The sovereign can no longer say, "You shall think as I do on pain of death;" but he says, "You are free to think differently from me, and to retain your life, your property, and all that you possess; but if such be your determination, you are henceforth an alien among your people."

(Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 1835)

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Four options for Israel and Palestine

John J. Mearsheimer came forward (in an article and in a speech) with a compelling outline of four scenarios the Israel-Palestine conflict could result in:

  1. the two-state solution: Israel withdraws from the occupied territories, abandons the settlements, and Jerusalem is shared capital of both Israel and Palestine.
  2. the one-state solution, option 1: Israel stays in the occupied territories, grants equal civil rights to the Palestinians and becomes the democratic state of both Israelis and Palestinians.
  3. the one-state solution, option 2: Israel expels all remaining Palestinians from the occupied territories and claims the entire area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan river.
  4. the status quo: Israel controls the West Bank and proceeds down the road towards an apartheid state.
Mearsheimer points out that the Israel lobby pushes the Israeli and US governments towards option 4, which would likely end the Western support for Israel and ultimately lead to the end of Israel as such.

I would favour option 2, mainly because I like the idea of states being not exclusively for one particular denomination, but for all their inhabitants.

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