate state. This isnt self-determination nor is it less evil than the way it is now. True self-determination is built on an empowered people who have full democratic rights and freedom of choice and the resources necessary to support a population of free individuals.
The whole two-state solution begs the question of how this all came to be in the first place. And, most importantly, will not pave the road to peace in the region. And it certainly is not a point of neutrality for the antiwar movement.
If I were a Palestinian and living in Israel, I would not want to give up my home and move into what Israel determines is Palestinian territory. This territory will not include the kind of economic assistance necessary for the people of Palestine to build the kind of infrastructure that will ensure them equal rights and a decent living standard. At least nothing approaching the massive aid the U.S. has, and continues to provide, Israel.
If I were a Palestinian already expelled from Israel, my land confiscated, and my children forced to live in prison camp conditions, would I look kindly to my enemy who will not let me return to my land or let me live in peace with them on the land they now believe to be theirs? I dont think so.
The first thing that has to happen from our side, here in America, is for the antiwar movement to insist that all the U.S. aid paid for with our tax dollars be stopped.
No one has a quarrel with Jews living in Israel, or at least I dont. I do have a quarrel with Jews expelling the indigenous population. But the support for Zionist Israel by the corporations that own and control the United States is surely not motivated by either love for the Jewish people, or by humanitarianism. Capitalist America would not even let any but a few Jewish refugees fleeing Hitlers Nazis into this country when they had no place to go at their darkest moment.
And, I cannot support a governmentthe Israeli governmentthat continues their apartheid regime against the Palestinian people and will not grant them citizenship, with full and equal rights in the country founded upon Palestinian land.
It is not our place in the American antiwar movement to declare support for a two-state solution. Certainly we all can acknowledge that this alternative came about in a state of extreme duress and pressure from Israel with the full support and military might of the United States Government. But, again, true self-determination is based upon freedom of choice and there has been no freedom of choice for the Palestinian people.
The only acceptable position of the American antiwar movement is to demand that all U.S. support to Israel and its Zionist apartheid government that oppresses Jews as well as Palestinians be ended right now! U.S. out of the Middle East!
It is the only position of conscience that the antiwar movement can adopt.