Wednesday, October 22, 2003

One State Solution Gaining Ground

CSM had a roundup today of the latest foolishness out of the Israel/Palestine conflict. It mentions, amongst other things, that some Israelis are questioning whether dropping bombs on crowds of Palestinians really helps their cause, that Israeli efforts to oust Arafat have successfully driven his popularity level with Palestinians to its highest level in 5 years (as predicted previously on this blog), and that the US joined Israel, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands (a more distinguished group of nations is difficult to imagine) in being the only nations to vote against a UN resolution condemning Israel's security wall.

In our previous discussions on this topic, I believe I have stated my opinion that the urgency in implementing a two-state solution lies on Israel. That if they fail in this regard, it won't be long before Palestinians lose interest in that approach and embrace a one-state solution. The demographics of the situation are such that if a one-state solution were implemented, the Palestinians would be ruling it by the end of this decade. And if the demand for a second state is dropped, it will become very difficult for Israel to explain why they have two distinct classes of citizens, with unequal representation in government and unequal protection under the law. The political and economic pressure on them to implement a one-state system would be overwhelming. Essentially, I think failure on the part of the Israeli government to establish an independent Palestinian state within the next 2-3 years will put the continued existence of Israel as a Jewish state in severe jeopardy. According to CSM article, this idea is gaining increasing support from Palestinians. They link to this NRP transcript which gives a very good overview of the subject.

Also in the news today, this piece on the BBC about President Bush's trip to Australia. The description of the security around the trip (the 2nd half of the article) caught my eye. These incredibly elaborate security regimes tend to make my skin crawl. There seems to be a general trend over the past 5-10 years (possibly starting after the Seattle WTO protests) to isolate and insulate the powerful people of the world from the rest of us. Combined with the equally pronounced trend of the powerful people consolidating ever more wealth and power, its, well... creepy. These sorts of trends don't often come with happy endings.

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