From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Not much
Mains level : Paper 2- Israel-Palestine conflict
The article highlights the challenges in the success of a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict and suggests the one-state solution instead.
Background of the two-state solution
- It involves dividing Palestine between the state of Israel and the indigenous population of Palestine.
- It was first offered by the British in 1937 and rejected by the Palestinians already then.
- In 1947 the United Nations insisted that the Palestinians should give half of their homeland to the settler movement of Zionism.
- The two-state solution, offered for the first time by liberal Zionists and the United States in the 1980s, is seen by some Palestinians as the best way of ending of the occupation of the West Bank .
- It will also lead to the partial fulfilment of the Palestinian right for self-determination and independence.
Interpretation of two-state solution
- The Israeli interpretation, until 2009, was that the two-state solution is another means of having the territories, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, without incorporating most of the people living there.
- In order to ensure it, Israel partitioned the West Bank which is 20% of historical Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab part.
- This was in the second phase of the Oslo Accords, known as the Oslo II agreement of 1995.
- One area, called area C, which consists of 60% of the West Bank was directly ruled from 1995 until today by Israel.
- Now, Israel is in the process of officially annexing this area.
- 40% of the West Bank, areas A and B under Oslo II, were put under the Palestinian Authority.
- Palestinian Authority calls itself the state of Palestine, but in essence has no power whatsoever, unless the one given to it, and withdrawn from it, by Israel.
- In 2018 a citizenship law was passed known as the nationality law.
- As per the citizenship law, the Palestinian citizens who live in Israel proper which is Israel prior to the 1967 occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and who are supposedly equal citizens of the Jewish state, will in essence become the Africans of a new Israeli Jewish apartheid state.
Issues with two-state solution
- The endless negotiation on the two-state solution was based on the formula that once the two states become a reality, Israel will stop these severe violations of the Palestinian civil and human rights.
- But while the wait continued, more Palestinians were expelled and the Jewish settler community in the West Bank grew in size.
- The two-state solution is not going to stop the ethnic cleansing; instead, talking about it provides Israel international immunity to continue it.
- The only alternative is to decolonise historical Palestine.
- New state should a state for all its citizens all over the country, based on the dismantlement of colonialist institutions, fair redistribution of the country’s natural resources, compensation of the victims of the ethnic cleansing and allowing their repatriation.
- Settlers and natives should together build a new state that is democratic, part of the Arab world and not against it, and an inspiration for the rest of the region.
The one-state solution is the way forward in Palestine and that should be the state for all citizens.