With ‘one state’ reference, Trump stumbles into a Middle East minefield


U.S. President Donald Trump (R) reaches to greet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after a joint news conference at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 15, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

Source: Reuters International and Swiss Info

By Luke Baker

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As he stood on the podium next to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. President Donald Trump said he was open to new ideas that would bring Middle East peace. With that, he opened the door to a whole new maze of complexity and risk.

By uttering the phrase “one-state” – rather than a two-state solution to the conflict, the bedrock of international diplomacy for two decades – he went where past presidents and most leaders feared to tread, knowing the loaded implications.

The creation of a binational or single state that encompasses both Israel and Palestinian territories is not a viable option for most Israelis and Palestinians for religious, political and demographic reasons.

“So I’m looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like,” Trump said with an almost offhand air, emphasizing that for him the main aim was “to see a deal.”

“I’m very happy with the one that both parties like. I can live with either one.”

The problem is the parties – Israelis and Palestinians – may find it just as hard, if not harder, to live with a one-state solution as two states side-by-side, depending on how it is defined and what ideals underpin it.

The solution may lie in US constitution that brings all Americans together. If Israel constitution defines some characteristics of it being a Jewish state that are pleasing to the majority of the Jews and also defines reasonable rights for the Arabs and Palestinians that it is a step up for them, may be enough of them will buy into it.

The constitution cannot be changed without 60-70% support in future. In this way those with strong Jewish sentiments can feel reassured about the future and can also become resigned to the possibility that if the support of their ideas erodes in future, their future generations will find peace and hope in the new realities and it will be a source of prosperity for every one in the holy land.

Once such an agreed document is created all Jews and Arabs within the present Israel territories will have voting rights and those in the occupied territory, who will sign onto this document, will begin to get voting and additional rights as defined in the constitution.

Gradually more and more Palestinians will sign on and we will have a peaceful one state solution. The state of Israel will provide security and peace for those Arabs who sign on and gradually it will be enough incentive for every one to sign on.

Suggested Reading to find a suitable one state solution

True Fasting: A Message of Compassion and Love from the Old Testament

Jewish Perspective on the Rights of Neighbors

Book Review: Shlomo Sand: ‘I wish to resign and cease considering myself a Jew’

The Muslim Times’ Collection to Show, Islam or the Holy Quran are Not Anti-Semitic

Why Did Muhammad Fly to Jerusalem?

As a young Jew, the news coming out of Israel makes me feel hopeless about ending the Occupation

Influence of Arabic and Islamic Philosophy on Judaic Thought

According to the Qur’an, Can Jews and Christians ‘Partake in the Blessings of Heaven and Earth?’

Jewish-Palestinian author embodies conflicting identities


1 reply

  1. The one state could not be a Jewish State, because that would mean an Apartheid State, which will not last (see South Africa). Consequently a Secular One State would be the only solution.

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