I am pleased that the Editor-in-Chief of The Forward, the star-ship American Jewish newspaper, endorsed the idea of a Confederation – Two State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This is an idea that is gaining currency in both Israel and Palestine as it addresses virtually all the substantive issues of both peoples and is attracting substantial support. It is a proposal worked out by Israelis and Palestinians together and deserves American Jewish pro-Israel pro-peace support and the support of anyone concerned for the well-being of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state and justice for the Palestinian people.
Read Judi Rudoren’s piece in which she argues:
“It’s hard not to feel hopeless about the prospects for peace in the holy land. It has been that way for a long time. But last week I heard a proposal that was both optimistic and pragmatic — more of both those welcome qualities than anything I’ve encountered since I started covering the region a decade ago. It’s time we start talking seriously about a Confederation of Israel and Palestine.”
I am a supporter of this proposal because it preserves the two-state solution in a Confederation organized in much the same way as the European Union, with open borders and populations staying in place as residents of another state. The status quo is unsustainable, and a one-state solution will sacrifice either Israel’s democratic character if it chooses to rule over 2.5 million Palestinians without giving them the right to vote, or its Jewish character if Jews are not in the majority population.
Though extremists among Israel’s right-wing settlers and among Palestinians will likely react violently, that is not a reason to prevent moving forward with the only resolution to this conflict that preserves Israel’s democracy and Jewish character and brings justice and sovereignty to the Palestinian people.
Borders, security, refugees, Jerusalem, water, and policing (among other issues) are all taken into account in this proposal that was developed by Israelis and Palestinians together. They are well aware of the potential vulnerabilities and address them in the proposal.
Frankly, it is the only proposal that has given me hope for a just, secure, and complete resolution to this conflict since the 1990s Oslo period.