Dr. Makdisi Urges a One State Solution for Palestinians

“They [the Israeli Zionists] are imposing a system…of Apartheid on the Muslim and Christian citizens of the Occupied Territories.”

— Ex-President Jimmy Carter [1]

Washington, D.C. “I think it is long past the time for the Palestinians to…[abandon] the Israelis’ ‘Master Narrative,’ [a two state solution under Israeli domination], and in a unified voice present to the world their “own narrative” for a one state solution, said Dr. Saree Makdisi, a distinguished author, U. of California professor, and frequent commentator on the Israel-Palestine conflict. He spoke at the Palestine Center, on Jan. 29, 2007, before a near capacity audience. His lecture was also presented on C-Span. Dr. Makdisi, an Arab-American, is currently working on a book called, “Palestine Without a Road Map.”

Dr. Makdisi continued: “Here is what [the Palestinians] could say: ‘There can be no government without a state to govern. And just as there is no Palestinian state, there is no Palestinian government. Some Palestinians live in exile; others as a reviled minority; and others under military occupation. But, we are one people and we will accept no solution that does not offer us justice as one people. Israel is an occupying power that has grave responsibilities to the people on whom it has chosen to impose a military occupation for four decades. Israel is denying the fundamental human and political rights of the Palestinians for whom it has granted nominal citizenship, as is obvious from its neurotic and even I would say obscene discourse on the demographic crisis. And Israel is denying the fundamental human and political rights of those Palestinians in exile, who have the right to return to their homeland from which they or their parents were violently expelled in 1948. We are willing to share the land with Israel’s Jews and to live with them in peace and justice. But, we insist on a government for all of us that is genuinely democratic and secular and that treats all of its citizens equally before the law. In short, we Palestinians demand our right to live as normal human beings and in accordance with the accepted norms of the 21st century.'” [2]

That later narrative, Dr. Makdisi insisted, “is much more powerful than the self-inflicted weakness of the [present] Palestinian narrative that begs for mercy from Israel. But, that is not its only merit. It would also under the current Israeli narrative…throw it into a panic…, of which the hysterical reaction [by the Zionists in this country] to Jimmy Carter’s book, (“Palestine Peace Not Apartheid”), offers the nearest foretaste. But, don’t take my word for it.” [2]

Dr. Makdisi then recounted for the audience the deep fears expressed on the key question surrounding demographics in Israel Proper. About twenty percent of that population, he emphasized are presently “non-Jews.” The speaker he quotes is none other than Ehud Olmert himself. Olmert is talking about what would happen if the Israelis were pushed into a one state solution. He has been the Prime Minister of Israel, since 2006. The Extreme Rightist’s remarks were made in Nov., 2003, when Ariel Sharon, now in a coma, was in charge of the Zionist regime.

According to Dr. Makdisi, this is what Olmert said, in 2003: “There is no doubt in my mind that very soon the government of Israel is going to have to address the demographic issue with the utmost seriousness and resolve. This issue above all others will dictate the solution that we must adopt. We don’t have unlimited time. More and more Palestinians are uninterested in a negotiated two state solution because they want to change the essence of the conflict [from] an Algerian paradigm to a South African one. [3] From a struggle against occupation, in their parlance, to a struggle for one man, one vote. That is, of course, a much cleaner struggle, a much more popular struggle and ultimately a much more powerful struggle…For us, it would mean the end of the Jewish state.” [2] (Olmert’s words)

The above, Dr. Makdisi said, “Is Prime Minister Olmert talking about what the Palestinians could do ‘if’ they shifted their paradigm…To my mind, the question is: ‘What are the Palestinians waiting for?’ Israel has made it clear what its intentions are and it has revealed over and over again its ‘darkest nightmare’–which is a democratic and secular state…The mere idea that a democratic and secular state, which is generally thought to be the ideal state form in the 21st century, is thought of as a ‘nightmare for Israel,’ I think…speaks volumes. The question is: ‘Why should the Palestinians continue to play along in the self-mutilating role assigned to them by an Israeli narrative of domination?'” Dr. Makdisi suggested the Palestinians could drop that submissive role by claiming “a right, that even Israel acknowledges, it would be difficult or impossible to go on denying them forever.” [2]

By going along with the Israel’s two state solution, Dr. Makdisi said: “The Palestinians have been serving Israel and weakening themselves. It is time for the Palestinians in one voice to announce the termination of the two state solution. Israel should be revealed for what it is: A nakedly racist settler colonial enterprise premised on the creation of a state for one people at the expense of another people. And, [it is done by them] in a way that might have been acceptable in the 18th Century, but is totally unacceptable in the 21st Century.” [2]

At least one prominent Israeli, the popular writer, journalist and translator, Israel Shamir, supports a one state solution. He believes Israel should “follow the example of New Zealand, where the European incomers live together with the native Maori.” [4] Dr. Makdisi estimates that up to “one-third” of the Palestinians, in the West Bank and Gaza, want a one state solution, even though it doesn’t show up on the agenda “officially.”

The so-called “Peace Process,” which began in 1993, Dr. Makdisi charged, “is not aimed at peace!” The Israelis regularly use it, that subject matter, the “Roadmap” included, as a clever device, a maneuver, which has nothing to do with “reality,” the harsh existence the Palestinians endure daily on the ground under the brutal Israeli Occupation Forces. In that way, he said, the Zionists divorce “language from reality.” The Palestinians, under the Israeli-controlled scenario, (read narrative), Dr. Makdisi predicted, will never get “an independent state.”

In any event, the Zionist narrative is “losing its choke hold on the American public,” Dr. Makdisi said. He pointed to the positive effects of President Carter’s very popular book, and the release, and wide acceptance, of the scholarly and authoritative “Harvard Study” produced by Professors Stephen M. Walt and John J. Mearsheimer, as evidence of that fact. [5] The Zionists may, he added, have “a stranglehold on Congress, but ultimately Congress has to follow the people.” He said that “more and more” the American people are becoming aware that the “disaster” that is the Iraqi War has “something to do with Palestine…The Israelis know that time is running out…They know they are losing it…The first place for ‘a new beginning’ is with the American public.”

Finally, Dr. Makdisi underscored: “The point here is not that the one state solution is something that needs to be worked out in advance with interim agreements, committees and subcommittees…It is the reality today. There is only one state today–[Israel.] The one state solution was put into effect in 1967. [6] There is one government ruling differentially over two groups of people, living on one land. Granting to one group rights, that it systematically denies to the other. All that has to happen for the world to recognize this–is for the Palestinians to say, ‘It is so!’ And, thus [they will be bringing] ‘language and reality’ back into alignment with each other as though for the very first time.” [2]


[1]. Jimmy Carter’s “Palestine Peace Not Apartheid,” at p. 189.

[2]. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ydoVQtGhv4

[3]. http://baltimore.indymedia.org/newswire/display/

[4]. http://shamir.mediamonitors.net/

[5]. http://ksgnotes1.harvard.edu/Research/wpaper.nsf/

[6]. http://www.wrmea.com/
– http://www.marxists.de/middleast/schoenman/index.htm
– http://www.ameu.org/page.asp?iid=191&aid=233&pg=1
– http://www.pchrgaza.ps/
– http://www.hcef.org/index.cfm/ID/130.cfm
– http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=1215