[tweetmeme] I mentioned John Mearsheimer’s lecture on the current impossibility of a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine. The lecture, entitled “The Future of Palestine: Righteous Jews vs. the New Afrikaners,” was an academic eulogy for the the state of Palestine: “Regrettably, the two-state solution is now a fantasy”. It is a great talk – even if you don’t agree with Prof. Mearsheimer – and worth watching. I have having trouble embedding the video, though the video, as well as the transcript and the audio can be found at the Palestine Center webpage. A teaser:
Given present circumstances there are four possible futures for Palestine.
The outcome that gets the most attention these days is the two-state solution, which was described in broad outline by President Clinton in late December 2000. It would obviously involve creating a Palestinian state living side-by-side with Israel. To be viable, that Palestine state would have to control 95 percent or more of the West Bank and all of Gaza. There would also have to be territorial swaps to compensate the Palestinians for those small pieces of West Bank territory that Israel got to keep in the final agreement. East Jerusalem would be the capital of the new Palestinian state. The Clinton Parameters envisioned certain restrictions on the new state’s military capabilities, but it would control the water beneath it, the air space above it, and its own borders – to include the Jordan River Valley.
There are three possible alternatives to a two-state solution, all of which involve creating a Greater Israel – an Israel that effectively controls the West Bank and Gaza.
In the first scenario, Greater Israel would become a democratic bi-national state in which Palestinians and Jews enjoy equal political rights. This solution has been suggested by a handful of Jews and a growing number of Palestinians. However, it would mean abandoning the original Zionist vision of a Jewish state, since the Palestinians would eventually outnumber the Jews in Greater Israel.
Second, Israel could expel most of the Palestinians from Greater Israel, thereby preserving its Jewish character through an overt act of ethnic cleansing. This is what happened in 1948 when the Zionists drove roughly 700,000 Palestinians out of the territory that became the new state of Israel, and then prevented them from returning to their homes. Following the Six Day War in 1967, Israel expelled between 100,000 and 260,000 Palestinians from the newly conquered West Bank and drove 80,000 Syrians from the Golan Heights. The scale of the expulsion, however, would have to be even greater this time, because there are about 5.5 million Palestinians living between the Jordan and the Mediterranean.
The final alternative to a two-state solution is some form of apartheid, whereby Israel increases its control over the Occupied Territories, but allows the Palestinians to exercise limited autonomy in a set of disconnected and economically crippled enclaves.