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Introducing the Movement for One Democratic Secular State

As the Israeli occupation continues to grow ever more entrenched, more and more people around the world are reaching the conclusion that the ethnic separatist "two-state solution" is no longer viable possibility. The level of physical integration between Palestinians and Israelis, both inside and outside the Green Line, as well as simple demographic realities has effectively negated any realistic separatist schemes aside from the current "ghettoization" policy being employed by the Israeli government, which is not sustainable.
Introducing the Movement for One Democratic Secular State

As the Israeli occupation continues to grow ever more entrenched, more and more people around the world are reaching the conclusion that the ethnic separatist "two-state solution" is no longer viable possibility. The level of physical integration between Palestinians and Israelis, both inside and outside the Green Line, as well as simple demographic realities has effectively negated any realistic separatist schemes aside from the current "ghettoization" policy being employed by the Israeli government, which is not sustainable.

The alternatives to ethnic separation within Mandatory Palestine (“between the river and the sea?) are the "one state models", both racist one state models based on ethnically cleansing "the others" from Israel/Palestine and the progressive one state models based on integrating Palestinians - including the refugees - and Israelis into a single state and polity. For progressives, the idea of ethnic cleansing is utterly anathema and can therefore be ruled out as an acceptable solution.

Among the progressive one state models there is an extremely broad array of opinion on how this can best be brought about. The federalist model envisions separate ethnic states or cantons, and draws much of its inspiration from the examples of Belgium and Switzerland. The binational model envisions separate group-specific laws and rights within the framework of a united state, similar to the existing status quo in Israel proper or the situation in modern Lebanon, sans the overt discrimination against particular communities. The integrationist models hold the view that separate can never be equal and generally look to the South African model inspiration, based on core principles of anti-racism, "one person - one vote", and the nondiscriminatory employment of the rule of law to all citizens. Each of these models has its own advantages and disadvantages and it is impossible to say which model will eventually gain the most support.

Right now the one state perspective is a minority one. However, some 25-30% of Palestinian refugees, the vast majority of Palestinians holding Israeli citizenship, and smaller percentages of other Israelis and Palestinians already view the one state proposition as an acceptable compromise. All of these percentages can be increased if we, as in the global peace, justice, and human rights community take on the issue and make it mainstream.

In order to advance the progressive one state concept - regardless of the model preferred - we have decided to launch the "Movement for One Democratic Secular State" project. At this early stage we are primarily forming an online community in order to enable networking between one state activists, to share tips and opinions on effective one state advocacy, as well as to generally develop the progressive one state concept by allowing advocates of the various models to make their respective cases and then debate the issues. This is an essentially progressive project, meaning that we expect all participants to stay within the basic - though very broad - perimeters of the project as defined on the "Positions of the Movement" page. Further the community is fully democratic, each member has the right to propose new initiatives, vote on previous initiatives as well as to discuss various concerns in an open forum among other members.

The Movement is meant to accommodate both the intellectual as well as the activist, though you need not be either to participate. On the intellectual front there are the discussions regarding the various models as well as how to get from where we are today to actually realizing the one state ideal in Palestine/Israel. For the activist, we discuss ways and means of arguing the point, effective rebuttal of ethnocentric/racist positions, examples of other activities elsewhere that can be employed in your area, as well as a news service to advertise your own efforts at promoting the one state ideal.

Please visit the Movement for One Democratic Secular State website at http://www.onestate.org Read the "Positions" and "Purpose" of the Movement and if you find your own views compatible with ours, please consider joining us. In most respects, the one state case is much easier to make than the ethnic separatist "two-state solution" one, therefore it behooves us to encourage the one state case to become a mainstream suggestion. The initiative is new, having only went public on August 7, so there is plenty of room to for everyone to participate.

John Sigler

Movement for One Democratic Secular State
www.onestate.org
 
 


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Comments

Israel is already a Democratic State

Why dont you launch your One-State-Solution in some OTHER country? Say.. try any one of the Islamic dictatorships which could benefit from democracy. Why do you want to do this in the ONLY Jewish country in the world---effectively dismantling the Jewish State of Israel.

As for your poll among Palestinian refugees, I know a different result. When asked if they wanted to be "returned"* only 10% of the Palestinians said they were interested and only 5% if the Israelis are in charge.

Of course your "solution" doesn't involve the Israelis remaining in charge.

You do not mention at all the main argument against your solution. Israel is a Jewish State. It is, in its constitution, set up as a refuge for Jewish people the world over to come, live, and become Jewish Citizens of Israel.

Israel needs to exist as a place where Jewish people can escape the anti-semiticism in the world at large. Since Israel is a democracy, if the Muslim population were to ever become the majority, it would only take one election to wipe the ONLY JEWISH state in the world off the map.

That is the main reason against granting citizenship to every Arab that wanders into the territory. With 20,000 terror attacks in the past four years, security is another good reason to take great care anytime citizenshsip is granted to anyone.

Sweden is a democracy with a state religion. I don't see you presuming to write a new form of government for them.

The issue really remains. Does Israel have a right to exist as a Jewish State? I think this article is proof that you do not think so.


* most Palestinian refugees were not even born in Palestine, but in Jordan, Syria, or Lebanon
 

Re: Introducing the Movement for One Democratic Secular State

"The worst thing about shooting kids is they are faster and smaller than the old women. It takes more bullets to hit them." Israeli soldiers reply when asked why they shoot children.
 

Re: Introducing the Movement for One Democratic Secular State

"When asked if they wanted to be "returned"* only 10% of the Palestinians said they were interested and only 5% if the Israelis are in charge."

Hey Becky, under the current circumstances your poll is about as meaningful as asking how many school children would like to return to class in their burning school. Everybody knows that the Israelis are still in charge under Arafat.

Whatever your unnamed source is for this poll I find it an amazing show of the fortitude of the Palestinian people that 10 to 5 percent want to return to their homeland.

Onward to the Democratic Socialist Republic of Palestine that guarantees separation of church and state and guarantees the rights of Arab and Hebrew speakers alike!
 

Re: Introducing the Movement for One Democratic Secular State

Israel Democratic? posts an inflammtory quote with no source cited. I find no evidence of such a quote being real.
 

Israel IS a democracy

Israel is a democracy. Leaders are elected. Each citizen (male or female, Jewish or not Jewish) has a vote. Israeli Arabs can vote and have representatives in the Knessett. The Knessett has 120 members, all of whom were elected to office. When their terms expire, they leave office. Israel has a system of laws to which all citizens are accountable--including the leaders.

The Israeli Supreme Court is the highest law in the land and anyone--including Palestinian non-citizens---can file cases with Israeli courts and can win judgements.

Yes, Israel is a democracy. With the possible exception of Turkey, there is no other democracy in the mideast or in any Muslim country in the world. Israel does not need for outsiders to impose a new form of government on them.

If Arafat were under Israeli control, why would he be planning and funding attacks on Israeli citizens? Right now Arafat is fighting against Islamic Jihad and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade for control of Gaza.

As for the IDF shooting children. If you examine death stats you find that 57.7% of the Israeli deaths are youth age 15 or under. Among Palestinian deaths, only 11.7% of the deaths are youth aged 15 and under. If anyone is out to kill children, its the Palestinian terror groups.
the source for these stats is: www.us-israel.org/jsource/myths/mftoc.html, www.ict.org.il, www.idf.il
 

Re: Introducing the Movement for One Democratic Secular State

Becky, you just keep parroting the same lies.

No country is democratic that murders, jails, and tortures the opposition. No country is democratic that shuts down opposition newspapers (including Hebrew ones) and goes out of its way to bomb radio stations. No country is democratic that denies basic human rights to a large ethnic group and wages economic as well as military terror on them to force their exodus. Israel is guilty of all of these crimes and more.

Becky, it is unfortunate that you do not see Palestinians as human beings. Your diatribes of hatred are offensive. The blood of Palestinian children flows out of their small bodies into the dirt because of the massive assistance of U.S. tax dollars and the blessing of the ignorant such as yourself. Mothers weep for their dead children as a result of official Zionist policy while you would like to blame the entire Palestinian population for the acts of Hamas. Becky, please reconsider your racism.
 

Cut the name-calling: Let's have some facts!

Steve: the blood of Israeli children flows into the street too after a Palestinian suicide bombing attack. You say I have "diatribes of hatred" and its true---I do hate the suicide bombings, I do hate the sniper attacks, I do hate those who murdered that pregnant mother and her four little girls in June.

Those "weeping Palestinian mothers" are the same ones who encouraged their sons to go throw rocks at IDF soldiers every day! Don't you think that is a dangerous activity? Would you advise your child to throw stones at soldiers everyday?

The Israelis aren't doing this.

You say I am racist, yet your diatribes against Israel smell of anti-semiticism. Do you believe that the Jewish people have a right to their religion? Do you believe that the Jewish people have a right to the Temple Mount, which is the location of their most beloved holy site---the location of the first and second Jewish temple and the longed-for location for the yet to be rebuilt third temple?

Or do you support the hokey and questionable belief that Mohammed AFTER HE WAS DEAD rode a horse from Mecca to Jerusalem, A PLACE HE NEVER SET FOOT IN WHEN HE WAS ALIVE, and ascended into heaven on horseback?????

So now the Islamics have the top of the Temple Mount as their "third most holy site in Islam"???

What a bunch of crap!! Not to mention that the name "Al Aqsa" was only applied to the Mosque on the Temple Mount about 12 years AFTER Mohammed's death----just to try to take over Jewish heritage.

Steve---I gave some stats on deaths of children--both Palestinian and Israeli. I also gave the sources. Are my facts incorrect??? Do you have any alternate FACTS or sources? I know you like to call me a racist--which I don't think I am--- but since you are accusing me of backing those who kill children, then can you please show me where I am wrong with my stats on the deaths of children in Israel and the PA?

Steve--who was "murdered" in an Israeli jail?
 

Re: Introducing the Movement for One Democratic Secular State

Actually, Becky is right - Israel is a liberal democracy IF YOU BELONG TO THE RIGHT RACE/ETHNICITY. Just like Apartheid South Africa was a perfectly nice democracy IF you were white and didn't speak out in favor of changing the status quo. The same with Israel today, a wonderful democracy if you belong to the Harrenvolk and keep your mouth shut about change. When members of the master race, or chosen people or whatever, claim Israel is a democracy, they are not lying - it is a democracy for them, just not the untermensch.
 

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