Writer Meredith Tax on Getting to 2 States

Writer Meredith Tax on Getting to 2 States

Meredith Tax

Thanks to our colleague Lilly Rivlin, this is from a mass email by the writer/activist Meredith Tax, who has been focusing on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for some time:

During the war in Gaza, I wrote a 4000 word piece about why I still think a two state solution is the only way to build a broad enough movement against the Occupation to turn Washington around, and what kinds of strategy and tactics are needed to build such a movement.  These are focused on opposing the national-religious right on both sides, and on the need for nation-building in Palestine, including freedom for Marwan Barghouti.

I realize that some people on this list think BDS is a sufficient strategy to eventually end the Occupation. This piece is not addressed to them but to those who oppose the Occupation but have a problem with a one state solution and cultural boycotts.

Because of the length constraints of internet publishing, the article could not be published in one place.  The practical demands section was published first, last week in Dissent, while the accompanying argument was published today [Monday, Sept. 22], in openDemocracy 5050.  . . .

The following opening selection (with embedded Web link) of “A fresh look: towards an Israel-Palestine two-state solution,” shows that Ms. Tax is in our camp, arguing with appropriate references and links to other commentators on how getting to two states is still possible and preferable:

With the ceasefire in Gaza and a projected unity government in Palestine, the spectre of a two state solution has again risen to haunt Netanuyahu.  He has responded by announcing the annexation of nearly 1000 more acres of Palestinian territory for settlements.  Meanwhile, a new post-war poll by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) shows that 79% of Palestinians think Israel lost the war and 72% favor an armed intifada in the West Bank.  That is a big change from a poll taken in Gaza June 15-17, when 73% said they favored non-violent resistance, though, as PSR  points out, Palestinian poll numbers always swing widely after a war: these changes might be temporary. 

The Gaza war has thus made it more urgent than ever to get serious about Palestinian nation-building.  As Israeli elder statesman Uri Avnery has pointed out many times, a secure, well-run, democratic state in Palestine is the key to progress and economic development for the region; it is also the only possible way either side can be secure. 

Recently, however, prominent Jewish liberals like Anthony Lerman and Jonathan Freedland have begun to say that a two state solution has become impossible because the growth of Israeli settlements have created an irreversible situation.  To Avnery, this idea is nonsense: “I can think of a dozen different ways to solve the settlement problem, from forcible removal to exchange of territories to Palestinian citizenship (meaning the settlers will become Palestinan citizens)…. All the Herculean problems of the conflict can be resolved—if there is a will. It’s the will that is the real problem.”

The majority of people in both Israel and Palestine are still convinced that two states are needed.  75% of Palestinians in the new PSR poll reject a one state approach.  Within the region, right wing Israeli politicians are the main ones talking about one state—and they certainly don’t mean a state in which all citizens would be equal.  But the problem of political will is real.  Israeli society has succumbed to the despairing worldview of the Likud, which sees any talk of peace as either fantasy or treachery.  As David Grossman says, “the right has not only vanquished the left: It has vanquished Israel…. In the area most critical to its survival, today’s Israel is practically immobile, one might even say incompetent….(There is) a void of actions, a void of consciousness, a void in which an efficient suspension of moral judgment prevails, a failure to notice the injustice at the root of the entire situation.”  [For entire article, click this link: https://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/meredith-tax/fresh-look-towards-israelpalestine-twostate-solution.]

Click this title to read her article in Dissent:Ten Points Towards a Two-State Solution.”

By | 2014-09-23T14:39:00-04:00 September 23rd, 2014|Blog|0 Comments

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