The case for one democratic state

One democratic state is a proposition to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, advocating for creation of a single state throughout historical Palestine, with citizenship and equal rights for all without regard to ethnicity or religion.

Though increasingly debated in academic and progressive circles, this approach has largely remained outside the range of mainstream discourse and analysis to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However, Israel’s retreat from the concept of a two state solution to the conflict has enlarged the space for discussion of alternatives.

The Alternative Information Center (AIC) discussed the idea of a one state solution with Yoav Bar a long time activist for this idea.

According to Bar, “the idea of one state requires dealing with the entirety of the Palestinian question”, while the concept of two states neglects the questions of Palestinian refugees and the Palestinians living as second class citizens in Israel.

“In recent years the struggle focused only on the issue of two states and the possibility that Israel will retreat from the West Bank. The refugees were marginalised from the political discourse”, Bar says.

According to Bar, one democratic state is also the only realistic alternative for the Jews living in Israel.

“Jews will have no alternative but to undo the Zionist adventure, to undo a racist state and an Apartheid regime. ” Bar adds that the establishment of one democratic state “will secure the rights of Jews as equal citizens and allow them to integrate in the region and live in peace.”

“Only a framework that will take the problem as a whole: the 1948 occupation, the 1967 occupation, the right of return of the refugees and the right of every person to live in peace and equality as equal citizens in their homeland, this is the only framework that can bring about a resolution,” he concludes.

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