HOME Legal Encounters Confronting Facts on the Two-State Solution: Time for a Democratic State Alternative?

Confronting Facts on the Two-State Solution: Time for a Democratic State Alternative?

Dr. Virginia Tilley
addressed perversion, falsification and deception in the sovereignty system within international perception. Why do the Palestinian people face the one-state solution in deviation from external decisions?
Dr. Tilley stated that modern world order is based on the principle of sovereignty; that is, the state’s ability to control its own affairs. The world is divided into states, each of which has its own borders. Borders also have their own designations. For example, the international community recognises Guatemala as a state although part of its territories is not under its sovereignty. This is the distinction between de jure sovereignty (international recognition of sovereignty) and de facto sovereignty.
In addition, expropriation of a particular state’s sovereignty is not a clear process. In case of invasions or wars (the tragic state of sovereignty loss), a people might be deprived of sovereignty. In North America, Australia and South Africa, for example, people’s sovereignty was expropriated and occupying states also created ghettos for the indigenous peoples. Nonetheless, the colonial situation in South Africa was relatively different.
Upon addressing the notion of loss or expropriation of sovereignty, examples on settlers confronting indigenous peoples can be recalled. In this context, a state was created in South Africa and states for colony settlers were established in North America. However, resistance against invasion and occupation never ends, but it ultimately shifts its path. In the 1960s and 1970s, such a shift took place in North America. And in 1994, South Africa witnessed such a transformation. It should be noted, however, that the black people did never accept the ghettos, which deprived them from sovereignty over their own territories.
Dr. Tilley asserted that national movements completely rejected racial discrimination exercised by governing regimes. She confirmed that indigenous communities represent the real identity of nationalism. All such changes take place in the context of the international change of the perception of sovereignty and national state. Until World War II, national movements were treated as ethnic entities. However, this situation developed into a racial form, then into a human component, ethnic nationalism, and finally into a state. That was the reason behind eradication of humans on grounds of their colour, religion or race. For example, the Nazi regime attempted to exterminate the Jews, Gypsies, as well as others. Later, ethnic national movements converted into civil national movements. Then, conflicts took place and civil rights movements emerged.
Tension still persists today. Migration of blacks and Arabs to Europe constitutes a threat to the perception of ethnic nationalism. Israel, however, is the exception.
So far, Israel is recognised as a Jewish state. Israel exploited sovereignty principles in a retroactive manner; it rejected de jure sovereignty so that it could impose its de facto sovereignty. It also utilised official annexation in order to produce de facto sovereignty. In addition, Israel expropriated sovereignty of the indigenous people, swapped it with a certificate of good conduct, and accepted a civil sovereignty for the Palestinian people – “self rule” in exchange of a good conduct exercised by the Palestinian Authority.
Like South Africa, Israel plans to create a ghettoised system. In 1992, the Palestinian people accepted the two-state solution despite the fact that a geographical contiguity does not exist [between the West Bank and Gaza Strip]. This is, in fact, a tremendous challenge. The only way to solve this situation is a one-state solution.
Dr. Tilley concluded with the following questions: What is Zionism? What is its mission? What is the mission of the Palestinian nationalism?
Mr. Omar al Barghouthi addressed and supported the ethical dimension in the one-state solution. At the beginning, Al Barghouthi commented on the results of two opinion polls, stating that two thirds of Palestinians support a one-state solution. However, there is a problem in the definition of the Palestinian and Palestinian people.
Al Barghouthi presented views supporting and objecting the one-state solution. In case this solution acts against the notion of peace, it is necessary that we address the perception of peace, the conditions of which were set forth by triumphant countries in World War II – respect of borders as well as peace and stability in each country. In reality, such a perception varies according to the standpoints of both the triumphant and defeated. Therefore, we should not accept the perception of the triumphant countries because it was imposed by force.
Many deny the existence of peace based on justice and equity within the framework of the International Law. However, peace is entailed in the United Nations Charter. Additionally, peace provides for respect of human rights, achieve justice and implementation of relevant obligations.
Al Barghouthi wondered how peace, based on justice, is to be achieved. In this context, relative, not absolute, justice is meant of course. How can we think of creating a just and ethical peace in order to prevent conflicts, wars and violence?
According to Al Barghouthi, relative justice requires two conditions: avoiding unnecessary injustice against the community of settlers as well as termination of all forms of oppression.
Can the two-state solution achieve justice? Of course not; both land and history will be partitioned. Furthermore, the problem of refugees will not be solved and racial oppression will be promoted inside Israel. Additionally, the Palestinian state, [once created], will be very poor and destitute of all necessary resources.
Al Barghouthi believes that Israel rejects the two-state solution because it views Palestinians as relative humans. Thus, he prefers a one-state solution, not a bi-national state. The solution is to establish a secular democratic state. In the event rights of the Jewish people and inalienable rights of the Palestinian people are heeded, we could reach the best solution. Without the return of Palestinian refugees, however, there will not be a permanent solution for Palestinians.
In the discussions, questions were centred on how we can apply the ethical criterion to Israel, which denies the existence of the Palestinian people as well as disdains all non-Jewish humans. The solution also requires a change in mentalities. How can we reconcile Palestinians’ right to return to their homeland and the Israeli Law on Return?