Burg on Israel's future

Former Knesset speaker Avraham Burg examines Israel's choices for the future. These essentially boil down to the "greater Israel" project (which would entail either a formally instituionalized apartheid system or another round of large-scale ethnic cleansing), the two-state solution, or the single, secular democratic state. Burg favors the traditional two-state solution.

Other Israeli doves (such as Meron Benvenisti) have argued that the two-state solution has already entered history's dustbin and that only a binational model can work for the realities that Israelis and Palestinians face. I think Benvenisti is right - in the very long term. For the forseeable future, it is hard to envision anything else other than continued colonization, apartheid and occupation in the West Bank. This, of course, will make the two-state idea less and less relevant, except as a mirage on the horizon that Arafat or his successors will keep racing after unto eternity.

On a related note: if the next Palestinian leadership in the West Bank is absolutely certain that two states, Israel and Palestine, is the best option, with all this entails (e.g., rejection of the refugees' right of return), then the best strategy to pursue is to repudiate publicly the idea of two states and start demanding equal rights and Israeli citizenship for the West Bank and Gaza Arab residents. The Israelis would be back at the negotiating table in a minute.

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