Saturday, May 5, 2012

Israel and Palestine: Two states, two peoples

Israel's idea of 'two states' is based on expulsion of Arabs, so the Jewish character of its country is not threatened.

By Ben White

"........The relationship between "two states for two peoples" and Israel's policies of apartheid and ethnic purity was highlighted in the aftermath of the Supreme Court's support for the law separating Palestinian spouses. Kadima MK Otniel Schneller praised the law for articulating "the rationale of separation between the (two) peoples and the need to maintain a Jewish majority and the (Jewish) character of the state", adding that if the law had been rejected, "it would have undermined the central argument justifying two states for two peoples".

There are echoes here of course with the rhetoric of apartheid South Africa's leadership: in 1948, the National Party's platform stated that "either we must follow the course of equality, which must eventually mean national suicide for the white race, or we must take the course of separation". Interestingly, former president FW de Klerk noted last year on the BBC that what he "supported as a younger politician was exactly what the whole world now supports for Israel and Palestine, namely [that] separate nation states will be the solution".

The unpleasant reality at the heart of the "two states for two peoples" - a framework based on expulsion and exclusion - has become clearer as more and more Zionists link Palestinian "statehood" with the need to "save" Israel as a "Jewish and democratic state". In doing so, they unwittingly emphasise how only one half of that latter formulation is true."

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