zondag 31 mei 2009

Benny Morris: 'One State, Two States' (boekrecensie door Ami Isseroff)

Hieronder het begin van een boekbespreking door Ami Isseroff van Benny Morris' One State, Two States: Resolving the Israel/Palestine Conflict.
Voor de gehele boekbespreking zie op MidEastWeb:
Book Review: Benny Morris, One State, Two States
Twee eerdere besprekingen zijn op onze website geplaatst:
Zie ook over de staat van het vredesproces en de rol van links in Israel:


Book Review: Benny Morris, One State, Two States


Benny Morris
One State, Two States,
Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2009, 240 pp
ISBN 9780300122817

Almost any book about the Middle East by Benny Morris has to be an important book, and this one is both important and timely. The Obama administration is pressing for a "Two State solution" and the Arab states are at least saying they are committed to such a solution. At the same time, there were two conferences dedicated to a "One state solution" or alternative to the "two state solution. One conference was held by right wing Zionists, and one by anti-Zionists, each pushing "solutions" that will basically obliterate the other side.

Morris traces the history of various "solutions" proposed for the conflict between the Jews and Arabs in Palestine. He shows that the various binational and cantonal solution never really had any support and are unworkable. He shows that all the "one state" solutions are fraudulent illusions, based on the underlying conviction that the land belongs to them, and the notion that it is possible to sell foreigners on dubious ideas such as the "Secular Democratic State" - an entity that does not exist, and could not exist in the Middle East. He likewise shows the very great difficulties in the way of a two state solution. It is hard to fit two little states in a tiny area about the size of New Jersey, with inadequate water supplies, and with one of the states split in two by about 50 KM of desert. The land from the river to the sea is a geographic unity he argues. The water supply of the coast depends on the West Bank, and Palestinian sewage flows into Israel on the rivers. The 2000 square mile Palestinian state would not be large enough to absorb all the Palestinian refugees. These are all important arguments, to be sure.

But then Morris proposes his own favorite solution, that the land of the West Bank will become part of Jordan:

.... a partition of Palestine into Israel, more or less along its pre-1967 borders, and an Arab state, call it Palestinian-Jordanian, that fuses the bulk of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and the east bank, the present-day Kingdom of Jordan.

Morris neglects to say what government there would be in Gaza, but he does say that the large area of the Palestinian-Jordanian state would allow for resettlement of the Gaza refugees there.

Alone among the proffered ideas, this one is not really analyzed critically. There are three obvious objections. The first is that if the land is a geographic unit as Morris states, given the West Bank and Gaza to Jordanian administration is not any better than dividing it between Israelis and Palestinians. The second is that the "Jordanian option" is as dead as the binational state and the "One State Solution." In fact, when the very same option was raised at the recent Knesset conference on alternatives to the two state solution, and an Israeli MK proposed a bill that would give Palestinians Jordanian citizenship, the Jordanian Foreign Ministry was quick to summon the Israeli ambassador and express its extreme displeasure:

Nasser Judeh issued a strong protest to the ambassador "over a debate in the Knesset on a motion on a so-called two states for the two people on the two banks of the Jordan River."

Judeh said Jordan was "dismayed by the debate and categorically and totally rejected the proposal submitted by a Knesset member, calling on the Israeli government for a clear explanation of what took place in the Knesset."

. It is indeed not clear why Israelis busy themselves with handing out citizenship in other peoples' countries and trying to decide the future of their neighbors for them, or what good anyone thinks can come of such debates. The proposed union of Palestine with Jordan would deprive the Jordanians of their kingdom. It would create a large Palestinian controlled state next to Israel. If Benny Morris is right that the irredentism of the Palestinian Arabs is implacable, this state would have every motivation to attack Israel, and a much better chance of succeeding than the tiny Palestinian state proposed in the two state solution. There is also the little matter of what happens to Gaza. Perhaps it will be evacuated and turned over to Israel in a territorial swap, which would leave the Palestinian-Jordanian state with no port on the Mediterranean, or perhaps it will be incorporated into Egypt, an idea that the Egyptians have rejected, or perhaps it will be part of the Palestinian-Jordanian state, a proposal that is bound to meet strenuous objections from Egypt. Thus, the only conclusion is that the "Jordanian option" is just as problematic as any other.

Continued here: http://www.mideastweb.org/log/archives/00000760.htm


Original text copyright by the author and MidEastWeb for Coexistence, RA. Posted at MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log at http://www.mideastweb.org/log/archives/00000760.htm where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Distributed by MEW Newslist. Subscribe by e-mail to mew-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please forward by email with this notice and link to and cite this article. Other uses by permission.

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