Israel must resist one-state solution despite settler pressure

Opinion: Settlers who chose violence are a minority, but a very loud one, and their persistence may lead to dissolution of Zionist vision; history showed us that mixing hostile populations together only leads to violence, so why would it work in Israel?

Ben-Dror Yemini|
Israel faces an outbreak of violence, and you don't have to call those who are responsible for it subhuman, but they are, nevertheless, anti-Zionist hooligans.
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  • Last Friday, a group of Jewish settlers attacked Palestinian farmers and left-wing activists with sticks and stones and wounded three, including an 80-year-old woman.
    4 View gallery
    פעילי רבנים לזכויות אדם וקואליציית המסיק הותקפו בכפר בורין בידי מתנחלים רעולי פנים
    פעילי רבנים לזכויות אדם וקואליציית המסיק הותקפו בכפר בורין בידי מתנחלים רעולי פנים
    Palestinian farmers and left-wing activists who were allegedly attacked by settlers in the West Bank last Friday
    (Photo: Rabbis for Human Rights)
    The Yesha Council, which is an umbrella organization of municipal councils of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, later issued a statement of condemnation: "We are horrified by the images of this unusual event, such behavior contradicts the values of the people of Israel and damages the Jewish settlement apparatus. This is not our way, we urge law enforcement to investigate the incident and hold the rioters accountable."
    On Monday, three Palestinians were lightly wounded when dozens of settlers rioted near Nablus, hurling stones at cars and shops, and wounding a three-year-old boy.
    The problem is those are not "unusual" events. The West Bank always had areas of friction between Israelis and Palestinians. Normally, these areas are located around outposts and settlements, some of which are illegal, built in close proximity to Palestinian villages.
    The friction index says the more hostile the various populations that live next to each other are, the more violent the interactions between them are going to be because diversity can sometimes lead to trouble.
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    פשע שנאה יהודי בכפר קירה
    פשע שנאה יהודי בכפר קירה
    Jewish settlers vandalize Palestinian cars in West Bank earlier this week
    You can, and even must, condemn violence, you need to pursue the perpetrators, denounce them, and punish them. But any condemnation by the Yesha Council or the politicians won't help because the root of the problem is the mixture of hostile populations in one small area.
    When it comes to a Jewish majority and an Arab minority within Israel - the friction, most of the time, doesn't create violence. The May riots in mixed cities prove that even within Israel there is no simple solution, and in the Occupied Territories, the story is much more complicated.
    As long as it's about the settlements, so be it, after all, according to the drafts of all peace agreements, most of these areas will remain in Israel's control even if their is a Palestinian state. But some on the further end of the right-wing want more and more settlements outside areas designated for Israel, through the establishment of "neighborhoods," which are actually just illegal outposts. And these radicals need to explain how we will get out of this mess.
    If Israel will only have one set of civil rights for the Jews, and different ones for the Arabs, it will become an apartheid state. But if you give the Palestinians the exact set of civil rights as the Jews, then Israel will become a bi-national state.
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    בניה בבית אל
    בניה בבית אל
    Settlement construction in the West Bank
    (Photo: EPA)
    All the solutions presented by the right-wing parties are mostly self-deception, along with Menachem Begin's autonomy plan, which included a full set of rights (including voting rights) to any Palestinian who wishes it.
    After all, "coexistence" between various ethnic groups doesn't actually exist, if the groups in question are hostile to each other, only leading to conflicts and bloodshed. Even in the heart of Europe, in Yugoslavia, it seemed that a multinational society could be created, but we all know how that ended. So why does anyone think this can work here?
    What happened last Friday is a glance into the future, which will be the present in no time if no action to stop it is taken. It should be mentioned the vision of one, bi-national state is the dream of Israel's haters, the vision of the BDS, the anti-Zionist Left in Israel and around the world.
    Members of the Right, who support the one-state solution, even opposed Donald Trump's peace plan, and in fact, only embraced the former United States president because he would've allowed Israel to annex some areas of the West Bank.
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    פתרון של שתי מדינות לשני עמים?
    פתרון של שתי מדינות לשני עמים?
    History thought us that mixing hostile populations always leads, to conflicts and bloodshed
    (Photo: Shutterstock)
    Don't get me wrong, some on the Right make justifiable arguments about a potential Palestinian state becoming a playground for Hamas or other radical Islamist groups. They also make legitimate claims about "the campaign of settler violence" being funded by European entities.
    The right-wing is also correct in saying that settlers who chose violence are just a minority, even among those who believe in the Greater Israel vision. it is true that they are a minority, but they are a very loud minority. A minority that is creating our future - one that would make the Zionist vision obsolete.
    It is certainly encouraging that there is a broad consensus, even among most on the Right, that violence must be condemned. That's wonderful, but we need there to be a consensus on Israel being a Jewish and democratic country - which cannot be achieved in a bi-national state.

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