Until Two States Exist, Palestinians Deserve Voting Rights in Israel

The reelection of Binyamin Netanyahu, accompanied by his renunciation of the two-state solution and racist denigration of Israel’s Arab voters, has created the moment of greatest despair over Israel/Palestine that we have experienced in Tikkun’s thirty years of existence.

Maps of Palestinian land in 1946, under the UN plan of 1947, in 1967, and in 2013.

Credit: Creative Commons and Oona Taper ({link url="http://cargocollective.com/oonataper"}cargocollective.com/oonataper{/link}).

I first published in Tikkun in its inaugural year, 1986. At that time I joined Michael Lerner in his courageous call for negotiations with the Palestinians (then forbidden by Israeli law) and the creation of a Palestinian state side by side with Israel. Tikkun has consistently fought for that position over the years. There have been moments of hope, such as the Oslo Accords, and moments of great despair, like the Second Intifada. But no moment has held more despair than the present.

Lerner’s present proposal—to accord citizenship rights to the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza—is a product of this despair. He acknowledges that a “binational” state may not solve anything and may make things even worse. Yet he is right that absent any movement toward a Palestinian state—and there is none now—the choice is between effective apartheid and one state between the Jordan and the Mediterranean.

 

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