The One-State Solution: A breakthrough plan for peace in the Israeli-Palestinian deadlock

The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is an existential one in which the real issue has been
the mutual denial of the other’s right to exist. [1] From the late nineteenth century
Jews and Palestinians have battled over each other’s legitimacy more than anything
else. The Balfour Declaration of 1917 and – legally more significant – the League of
Nations Mandate (approved in 1922, ratified in 1923) gave the Jews an important
advantage in that the Palestinians were marginalised as ‘the existing non-Jewish
communities,’ questioning their status as a nation or a people. However, within
Palestinian narratives the Jews were constructed as outsiders with no national
characteristics or legal rights. After the creation of the State of Israel, many Jews
could hardly bring themselves to utter the words ‘Palestine’ or ‘Palestinians’ for fear
that Israel’s legitimacy might be diminished. Palestinians, as with much of the Arab
world, returned the compliment, referring to Israel only as the ‘Zionist entity.’ Only
with the exchange of letters between the PLO and Israel attached to the 1993 Oslo
Agreements did this situation begin to change. However, those agreements are now
in tatters and the victory of Hamas in the Palestinian National Authority elections
has brought to office a movement that does not recognise Israel’s right to exist.
A new cycle of mutual de-legitimisation threatens to light a fire under the peace

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