The following is a response posted in "Middle East Web Log" to the article "How Many States?" by Ami Isseroff. See the webpage http://www.mideastweb.org/log/archives/00000122.htm
The choice between One-state and Two-states "solutions" is imaginary. Both options are not open in the present reality.
They that speak about two-states mean a PLO "state" beside Israel. Everyone with open eyes, Israeli or Palestinian, can predict based on the PNA conduct what will be the character of the Palestinian Regime. If before Oslo, people (Jews and Arabs) could justify the vision of "Brave Peace" - it should be over now.
Actually, Oslo accords, by their very essence, were doomed to be disastrous, because the Israeli party entered it with a criminal spirit. The late PM Rabin justified bestowing power on the PLO saying that they have "no High Court of Justice and no B'tzelem (human rights watch)" and thus be more efficient in suppressing Israel's enemies. This approach directly backfired on Israel's security and economy, because you cannot be sure that the thug you hired will not turn on you if you have miscalculated his motives. Much worse is the disaster that came over the Palestinian population, which is now a victim of corruption and robbery, human rights abuse, being devoid of free speech, having a misleading inciting media, with free hand to violent groups and perverse education toward hatred and demonizing of fellow humans. Their trouble reached a climax when the people in charge launched the Intifada, which aimed not only to put pressure on Israel but also to stop the Palestinian "normality" and affluence that had started to develop and "threatened" to lower the anti-Israeli motivation. Families lost their livelihood and had to see their desperate youngsters misled to give their lives in criminal assaults on Israel. One can easily conclude that the very "Palestinian suffering" was planned and ensured in order to promote such a powerful propaganda tool.
The "two state solution", negotiated with the same regime will perpetuate both the Palestinian ordeal and the threat on Israel. I, for one, will not believe in the peaceful intentions of a regime that suffers - if not encourages - the "education" of kindergarten toddlers to hate and kill me.
So far for the 2-s "solution" - be it "Roadmap" or "Ayalon-Nusseiba" or "Geneva". I do hope that this outrageous "vision" will not be put to practice.
Does this imply that we should now unify the populations and declare the one-state Israel-Palestine? Of course not! And Ami Issaroff gave many good arguments against this. I am willing to endorse his words in previous correspondence: "Until there is peace in the hearts of both sides, there can be no solution, and once there is peace, then it will not matter so much what is the solution". Indeed, many people gave up on reconciliation, because the previous lame attempts by unworthy politicians brought us to the present situation.
Now is not the time to negotiate a practical arrangement and compare various plans of one or two states, cantons or federations or whatever.
It is evident that the present type of politicians will not bring peace. This is a matter to be discussed among people - Israeli, Palestinian - at grassroots.
For sure, part of the people in both communities do not care about peace. I think that many more would care if they were not in despair. We need now people - with no authority to negotiate - that are ready to give a chance to an authentic, respectful, compassionate dialog process, where real needs will be presented, values discussed, feelings aired, narratives cleared - with the aim of widening the common ground. Success is not ensured - but there is still no reason for despair - as there is much to gain and much to lose.
Israelis need only conviction, care, faith, to make them participate. You cannot shut up an Israeli who has decided to be publicly active for any cause. The difficulty is to find the Palestinians, the Arabs, which will feel safe enough to enter a genuine sincere reconciliation process. I am impressed that even "Israeli Arabs" do not feel free enough.
A way must be found to liberate the potential grassroots counterparts, because otherwise, if the Jews will doubt the authenticity of their partners, failure is imminent.
Asher Shla'in, 11/December/2003