Gershon Baskin

The republic of Israel-Palestine?


Gershon Baskin. Photo: Otmar Steinbicker

Today we have a one-state binational reality and it is bad for Israel and bad for Palestine

I felt at home during my first visit to Israel in 1969 for my bar mitzvah, and knew that my place was with my people. From as early as 1975 at the age of 19 I made the decision that Israel was going to be my home, and three years later it was. During that same year I became much more deeply aware of the Israeli- Palestinian conflict and, from a Zionist position, published my first op-ed piece in a Jewish newspaper calling for a two-state solution. Since that time I have believed and advocated that in order to ensure Israel’s future as the democratic nation-state of the Jewish people, it is essential that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict be resolved.

Understanding that the roots of this conflict are in the willingness of both the Jewish people in Israel and our Palestinian neighbors to fight, die and kill for a territorial expression of their identity, the only resolution to the conflict is territorial partition – two states for two peoples. I am completely convinced that this is the only solution, but with the passing of time and the failure of all attempts thus far to arrive at that solution, have tried to entertain the possibility that partition may not happen.

As an academic, intellectual exercise I tried to imagine what a peaceful solution to this conflict could look like that did not entail partition – the so-called “one state solution.” If solution means end of conflict, then it is clear that that state would not be the nation state of the Jewish people, or the nation state of the Palestinian people. If the intent is solution, then it would have to be a democratic state.

I decided to look at the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa to get an idea of what a republic of Israel-Palestine might look like. It is a very long document and difficult to summarize, but its main feature is absolute equality under the law.

Under such a constitution, all Israeli citizens would be equally entitled to the rights, privileges and benefits of citizenship, and equally subject to the duties and responsibilities of same. The republic would need a new national anthem, determined by parliament and in both Hebrew and Arabic. The national flag of the republic would be a combination of the Israeli and Palestinian flags. The official languages of the republic would be Hebrew, Arabic and English, and the state would have to take practical measures to elevate the status of the first two throughout the republic.

It is hard to imagine such a state. If it were possible it might be a nice place to live, but I know that even with all the lofty words an ideals in the world, such a constitution will not resolve the issues at the core of the conflict. A republic of Israel-Palestine would not provide the Jewish people or the Palestinian people the territorial expression of their identity. It would not provide self-determination in a land they called their own. Such a republic could perhaps someday in the distant future emerge after a long period of living in peace, side by side, when each side feels much less threatened and much more secure. We are very far from there and have a lot of work to do – on both sides – to secure much more egalitarian societies within our own communities. We must learn to recognize and to respect each other’s national identities and to learn so much more about each other before we could even come close to a one-state solution.

Today we have a one-state binational reality and it is bad for Israel and bad for Palestine. This is no solution and our very existence is at risk. The new Egyptian initiative may open the door to renewed negotiations. Getting back to the table for genuine negotiations is the right direction. Expanding the table to include additional neighbors is the right way to ensure greater stability, security and economic horizons. Those who wish to preserve their national identity must be willing to embrace the compromises necessary to partition this land into two states for two peoples. Those who are not should be begin to translate the above Constitution of the Republic of Israel Palestine into political actions.

Gershon Baskin ist Autor des Aachener Friedensmagazins Seine Beiträge finden Sie hier

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Beiträge von Gershon Baskin

The republic of Israel-Palestine?

My enemy's leader

De-risking peace - Part 5

De-risking peace - Part 4

De-risking peace - Part 3

De-risking peace - Part 2

De-risking peace - Part 1

The Left is right

The French connection

The United Nations and Israel’s legitimacy

A moment of opportunity

The darkness of our times

Addressing the core

The worst negotiations, the best negotiations

Palestinian turmoil and Israeli interests

This one is for you - the Palestinians

Palestinian suffering makes no sense for Israel

Creating a compelling vision for peace

It is also in our hands

Sooner or later

There is no partner

There is no partner


Yes, it is difficult to make peace

What does he really want?

To those who oppose Israeli-Palestinian peace

Israel – my sad home

Have I got news for you

It is still not too late for peace

Netanyahu, tell us what you really think!

The partnership challenge

The binational reality that we are experiencing

Abbas is still the leader who can make peace

A new intifada?

After Abbas

The distance between here and peace and security

Doing the wrong thing at that wrong time

The one and only solution!

Yeshayahu Leibowitz was right!

The disengagement – 10 years on: What we choose to forget

Needed - a new approach to Gaza

A bad agreement is better than no agreement

Obviously no peace now, so what then?

Ramadan Kareem!

Israel’s strategic choices regarding Gaza

Anti-normalization hypocrites

FIFA, soccer and the Palestinians

Both sides now

It’s time for Palestine

The citizens’ challenge – from despair to hope

We have the chance to do the right thing in Yarmouks

The world is not against us

This is what you voted for, and this is what you will get

The no decision elections

A cautious peace, but peace nevertheless

For the sake of Israel, Netanyahu must be sent home

Going ballistic even prior to an agreement

To the new IDF chief of staff, Gadi Eisenkot

The Peace Bridge

The choices we must make

Israeli elections – It’s not about the economy

Threats and security


Returning to negotiations

Our most important elections

The missed opportunities

We want peace, but they don't

Our future is in our hands

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Unlike religious wars, political wars have solutions

Today and tomorrow

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Jerusalem of peace, Jerusalem of war

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The Gaza challenge

Is Hamas prepared to end this war with a long-term ceasefire?

The end of the ceasefire, the renewal of war and the end game

The aftermath

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Regional forum for security and stability – Gaza first

After a long phone conversation with a Hamas leader in Gaza

Don’t destroy Gaza, build it!

Framework document for the establishment of permanent peace (part 3 of 3)

Framework document for the establishment of permanent peace (part 2 of 3)

Framework document for the establishment of permanent peace

Palestinian refugees in Syria

Annexing the West Bank – a catastrophic plan for the Jewish people

Mutual and reciprocal recognition

Our Palestinians, their Jews

A very personal statement on peace


Contextual reciprocity

Negotiating atmospherics

My Conversation With Hamas

Ramadan Kareem

Wahrheit, Lügen und Rechtmäßigkeit

Kauft palästinensisch!

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Keine Fortsetzung des Unilateralismus!

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