The Canadian-Israeli academic and high-toned journalist, Bernard Avishai— who splits his time between Jerusalem and New Hampshire teaching at the Hebrew University and Dartmouth— is a natural for thinking out of the box. Here he emphasizes his own ideas and those of IPCRI on how Israelis and Palestinians may benefit from two states coexisting of necessity in a shared small space:
I have written so often in the past about the inevitability of confederative models if the two-state solution is to have a chance of working, that this may feel like piling on. But here are two short videos to watch, and spread, if you find them compelling. The first is from IPCRI, or Israel Palestine Creative Regional Initiatives, making the argument for greater integration: “two states in one space,” they call it. The second is this round table on TV Ontario’s “The Agenda with Steve Paikin,” in which I make the pitch along with two Palestinian interlocutors. The crux comes at about minute 19:00.
Israelis and Palestinians, Jews and Arabs in this area, one can think of a number of practical problems with such a plan. Mainly, it’s expecting a lot from Palestinians “returning” to Israel, and from Jewish settlers allowed to remain in Palestine, to peacefully live in someone else’s country while retaining voting rights in the national elections of their own ethnic-dominated state (but not where they live).
I read an article or two that touched on similar ideas late this past Sunday, in a bound volume of ISRAEL HORIZONS, from I think 1956!
As recently as 2004, there was discussion of “ISFALUR” (Israel, Falastin, and Urdon/Jordan), a Benelux-type plan, whose major proponent was Arie Lova Eliav, at a program of the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs, in Jerusalem.