Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

I applaud your magazine taking on the most necessary debate of one-state vs. two-state solution for Israel/Palestine. This is a most necessary debate for many more Americans to get involved in. And yes--this is an American issue, not just a Jewish American issue. I wish more non-Jewish Americans would wake up to that fact! In terms of envisioning a one-state resolution, Palestinian-American Ali Abunimah offers a refreshing representation in his recent book, One Country, which smartly uses the template of successful peace, now, in Ireland. This solution would not have that many unknowns, according to this book. The real question is, where is the Israeli DeKlerk, willing to free the Palestinians, and really get down to business on peace? If more non-Jewish Americans challenged their counterparts, softening up the stranglehold of the Lobby--yes, I said it!--and got Israel to realize it is on a destructive course as it now exists (not a true democracy when it can't separate church from state, and inciting its neighbors to behave likewise, as events keep unfolding this reality), the one state is the only viable solution for everyone's honor. Either that, or take the road of Philip Roth's 1993 book, Operation Shylock, and move to a friendlier neighborhood! Seriously.

Priscilla Rich

Danville, CA

Jul 7 2007 - 6:16pm

Web Letter

One would think that in allying itself with the Mobilization Against the Israeli Occupation through its radio commercials The Nation should take the trouble to check some basic facts. The mobilization calls for the end to the "illegal military occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip." Questions of international law aside, Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip ended in 2005. This is not a minor, incidental fact that should be casually overlooked by The Nation's editors. The Israeli pullout could have been the foundation upon which Palestinians began building a viable state capable of living in peace with its neighbors. Instead it became a caldron of Hamas extremism and a launchpad for illegal Palestinian rocket attacks, which have continued to incite hostilities and provide justification for further Israeli occupation. If The Nation wants to continue to be held in high esteem for its journalistic ethics, rather than be viewed as a channel for propaganda, it might consider taking the time to explore this inaccuracy.

Paul Schwartz

El Cerrito , CA

Jun 10 2007 - 12:53pm

Web Letter

A number of misleading statements fill your June 18 editorial, “Endless Occupation.”

Contrary to the assertion that Israel’s commitment to a two-state solution is in question, the last three Israeli prime ministers have supported the creation of a Palestinian state. In 2000, it was the Palestinian leader, Yasir Arafat, who twice rejected offers of a state with a capital in East Jerusalem.

Contrary to the assertion that the US abdicated its role in Israeli-Arab peacemaking, President Bush, in 2002, became the first American President to call for a Palestinian state and to issue a plan, the Roadmap, for arriving there.

And contrary to the assertion that Hamas supports a two-state solution, the terrorist group’s charter refuses to recognize Israel, obviating the possibility of partition. Further, Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh has repeatedly pronounced that he will never recognize Israel.

While the Arab League’s current proposal contains positive elements, you neglect to mention that it also demands a “right of return” for Palestinian refugees that has no basis in international law and would overwhelm Israel’s Jewish majority. Still, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has expressed willingness to discuss the larger proposal with Arab interlocutors.

You raise the notion of a binational state, but omit the fact that Israel, as it was intended by its founders and backed by the international community, would cease to exist. Demography would erase its raison d’être: the one and only Jewish State in the world. Why should Israel be subject to dismantlement against its will? Would other nation-states accept such a fate of national suicide? What would be the likely prospect of Jewish survival in such a setting, given the history of the region?

The path to a two-state solution, of creating a Palestinian state alongside Israel, with both living in peace and security, is clear. So, too, is the main obstacle, which is the steadfast refusal of the Palestinian leadership to grasp Israel’s outstretched hand for peace.

Richard Sideman

New York, New York

Jun 8 2007 - 1:50pm

Web Letter

While I favor the one-state solution in principle, I wonder what happens under any such solution to the stolen (post-1967) Palestinian lands still claimed by Israel and Israeli settlers. Seems like this has to be solved first. A one-state solution that still steals the Palestinians' land is still not a solution, nor can I imagine it will ever be accepted as such.

Keith Hulett

Athens, GA

Jun 4 2007 - 9:44am

Web Letter

With the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians still raging, one must note that the sites in Israel are settlements, not occupations, and that Palestine was never recognized as a nation itself. In the Qu'ran, there is no mention anywhere of Arab settlement in the Holy Land of Jerusalem, while the Jewish bible mentions it many times. Israel is a Jewish state that is open to negotiating a compatible peace comprimise among Palestinians and the Arab world. All in all, isn't the Middle East large enough for all Arabs and Israelis? It just takes some serious talking, especially with Israeli and Palestinian youth, because children can either learn to respect one another or despise the other as their enemy. One teaching does not fit all, but peace can be possible through legitamate and reasonable dialogue.

Nick Rosen

Great Falls, VA

Jun 3 2007 - 4:22pm

Web Letter

The two-state solution is no solution. The solution isn't separatism or domination. The solution isn't binational but equality and respect for those who call the country their homeland. Zionism was predicated by Herzl as a "rampart" (that is his own word) against Asia and its people. Sovereignty would be guaranteed by the great imperial powers against the natives. What else is new? Two states is a partioned failure. Divided you fall.

Alan Goldstein

Plainfield, NJ

Jun 2 2007 - 8:00pm

Before commenting, please read our Community Guidelines.