Australia/Israel Review

Scribblings: The binational state lie

Sep 15, 2021 | Tzvi Fleischer

Palestinians are clear – they want a “unified Palestinian state on historic Palestine,” not a binational state (Credit: Shutterstock)
Palestinians are clear – they want a “unified Palestinian state on historic Palestine,” not a binational state (Credit: Shutterstock)

The latest propaganda line for the anti-Israel brigade is to accuse Israel of being an “Apartheid state” whose racist identity must be “dismantled”. While this is essentially just a new slogan to advocate Israel’s destruction, those promoting this view have a cover story that sounds superficially reasonable to many Westerners: “no, we don’t want to ‘destroy’ Israel, all we really want is a binational state of all its citizens, Jewish and Palestinian, once Israel’s discriminatory Jewish and Zionist identity is removed.” Promoters of this claim not only insist that Jews and Palestinians will live together perfectly harmoniously once evil Zionism is removed from the equation, but frequently imply that it is racist against Palestinians to believe otherwise. 

But most Palestinians themselves do not agree that Jews and Palestinians will live in binational harmony once Israel is dismantled. Palestinian public discourse, which routinely paints all Israeli Jews as thieving invaders with no legitimate rights, shows this, and so do polls, as I have repeatedly documented in this column. 

A recent poll of West Bank Palestinians conducted by the Arab World for Research and Development (AWRAD) Centre, a Palestinian research firm, and released on Aug. 25, makes this point particularly well. Participants were asked about their hopes for an end to the conflict – 60% supported a unified Palestinian state on historic Palestine, 30% supported a two-state solution, and 8% supported a one-state solution with Palestinians and Israelis living together. 

That’s right, only 8% support the sort of vision that anti-Zionists paint – Jews and Palestinians sharing a state. Meanwhile, a clear majority of 60% want something else described as a “unified Palestinian state on historic Palestine.” It is not clear what that entails – but apparently not Palestinians and Israelis living together, which is a different option. 

Most of that 60% probably are thinking of what I have described as the “ethnic cleansing solution” – that is, not a two-state solution or a one-state solution, but a “solution” in which Israel’s Jews are largely either killed or forced to leave. 

Given those numbers, and the raw hatred often present in Palestinian public discourse, it takes a truly staggering amount of willful blindness to insist that, if only Israel’s Jews agreed to dismantle Israel, peace and harmony would prevail. Seriously, no Palestinians would seek to kick out the Jews of this new binational state, even though a large number, perhaps even a majority, want to do so today? There would be no terrorist attacks or street violence or efforts to force Jews out through mass demonstrations or property confiscation or legal measures? Law and order would prevail between both communities? Jews would be treated fairly and equally, even though this has not been their experience as a minority anywhere in the Middle East in the past? 

Some people who advocate a “one-state solution” don’t care – they are out to destroy Israel, and frankly, whatever Israel’s Jews suffer as a result is fully justified in their eyes. Others are in the grip of intersectional “woke” ideology, which says one must identify the weaker “victim” people – in this case the Palestinians – and treat everything they do as completely understandable and justifiable responses to oppression. One must never, ever give credence to the attribution of any negative traits to the victim group – which amounts to participating in the “systemic” racism against them. Therefore, it is unthinkable to imagine that Palestinians will not be completely noble and compassionate in dealing with Jews once their just demands are met – only racists could think otherwise. 

Perhaps the latter need to know that one of the people they are declaring racist is the late Prof. Edward Said – the most famous Palestinian intellectual and advocate in the Western world. While he absolutely advocated a one-state solution toward the end of his life, he had the decency to note that the fate of Israel’s Jews was highly questionable in such an outcome. In a 2010 interview, he was asked about the fate of the Jewish minority in the Arab majority state he was demanding replace Israel, and said:

“I worry about that. The history of minorities in the Middle East has not been as bad as in Europe, but I wonder what would happen. It worries me a great deal. The question of what is going to be the fate of the Jews is very difficult for me. I really don’t know. It worries me.”

So a majority of Palestinians reject sharing a binational state together with Jews, and the most important international Palestinian intellectual admitted their fate in such a state “worries him a great deal.” Yet if any Jews oppose such an outcome, it’s only because they’re racist. 


Another Olympic Win

This column is pleased to report that, on Sept. 7, the International Judo Federation announced a ten-year ban on Algerian Judoka Fathi Norine and his coach Ammar Benkhlef, preventing them from participating in any activity or competition for the Federation or any of its affiliates, for violations of the Olympic Charter. 

As was reported in this column last month, Nourine withdrew from competition at the Tokyo Olympics immediately after the draw was announced, pitting him against an Israeli in the second round, and openly said he was withdrawing to support the “Palestinian cause”. Benkhlef publicly supported Nourine’s decision. 

It’s another sign of progress in ending anti-Israel discrimination in international sport. 


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