8 thoughts on “Sari Nusseibeh Embraces One-State Solution with Civil, But No Political Rights for West Bank Palestinians – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Interesting to know what rights he would seek to have preserved for these pseudo-citizens. Not political? OK, no vote? OK, how resist further bulldozing? How resist Israeli reneging on whatever the “deal” appears to be? (Recall USA’s reneging on American-Indian treaties).

    How obtain (even such pseudo-) citizenship for the exiles of 1948 and 1967?

    Just asking. He has to live there; I don’t.

  2. I haven’t read Nusseibeh’s book either, but I may venture a guess of how incorporation of Palestinians into the Israeli state might work. Israeli citizenship law does have an option of naturalization; this option is invoked, for example, when foreign workers residing in Israel are allowed to acquire Israeli citizenship. Currently, authorization by the Interior Minister is necessary for a foreign national to naturalize in Israel, but an independent procedure can be devised (involving, at a minimum, residence within Israel for a number of years and sufficient mastery of the Hebrew language). If the Palestinian territories are formally annexed to Israel, their residents who do not hold Israeli citizenship (read: Palestinian Arabs) will have a right to naturalization. To exercise that right, they will have to wait for the number of years specified by law (after all, the count of X years of residence in Israel will start for them only with the annexation of the Palestinian territories to Israel), and will have to study Hebrew (supposedly, many of them would decline or have difficulties to do so). As result of this, Jewish demographic majority in Israel will be preserved for a considerable number of years.
    Latvia and Estonia employed a similar law of naturalization for their residents originating from other republics of ex-USSR when they obtained independence in 1991. A sizeable proportion of those residents (known generally as Russian-speakers, although their ethnic origin is varied) still do not have Latvian/Estonian citizsenship 20 years later.
    Is this an acceptable possibility? The answer depends on the plausible alternatives, and those are not glaring for either Israelis or Palestinians. I am not sure I would support a solution such as described above, but it has some positive aspects (certainly when compared to the current Israeli policy of squeezing as much land as possible from the Palestinians without granting them any rights, and the impotence of the Palestinian national movement in the face of this policy).
    Ah, and a small French correction: in plural, they are faits accomplis, not faits accompli.

    1. The problem with citizenship requirements is that these can be used to effectively limit what ‘kind’ of person gets the cherished citizenship; an example is the disgusting Jim-Crow laws in the South US de-franchised the potential black vote.

      But, the idea of a process towards political citizenship is obviously as important as the goal of getting there — maybe, actually, the process and the goal are one and the same. In this regards, there are two points of view. First, Jeff Halper wrote a very interesting editorial in mondoweiss.net,


      Halper begins by stating the obvious, the two-state solution is dead and has been for a long time. Consequently, Halper stresses that fretting over negotiations is not only a waste of time, but allows the Netanyahu crew to continue embedding an apartheid system into what will be the 1ss. So, Halper proposes the focus now be on reaching a sustainable political solution for the inevitable 1ss; once there is such a focus the method of how South Africa shed apartheid starts making a great deal more sense,


      Second, it could be interesting to use ‘dual citizenships’ (which of course Israel already uses to brand loyalty by ‘foreign’ Jews). In the case of a process towards a 1ss the dual citizenship in Israel and a quasi-Palestine could be complementary: dual citizenship of Israeli ‘Arabs’ and dual citizenship of the ‘settlers’ (or at least those who are willing; those who are not can go back to Israel). The idea would be to start building a congruence of national interests in local governance by the citizens who have the most at stake. If self-interests in local governance works, the congruence of interests might be able to draw together, at least in a process, into a single national political process (or at least a functional bi-national process).

  3. RE: “Yes, I know that this suggestion carries an enormous historical stigma…” ~ R.S.

    MY COMMENT: You ain’t just whistlin’ Dixie, as UK phonologist Adam Holland might say!

  4. I’ll read his book if it makes its way into the local library system, but yeah, it’s really hard to imagine how he thinks this could end well. But as the reviewers you cite say, it might prove to be useful shock therapy if a Palestinian intellectual who has always been a favorite with American and Israeli liberal Zionists has given up on the two state solution.

  5. Although this proposal is limited, I do see merit in it. But, alas, I don’t think it would prevent further dispossession. The settlement enterprise has a momentum of its own.

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