A federal Israel-Palestine: Nonviolence and law to end the 100-year civil war


Non-Jews need to be acknowledged collectively and be freed from subordination

by Chibli Mallat, Daily Star, September 23, 2010

In the first part of this study, the deadlock in IsraelPalestine was presented as a 100-year civil war. New realities on the ground, as well as visionary calls for a united state, instead of partitioning the land at a heavy human cost, have come from leading US thinkers, notably Tony Judt and Seyla ben Habib. If the diagnosis – civil war – and a united federal state is indeed the better way forward, how does one get there?

First, the need to characterize the conflict as one chiefly of a civil war between two so far exclusive constituencies does not mean that we outsiders, in the Middle East, in the US, should keep out of it. All too often we hear a sigh from outsiders, especially in the US: Let them kill each other until they tire; this is not our business. This attitude is wrong because the premise is wrong. The Israel-Palestine problem is also an international problem and has been so since the Basel conference in 1897, in which Theodore Herzl formally mobilized rightly frustrated and pogromized European Jewry to establish a Jewish nation in Palestine, all the way to 9-11, passing through seven or eight wars and counting. Turning our back to “those crazies killing each other out there” is false and immoral. To various extents, communities and states outside Israel-Palestine are inextricably involved in the crisis.Still, the core conflict is one of civil war, and we have to solve it.

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