Beyond Two States: Is Confederation the Solution to the Israel-Palestine Conflict?
On January 15, Partners for Progressive Israel hosted a webinar entitled “Beyond Two States: Is Confederation the Solution to the Israel-Palestine Conflict?” with panelists Galia Golan (Professor Emerita at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem) and Thabet Abu Rass (co-CEO at The Abraham Fund Initiatives). The discussion was moderated by Dr. Dahlia Scheindlin, a leading Israeli public opinion expert and political consultant.Veyi
The panelists contended that the confederation model should be regarded as an elaboration on (rather than an alternative to) the two-state approach, in which both the Jewish and Palestinian peoples would enjoy national self-determination. The confederation model, however, offers unique solutions to the thorny questions of Jerusalem, West Bank settlements, and refugees by treating the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean as a joint homeland of both Jews and Palestinians, rather than an area to be divided between two hermetically separated states. Confederation would thus allow both Jews and Palestinians to enjoy free movement within their joint homeland between the two states, with people living, traveling, and working wherever they wish regardless, of their citizenship. It would also enable the two states to cooperate in the areas that Israelis and Palestinians already share in practice – water, infrastructure, the environment, roads, and economic life overall. They would vote, though, in the state of their citizenship, not where they reside, and obviously both states would make their own laws, in cooperation with the other. It may sound idealistic, but it is perhaps the most realistic form of the two-state solution today.
Women Organizing for a Better Israel
On March 7, in honor of International Women’s Day, we hosted Zehava Galon, former chair of Meretz, and peace activist Avital Brown of Women Wage Peace for a webinar entitled “Women Organizing for a Better Israel.” Rabbi Deborah Waxman, President of Reconstructing Judaism, served as moderator.
Much of the conversation focused on the topics of peace and security through a feminist lens and the perspective of women. “Peace is the most feminist issue. The ability to compromise is the most feminist issue,” Galon said. Brown said that women have the capacity to defy political differences and find common ground, citing peacemaking examples in other trouble-spots around the world: “It was done by women in Northern Ireland. It was done by the women of Liberia.” She noted that UN Security Council resolution 1325 has stressed the importance of having more women participate at decision-making levels in conflict resolution and peace processes.