The Genocidal Implications of Trump’s Embrace of a “One-State Solution” for Palestine
February 20, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
At a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Donald Trump said: “So, I’m looking at two-state and one-state and I like the one that both parties like. I’m very happy with the one that both parties like. I can live with either one. I thought for a while the two-state looked like it may be the easier of the two but honestly, if Bibi and if the Palestinians—if Israel and the Palestinians are happy, I’m happy with the one they like the best.”
Despite the flippant tone, this was a major break with what has been U.S. policy for over 40 years. It has ominous and genocidal implications for the Palestinian people. And it intersects with a whole fascist agenda for U.S. (and Israeli) aggression around the world.
In short: The “two-state solution” promises to set up some kind of small, defenseless, discontinuous (broken up) “state” for the Palestinian people who were driven from their homeland by ethnic cleansing to create the state of Israel. It was never intended to end the oppression of the Palestinian people. The “one-state” solution, as embraced by Trump, is worse. It would further institutionalize the status of Palestinian people with even fewer rights than they have now. It would shut the door on Palestinian statehood of any kind, and rule out of order any aspirations of the Palestinian people for liberation. The whole terms of “two-state, one-state” are framed by maintaining Israel as an enforcer for the interests of the U.S. empire at a time of intense conflict between Western imperialism and fundamentalist Islamic Jihad.
In the interests of the Palestinian people, and humanity, this whole paradigm has to be broken out of.
The Reality of a “Two-State” Solution
Israel was established after World War II, through the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. In 1947 and 1948 alone, almost a million Palestinians (half the population at that time) were driven from their farms, villages and cities by massacres, bombing, rape and torture. They fled with only the possessions they could carry. (See “Bastion of Enlightenment... or Enforcer for Imperialism: The Case of ISRAEL.”) Ever since, the world’s global powers—through U.N. resolutions and other agreements—have promised the Palestinian people some kind of a “state.” That never happened.
Today, all of Palestine is essentially occupied by Israel in different forms: land that has been declared part of Israel; land that is administered by the “Palestinian Authority” under the thumb of Israel; and land promised to the Palestinians but directly occupied by Israel (the “Occupied Territories”).
The ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the ongoing and escalating genocide of the Palestinian people is a world-historic crime. No “solution” offered up by or serving the interest of the U.S. or Israel has, or could, in any fundamental way end the oppression of the Palestinian people, or change the fundamentally illegitimate nature of the state of Israel. And that includes any version of a “two-state solution.”
The “two-state solution” as defined by Israel is not even a plan for a “state” at all. At the press conference, Netanyahu made clear the conditions Israel has set for such a “two-state solution.” He said it would require “the recognition of the Jewish state and Israel’s security control of the entire area.” “Recognition of the Jewish state”, means that whatever Palestinian entity agreed to this would accept the legitimacy Israel as a Jewish theocracy, with the overt legal enshrinement of second-class citizens for Palestinians (who are mainly Muslims, with a significant Christian minority). “Security control over the whole area,” means Israel would be granted the right to impose a reign of terror on Palestinians in a defenseless “state.”
And the terms of any “two-state solution” have further been defined “on the ground” by the rapid and vast expansion of Israeli “settlements” on lands that would have to be part of anything close to a viable Palestinian “state.” These settlements have amounted to ongoing and escalating ethnic cleansing of Palestine by hundreds of thousands of heavily armed Israelis, backed by the violence of the Israeli government. And have been part of dividing Palestinian society into separated, walled off areas, locked down and isolated from each other.
The “One-State Solution”—a Green Light for Genocide
The “two-state” paradigm does, at least formally, recognize the aspirations of the Palestinian people to self-determination. In tossing the “two-state solution” up in the air, and coming down with the “one-state solution.” Trump signaled a green light for doing away with even that formal acknowledgement. It presages worse horrors—for a much more intense and rapid genocide against the Palestinian people.
This “one-state solution” would not grant formal equal rights (like one person, one vote) for Palestinians and Israelis. It would institutionalize extreme and overt discrimination in employment, education and other realms of society. However it was implemented, a “one-state solution” would formally disavow any accountability to international law that is supposed to protect the rights of occupied peoples.
A “one-state solution” would be a genocidal declaration that there is no Palestinian nation, and no Palestinian people. It would legitimize the genocidal myth that (before waves of Jewish people, overwhelmingly from Europe, settled there) Palestine was a “land without a people for a people without a land.” Imposing a “one-state solution” would result in some form of South Africa-style apartheid, or something resembling the U.S. South under the old Jim Crow, in even more vicious forms than exist today.
A “one-state solution” would further institutionalize the status of Palestinian people as subjugated people in their homeland, with even less rights than they have now. It would be a further leap in ruling out of order the aspirations and struggle of the Palestinian people for liberation.
A “Special Relationship” Enforcing a World of Horrors
Every representative of the rulers of the U.S. and Israel—of all political stripes—will assert again and again that the U.S.-Israel alliance is a unique and special relationship. They’re right. For five decades, Israel has been an essential enforcer of the interests of the U.S. empire not only in the Middle East, but also on every continent. As a nuclear-armed, high-tech military state, Israel holds the whole region under nuclear blackmail. Its army and agents carry out invasions, assassinations, and bombing raids against its neighbors, and beyond. In part, those actions are driven by Israel’s own interests, but more fundamentally they serve the interests of the U.S. empire. (See “The U.S. ... Israel ... and Crimes Around the World.”)
Right now U.S. imperialism is engaged in a ferocious clash with fundamentalist Islamic Jihad. This is a clash of two reactionary poles in the world. But from the perspective of the rulers of the U.S., this makes the “special relationship” with Israel more essential than ever. The U.S. has other allies in the region besides Israel, like Egypt and Saudi Arabia. But those regimes are unstable. They are hated by the great majority of the people in those countries. And they are threatened by fundamentalist Islamic Jihadists. On the other hand, the Zionist rulers of Israel have a large, and (at this point at least) relative stable base of support within the Jewish population—overwhelmingly people of European settler descent. And Israel is not just a ferocious military power, it has a powerful, high-tech economy, a high standard of living, and its Jewish citizens enjoy the trappings of being situated high on the imperialist “food chain” in a world of sweatshops and slums.
All this adds up to why the U.S. has been both “stuck with, and sticking by” Israel. “Stuck with” in the sense of having to deal with all the global outrage this generates, including how fundamentalist Islamic Jihadists work to hijack that outrage, and channel it into their own side of the “clash of civilizations” paradigm that unites both Western imperialism and Islamic fundamentalism. And “sticking by” in the sense that Israel is an indispensable ally right now.
Up to now, the rulers of the U.S. have juggled the contradiction between “sticking by” and “stuck with” Israel through massive military, economic, and diplomatic support, mixed with periodic public criticism when global outrage over particularly egregious crimes against the Palestinians threatens to pose real problems for the empire. Trump’s message on a “one-state solution,” the whole tone and content of his press conference, and his whole campaign, represent dropping the “public criticism” part of the package, and thus giving Israel a green light to carry out greater crimes.
Near the end of the Obama administration, the U.S. refused to veto a U.N. resolution criticizing Israeli settlements (something that almost never happens). Trump went ballistic. He tweeted, “They used to have a great friend in the U.S., but......not anymore. The beginning of the end was the horrible Iran deal, and now this (UN)! Stay strong Israel, January 20th [the day Trump was inaugurated] is fast approaching!” Once in power, Trump appointed David Friedman to be ambassador to Israel. An Israeli newspaper described Friedman as “more hardline in his views than Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.” An Israeli commentator said Friedman “might find a place” in one of Israel’s extremist parties, “but only on its right-wing fringes.”
Breaking OUT of the Terms Imposed by Reactionaries of ALL Stripes
Neither a “two-state solution” or a “one-state solution” can liberate Palestine. But Trump’s legitimization of a “one-state solution” is of a piece with a whole fascist agenda, domestically, and globally, and will make the very survival of the Palestinian people radically more threatened.
Trump has declared he will “eradicate” radical Islamic terrorism...completely from the face of the Earth.” That puts the Palestinian people in the crosshairs, along with Muslims around the world (Palestinians are not all Muslims, but most are, and in the eyes of the Trumpites, that puts all of them in the enemy camp). This can only bring massive suffering to people around the world, and fuel the rise of more fundamentalist Islamic Jihad.
Trump demands massive expansion of the U.S. military, including expanding the U.S. nuclear arsenal. He appears fixated on using nuclear weapons. He has already imposed further sanctions on Iran. In light of this whole package, Trump’s embrace of a “one-state solution” at the press conference with Netanyahu takes on even more ominous significance.
And here, the Christian fascist component of the Trump/Pence regime comes into play in a very defining way. Christian fascists see the clash with fundamentalist Islamic Jihad as a continuation of a historic global conflict between the white Judeo-Christian West, and Islam as a whole, with Israel on the “front lines” of that clash of civilizations. They are central and key players in the Trump/Pence regime.
On the other side of this clash, fundamentalist Islamic Jihad presents itself as an “alternative” to Western imperialism. In relation to Palestine, these forces, coming from their own reactionary agenda, condemn collaboration between the Palestine Authority, and the rulers of the U.S. and Israel. Today, they control the Gaza region of Palestine, and have found a following among people throughout the region and beyond. But their “solution” is a mirror-opposite of the Christian fundamentalist fascists, even as their aspirations to exploit and oppress others are miniscule compared to the actual scope of the crimes of Western imperialism. Like the Christian fascists, they wage war on the scientific method, on women, and on any dissent or non-conformity that challenges their obscurantist and oppressive ideology. The societies they control are founded on exploitation and spirit-crushing imposition of fundamentalist madness.
This whole hellish set of “alternatives” cries out for bringing forward another way. And that radically different and far better way for humanity exists, based on how human society has developed up to this point, and—on that basis—in the pathways for emancipating humanity opened up through the work of Bob Avakian. You can find that work, and that revolutionary leadership, at this website—revcom.us. There is an urgent need for this actual alternative to the contending poles of oppression getting on the map, here, in the Middle East, and around the world.
Right now, bringing forward another way demands that people confront and resist the horrific implications of Trump’s espousal of greatly intensifying the oppression of the Palestinian people. And, beyond that, to drive out the Trump/Pence fascist regime now—in the interests of humanity.
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