The only satisfactory solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict is a one-state solution, which is antithetical to Zionism.

Most Arabs and Muslims have no objection to co-existing with Jews. We had been doing it for hundreds of years in good faith and in peace, before Zionism took over Judaism. It is the Aggressive Zionist ideology that has changed the entire picture. Israel, since its first day in existence, has used brute force to uproot people from their existence and purge them away into the diaspora. This severe injustice is institutionalized and legitimized by the Zionist ideology that shapes Israel today.

The only way Israel can hope to maintain the status-quo is to use extreme force, which indeed it has been using at liberty. However, extreme force has its limits, and that course of action is doing little more than aggravating the pain even more, making the desired reconciliation even more difficult. Israelis have to recognize that their fortress model is not sustainable.

We should not support a two-state solution that has no chance of success. We will have to wait until Israelis realized that everyone will be better off if they abolish Zionism and accept to live with Arabs as fellow citizens in one state where one man counts as one vote.

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Israeli counter-arguments to above objection


To many Israelis, Zionism is about other things. It is not about purging, or uprooting, or using extreme force to achieve its goals. It is about ensuring the Jewish people in this world have a single safe-haven, a state we can call our own. There are no nations on this planet where Jews are a majority, except for Israel. That too may one day change, but most Israelis today are still afraid of that day. Not because we are innately racist, but because we are innately fearful. Our painful past has caused us to trust no one, and it will take a long time before we can once again feel safe. Living in a peaceful Middle East will help bring that about. We will see that Muslims and Christians all around us are not a threat. Those outside Israel, and those inside Israel.

The longer we wait, the less likely a two-state solution becomes. But even a one-state solution does not guarantee the Palestinian people freedom and equality. Israel may still become a true-Apartheid in such a state. Only Peace can bring about freedom for the Palestinian people, be it in their own state, or in a single state shared with Israel.


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Even in a world where everybody has the best intentions, bi-national states have proven to be unstable and ridden with problems. But in the Middle East, we know that not everyone is well intentioned. The resolution to a 100 year old conflict will not come about instantly in one cataclysmic declaration of bi-nationalism. Time is required for Jews and Palestinians to heal from the conflict, each in the safety of their own independent state. As time passes and relationships improve between the countries, they may naturally decide to enter a union or a federation.


It is also not necessarily true that an equitable solution based on the two-state formula cannot be found. If resources are divided proportionally and symmetrically between Israelis and Palestinians in a manner that is agreed upon by the two sides, then what makes this solution not just enough to meet the bar of Syrian concern?


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Zionism is a label. It was used by the founders of Israel and is used by Israelis today. In most of the Arab world it is a slur. In Israel it is not. It’s not always useful arguing about labels. It would be easier if you would put your objection in more specific terms. What about Zionism do you object to?


Zionism can still be Zionism and grant all democratic rights to non Jewish members of the state. It can even grant additional protections to them as a minority. It can recognise their rights to the land and it can recognise their history, their loss. None of this is contrary to Zionism, as we use the word. All of these were discussed by Zionist leaders even 100 years ago. For example, 75 years ago the most militant of Zionism’s leaders famously argued for embedding Arab equality in the state’s constitution.(1) It’s not necessarily true that anything about Zionism, as Israelis define it, is a barrier to relations between our countries.


When we insist about arguing about “Zionism” rather than specific policies, laws or anything tangible, we are arguing about the word itself. This kind of arguing about words is something the Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas, has recently refused to do. The Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, has recently refuse to ‘accept Israel as a Jewish state. Why? According to him “It is not my job to give a description of the state. Name yourself the Hebrew Socialist Republic — it is none of my business” (2)


It is not Israel’s job to make demands on Syria’s internal structure or state ideology. Whether Syrian decide on Syrian Arab Republic or Arab Socialist Kingdom is also not Israel’s decision. Israelis may object or disagree with certain aspects of Syria’s structure but diplomatic relations are not conditional to agreement on everything.


It is similarly not Syria’s job to decide on Israel’s self definition. It is not up to Syria to decide on a one-state or two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If the group you aim to protect are the Palestinian/Arab citizens of Israel, why not defer to their consensus. All three parties with majority Arab voters support a two state solution. (3) Definitely they also support peace between Israel and Syria.


(1)Vladimir Jabotinsky, The Jewish War Front (London: Allen and Unwin, 1940), pp. 216-7. ; Wikipedia:

(2){video: 1 min Arabic} http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPsOe9yRqTU ; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ze%27ev_Jabotinsky#Belief_in_integrating_the_Arab_minorityArticle:http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/28/world/middleeast/28mideast.html

(3)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadash ; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balad_%28political_party%29#History ; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Arab_List

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10 Responses to “The only satisfactory solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict is a one-state solution, which is antithetical to Zionism.”

  1. 8
    Alon Serper, Researcher, UK University wrote:

    I agree. I am an Israeli of Jewish ethnicity and really think the state of Israel should move away from Herzl’s nationalistic Zionism model and into the state of all its citizens. I think the concept of Jewish and democratic is an oxymoron. It is not possible to democratic and… A true democracy is for all. I very sadly think the idea of Israel as an open democracy is a myth. I think us Israelies have been fed lies by the Zionist regime (I cannot put it mildly, sorry) about you the Syrians and Arabs. I hope and believe this website will show how right I am and my Israeli co-patrriots will see how attentive, engaging and pleasant you, the Syrians and Arabs, can be and are, in contrast to what we have been told by our government, both labour, Kadima and Likud led. I predict that thanks to this website these lies will be grasped soon by the Israelies, really shock them, and make them react against the regime and push for a real peace with the Arabs.

    Inshalla and Yishar Koach – thank you for this website

  2. 6
    almarc13, retired wrote:

    Satisfactory to whom? The only solution that has a chance of permanence is to implement the “Right of Return.” Return the Muslims to the lands of their origins—Egypt, Syria, Iraq, etc. and the Jews to the Land of Israel. The Muslems today seem to believe that any place that Muslims have ever been or that Muslims want is sacred Muslim territory which they alone have the right to rule. Palestine is not the end of the conflict, only the beginning. A world wide Caliphate is their goal—Spain, Sudan, Detroit, everywhere. Even that would not bring peace because the Sunnis and Shia will battle for ultimate supremacy. Their fundamental philosophy must be changed, either voluntarily or by measures such as those that convinced the Germans and Japanese to give up their dreams of world conquest.

    (The author was a civilian Operations Analyst for the U.S. Navy during the Cuban Missile Crisis and part of the Vietnam War period.)

  3. 6
    Dr. Elie Elhadj, www.daringopinion.com, Former CEO, Arab National Bank, Saudi Arabia wrote:

    De-politicize the Bible and the Quran

    Politicizing the Bible’s Genesis 15:18 politicized the Quran, pushing the moderates among Arab Muslims into orthodoxy and the orthodox into Islamism and Jihadism. For thirteen centuries, however, hundreds of thousands of Jews lived among Muslims in Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen.

    Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, Britain’s first and thus far the only person of Jewish parentage to reach the premiership (1868 and 1874-1880), described in his novel Coningsby the “halcyon centuries” during the golden age of Muslim Spain in which the “children of Ishmael rewarded the children of Israel with equal rights and privileges with themselves.” Disraeli described glowingly how Muslims and Jews alike “built palaces, gardens and fountains; filled equally the highest offices of the state, competed in an extensive and enlightened commerce, and rivaled each other in renowned universities.”

    In 1492 the Muslim Ottoman Sultan Bayezid-II (1481-1512) encouraged great numbers of Jews to settle in the Ottoman Empire following their expulsion from Spain and Portugal.

    Islam venerates Judaism. Arabs believe they share a common ancestry with the Jewish people going back to the sons of Abraham, Ismail and Ishaq. The Quran praises Abraham as the first Muslim, describing Islam as the Religion of Abraham. The Quranic Chapter 14, with its 52 Verses is named after Abraham and to Joseph the Quran names Chapter 12, with its 111 Verses. Muslim men are allowed to marry Jewish women, without the need to convert them to Islam (the children must be Muslims). Today, Jewish-derived Arabic names like Daoud, Ibrahim, Ishaq, Mousa, Sara, Sulaiman, Yacoub, Yousef, Zakariyya are common in every Arab society.

    For a durable solution to the Arab Israeli conflict, a single democratic and secular state for Jews and Palestinians needs to evolve. A single state promises a more durable long-term solution than the two-state solution, currently in vogue.

    1. First, the intractable obstacles that have bedeviled the two-state solution would disappear.

    2. Secondly, a single state will commingle Palestinians and Jews into an inseparable mix. The Jewish settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, estimated at about half a million in more than 125 settlements, could become over time instruments of integration between Palestinians and Jews, not segregation; a mixture of Jews among Arabs as difficult to unscramble as removing the Palestinian Israelis from Israel. A single state would lead the Arab governments to recognize the new state. Muslims everywhere, Arabs especially, would no longer have an excuse to boycott their Jewish “cousins.” Economic, cultural, educational, and social interaction would follow. The two sides would quickly learn=2 0how much they could benefit from one other.

    3. Thirdly, a single state solution would allow Arabs and Jews full access to the entirety of Palestine.

    Arab and Jew can live together in peace. Around the time of Israel’s creation, more than 850,000 Jews migrated from Arab countries, 600,000 going to Israel. The charge that the Jews migrated because of Arab maltreatment is an unfair political expediency. The migration happened in the course of Israel’s creation. During this period, 531 Palestinian villages were depopulated and 805,000 refugees lost their homes, according to Palestinian sources (650,000 to 700,000 refugees, according to Jewish sources).

    Durable peace and the long-term prosperity of the Jewish people in the Arab World require the genuine welcome of the Arab masses. Smart bombs and nuclear weapons cannot force Arab peoples’ acceptance of a Zionist Israel. The 600,000 Jews, who had lived in Arab countries for centuries and are today a major proportion of Israel’s Jewish population, could become a positive link with the Arab World. They share with the Arab peoples many customs, habits, values, food, music, dance, and, for the older generation, the Arabic language.


  4. 4
    Syrian7, n/a, n/a wrote:

    First, I would like to thank Mr. Serper for his response # 1 above. I do hope that this effort (on OME) can move things in the right direction for a lot of people. Force will solve nothing and only a better understanding and an equal rights for all will make sense in the long run. Thank you, sir.

    As for the response by almarc13, your paragraph cannot be taken as a counter-argument to a point promoting a One-State solution. Our argument calls for no one to be “Thrown to Sea” and calls for equal rights for all people living in Palestine/Israel. The counter-argument seems to be answering a point that no one (at least on this site) is making. Not withstanding that, the statement made by almarc13 is further incorrect and misleading, for the following reasons:

    1. The Arab and Palestinian claim to Palestine is older than Islam itself. The modern day Palestinians and Arabs are the descendants of the Semitic peoples who have inhabited the Greater Syria area for Millennia. This is not like Spain, Sicily, or India. The roots here go infinitely deeper.
    2. A substantial proportion of the modern day Palestinians that have been displaced from their homes since 1947 are in fact Christians, so it is incorrect to insist on viewing the conflict as Islam-driven.
    3. The question of who owns the land based on how long they’ve lived in it or how long they’ve ruled it is a tricky one, and it is one that will lead to inevitable conflict. The conclusion we have is that both sides of the conflict have claims to it that cannot and will not be beaten down by force. Our point here that a One-State solution is the only viable solution in the long run, is an acknowledgment of this fact, thus working with reality and not against it.
    4. An extremely small minority of Muslims assumes the extreme views that almarc13 is painting all Muslims with. Those Muslim groups also happen to belong to countries whose rulers have been considered “moderate” and “allies” by the successive US administrations. Syria is a secular country and the solution we are advocating here is for a secular, democratic state for all its citizens. This can be guaranteed by International Law and protected for generations to come so that no party will breach it.
    5. The last statement is a blunt call for Nuclear Annihilation against a yet undetermined number of Islamic countries. The call is based on a such a generalized and over-simplified model of reality that it would be laughable if it weren’t so dangerous and so entrenched in large circles of the Christian Fundamentalist movements in the US. No Muslim country is calling for world domination, nor has any Muslim country launched any major war of expansion or conquest in hundreds of years. To wave the Nuclear threat against 1.6 Billion people based on misinformed illusions is asking for big trouble, and not helping find a viable solution, which is what this site is trying to do.

  5. 5
    Noam Bec, N/A, N/A wrote:

    You all seem to forget that there was already a one state in Mandatory Palestine and the Arabs apposed it fiercely with terror and mass murder of Jews in 1921, 1926, 1929, 1936-39, and 1947-48. After loosing all the wars since Arabs are now willing to create a joint state. Sorry, but I don’t buy that. All i see is a different way to get what you couldn’t get by force in more subtle way.

    You probably remember that a few years ago the Palestinian main argument was their right for self determination. Well, it goes both ways – Jews too have a right for self determination.

    Beside. all these nonsense of Jews and Arabs living in harmony in the past are all mambo jambo. Open your history books and see that Jews were prosecuted under Muslim law just like anywhere else.

  6. 6
    Danny, Peace Activist wrote:

    To Noam Bec,

    You’re wrong about Muslims persecuting Jews. I may not be old enough to remember any of it, but my parents and my grandparents do, and have told me about it often. I’m an Arab from a Christian family, and my grandmother’s sister-in-law was Jewish. My best friends growing up as a child were my Muslim next-door neighbours, and their grandmother was Jewish. Jews were part and parcel of the fabric of our society, and were full citizens with every constitutional right everyone else had, which is more that I can say about Palestinians or Israeli Arabs.

    My parents and grandparents remember a time when nobody cared who you were and what religion you professed. If there is one thing that is not tolerated in Arab society, it is injustice, and the brutal and prolonged injustice that Palestinians have endured for generations now, first from the Zionists and their British and French benefactors, and now from the Israeli government, is the reason for the anti-Israeli, anti-Zionist sentiment.

    As far as I am concerned. the equation is simple, and the choice is clear. Believe me when I say this: All Palestinians want, the same as Syrians and all Arabs, is dignity. Once Israel starts treating them with dignity, and thinks of them as human beings and equals, that antagonism with recede gradually, and eventually disappear. But as long as they are thought of, and treated as, inferiors, and second class citizens, the strife and hatred will continue. Whether in one state, or in two states, the key word is: dignity.

  7. 3
    Richard Daniels, Council Member, KCLSU wrote:

    @Dr Elhadj

    The fact that Jews lived in these countries for so long does not mean that there was peaceful co-existence between the 2 peoples. Don’t make the mistake of confusing the Moor regime in Spain with the 17th and 18th century in Algeria and Iraq. Even more recently than that, Jewish communities in the Muslim world have suffered the brunt of public rage whenever something went wrong, treated as scapegoats and politically, socially and economically discriminated against. Why do you think so many Jews left these lands en masse as soon as an alternative became available? They were not Zionists in the European sense….they just didn’t want to live as a downtrodden people anymore.

    THIS is why a single, secular state will not suffice nor work. As Jews; as a people, we believe that we can only ever be truly safe when we have our own state, where we form the majority. Most Palestinians also desire their own state – that is why a 2 state solution is the only genuinely viable state…..your alternative will fail like Yugoslavia and Czecheslovakia failed in Europe….it’s artificial and not what the people want. As I state below, all minorities have full constitutional rights in Israel – that is not to say that there is no discrimination, only that there is legal recourse when it occurs.


    Of course the human relationship between the 2 peoples has been fine – there are literally thousands of stories of frienships. It doesn’t make @Noam Bec’s point invalid – there is a quite obvious history of discrimination of Jews (and other minorities) in communities living under Muslim control (I use the term Muslim, not Arab, because Iran was also the case, and the rules for treating Jews are from the Koran – Ahl al-kitab/Dhimmis). That is undeniable….just look at the history of the Jewish communities (not individuals) in Syria, Iraq, Iran, Egypt etc.

    Your line about constitutional rights is also incorrect. Of course Israeli Arabs have full constitutional rights – this was enshrined in the Declaration of Independence almost unanimously. The practical situation is not equal, but this is acknowledged and steps are being made to rectify the situation. Palestinians are NOT citizens of Israel and are living under occupation – this is a different set of rules, and so they do not have constitutional rights. However, they do have recourse to Israeli civil courts and not military courts, which is a start of sorts.

  8. 3
    Noam Bec wrote:

    Dear Danny,

    I have no doubt that the picture portrayed by your grandparents is true. Many Jews also remember good times living amongst Arabs. Nevertheless, there were also many incidents where Jews were treated very badly, especially in pre-Mandate Palestine. There are many reports from Jerusalem, Hebron and Zfad telling of Jews who were beaten, robbed and molested by their Arab neighbors and by Ottoman officials. In the massacre of Hebron in 1926 Jews were attacked by next door neighbors, not outsiders. Same happened in the Iraqi “Farhood” and the pogroms in northern African countries during the 30’s and 40’s.

    There were over 3.5 million Jews living in Arab countries before the creation of Israel and today there are just a few hundreds. Why do you think is that? Is it because they were treated fairly? Egypt is today the world’s largest publisher of Antisemitic literature including the infamous “Elders of Zion”. Syrian Jews were treated abominably, and so are the few Jews left in Iran and Yemen.

    I strongly support your demand for justice and dignity, and I must admit with great concern that the antagonistic fillings in Israel towards Israeli Arabs and Palestinians over the border is on the rise since the second Intifada. The far right is gaining ground and many analysts attribute it in part to the stand of Israeli Arab leaders and members of the parliament like Azmi Bishara who fled the country after he was investigated in regard to getting money from Hizballa. Just today I read in the papers that 7 Israeli Arabs from Nazareth are suspected of murdering a Jewish taxi driver as part of some Jihadist activity. These incidents have a devastating affect on Israeli public opinion.

    This is a vicious cycle which turns things for the bad and it has only one exit point: peace between all parties. Otherwise, extremists from both sides will take over our lives and then God help us.

  9. 2
    Mesopotamian Arab, student, University wrote:

    just to correct Noam Bec’s figures, there was no 3.5 million jews in Arab countries prior to the creation of israel. the number is estimated to be between 600 to 900 thousand arab jews, and there are still few thousands of Jews left in Arab countries, few thousands in Tunisia, Morocco and Yemen mostly.
    as per your comment about Iraqi farhud, its a complicated story and it was the result of the pro-Nazi Kilani movement. i myself heared about many good stories of true friendship between arabs and Jews in Iraq. if Jews in Iraq were really prosecuted before the israeli-Arab conflict then how can Iraq’s first finance minister be jewish in the 1920s. The Iraqi Jewish community in the first half of the 20th century flourished and was not prosecuted. You would not find this in Europe at that time.

  10. 2
    Elie Elhadj, Banker, www.daringopinion.com wrote:

    Two relevant articles to the discussion are apt to quote here. The first is by Ahmad Salkini titled “Syrian secularism: a model for the Middle East”
    in the Christian Science Monitor as Posted on Syria Comment on July 13th, 2010 under “Is the Obama Peace Effort Over?” http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/

    Mr. Salkini wrote: “The Syria I grew up in embraced everyone. My own father is a decorated veteran of the 1973 war against Israel. Yet, when his first child was born after the war – and after four previous heartbreaking miscarriages – it was a Syrian Jewish doctor in whose hands he entrusted my life. I owe my life to that doctor, who saved me after a complication during infancy that nearly resulted in my death.
    My father was no exception. Syria’s Jewish community was historically among the most successful, with clients and friends from across Syria’s diverse ethnic and religious social fabric.

    The second article is titled “One State/Two States: Rethinking Israel and Palestine” by Danny Rubinstein in Dissent as posted, also, on Syria Comment on July 14, 2010 under “News Round Up” http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/

    Mr. Rubinstein wrote: “Israeli governments have enabled the settlement of over half a million Jews beyond the 1967 borders. This represents almost 10 percent of the Jews in Israel. About 300,000 of them live in settlements in the West Bank and about 200,000 are in the Jewish neighborhoods of East Jerusalem. There are those among them who will fight with all their strength to prevent an Israeli withdrawal and the establishment of a Palestinian state. But what is no less important is that on the Palestinian side as well a new situation has emerged. National unity has dissolved, the national movement has atrophied and declined, and the idea has become acceptable that if there won’t be two states for two peoples, it is better that there be one state.”

    Mr. Rubinstein’s statement is similar in part to my own statement in “De-politicize the Bible and the Quran” above: The Jewish settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, estimated at about half a million in more than 125 settlements, could become over time instruments of integration between Palestinians and Jews, not segregation; a mixture of Jews among Arabs as difficult to unscramble as removing the Palestinian Israelis from Israel.


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