Avnery on Romney’s rejection of the ‘two-state solution’

September 30, 2012 at 4:31 pm (Human rights, israel, Jim D, Middle East, palestine, Republican Party, United States)

That wise commentator, Uri Avnery of Gush Shalom, comments upon Mitt Romney’s dangerous and ignorant comments about the Middle East.

Demonstration at a-Ram checkpoint, 2002

Above: Avnery at checkpoint protest

The whole article is essential reading (A Message from Romney at http://www.avnery-news.co.il/english/index.html), but Avnery’s thoughts on Romney’s rejection of the two-state solution, and others who also reject it for a vast range of different reasons, is absolutely spot-on:

THE GIST of Romney’s message is that the two-state solution is dead. This reminds me of Mark Twain’s famous: “The report of my death was an exaggeration.”

It is now in fashion to say so. Quite a trend. However, different people have different reasons for believing that the two-state solution is dead.

Parents, teachers, pedophiles and cannibals all say they love children. But their motives are not the same. This is also true for the would-be undertakers of the two-state solution. They include:

One: Idealists, who wish for people of different nations to live together in harmony and equality in one state. (I would like them to study the history of the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Sudan, and the present situation of the French in Canada, Scots in Britain, Flemish in Belgium and Basques and Catalans in Spain.)

Two: Arabs, who really believe that this is a peaceful way to get rid of Israel.

Three: Settlers, who want to turn the whole of historical Palestine into their dominion and, if possible, “cleanse” the country of non-Jews.

Four: Israelis, who believe that the settlements have created a situation that is “irreversible”. (Meron Benvenisti, a former deputy mayor of Jerusalem, coined this phrase already in the early 1980s, when there were less than 100 thousand settlers. I told him then that nothing was irreversible except death. Situations created by human beings can be changed by human beings.)

Five: Anti-Zionists, including Jewish anti-Zionists, who hate Zionism indiscriminately, with all its good and bad aspects, and for whom the very existence of a “Jewish” state is an abomination.

Six: Muslim fanatics, who believe that Palestine is a Muslim waqf (religious grant), so that allowing any part of it to non-Muslims is a deadly sin.

Seven: Jewish fanatics, who believe that all of Eretz-Israel, from the Nile to the Euphrates, has been promised to the Jews by God, so that conceding any part of it to non-Jews is a deadly sin.

Eight: Christian fanatics, who believe that the second coming of Jesus Christ will be possible only after the ingathering of all the Jews in this country (with no place in it for anyone else.)

Sorry if I have forgotten someone.

SOME OF these people have invented something called the “one-state solution”. That is an oxymoron. There is a one-state problem, there is no one-state solution.

From time to time it is worthwhile to come back to the basic facts of our life:

There are two peoples living in this country.

Neither of the two will go away. They are here to stay.

While the Arab Palestinians living in the country are still a minority, they will constitute the majority quite soon.

Both peoples are intensely nationalistic.

The two peoples have different cultures, languages, religions, historic narratives, social structures, standards of living. At present, after some 130 years of continuous conflict, there is intense hatred between them.

The possibility that these two peoples could live peacefully in one state, serving in the same army and police, paying the same taxes and abiding by the same laws enacted by the same common parliament, is nil.

The possibility that these two peoples could live peacefully side-by-side in two states, each with its own flag and its own elected government (and its own soccer team), does exist.

Such co-existence can take different forms: from a loose confederation with open borders and free movement to closer forms of evolving structures, like the European Union.

I hope this is not too complicated for Romney to understand. But it may become irrelevant if  — as I fervently hope — he is not elected.

I would hate for an ignoramous to be given the opportunity to learn world affairs on our backs.


  1. Sarah AB said,

  2. Ben said,

    It’s Uri Avnery, not Ari Avnery.

    • Jim Denham said,

      Thank you Ben. I concentrated so hard on getting his second name right (my usual mistake) I misspelt the first. Will correct.

      What do you charge for proof-reading?

      Oops! Just noticed, I’ve managed to get the second name wrong as well. You missed that. I withdraw my offer to pay you for proof-reading.

  3. Ben said,

    Most people called Avneri spell it with an i. I guess Uri wanted to be contrary as usual so he spells it with a y. There are also some people called Avineri, for example the well-known historian of Marxism Shlomo Avineri, which is very similar.

    People are often upset when others get their name wrong. You can get many scout points for being 100% accurate in that department, as I’m sure you know. These two individuals are natural potential readers of your fine and stimulating blog!

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