Without outside pressure allied with fresh thinking, we are unlikely to get any closer towards finding an equitable way to share the landby Raja Shehadeh / August 17, 2018 / Leave a comment
Published in September 2018 issue of Prospect Magazine
There is little doubt that ultimately Palestinian Arabs and Israeli Jews will have to find a way to live together in the same land, undivided by borders. Whether this would be an undivided single state, or a federation of some sort, will have to be worked out through an arrangement that is viable and agreeable to both sides.
Until then the “one- state solution” remains more of a slogan than a programme, something to be further developed before this future attractive prospect can ever become a reality.
Even though there is rough parity between the numbers of Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs living in historic Palestine, as matters now stand it is the Israeli state that dominates the entire land—exploiting it as its own, and privileging the Israeli Jewish citizens.
When one farmer in the South Hebron hills, where the settlers are doing all they can to drive out local Palestinians [such as him], was asked whether the settlers can stay, he responded that as far as he was concerned they could, but he added a rider. “There is plenty of room, but only on condition that they act like human beings.”
As long as Israel reigns supreme, and can violate Palestinians’ rights to the land and discriminate against them with impunity—whether they be disenfranchised people living under occupation, or Palestinians living as citizens within Israel itself—there is little likelihood that the present reality will change.