|Source: New York Times|
By Jack Gerson
An extraordinary full page advertisement in today’s New York Times displayed a long-developing and now wide-open split between major players in Israel’s defense and intelligence leadership on the one hand and Premier Benjamin Netanyahu and his allies on the other:“In a Turbulent World Israel’s Security Chiefs Agree: Separation Into Two States is Essential for Israel’s Security”. To see the ad, go to http://www.centerpeace.org/center-news/one-state-or-two/ .
Six former chiefs of staff of the Israeli Defense Force (including former Israeli Premier Ehud Barak), six directors of Shin Bet (Israel’s domestic security agency), and six heads of the (notorious) Mossad (Israel’s intelligence agency) speak out in the ad for a two-state solution, arguing that since Jews are no longer a majority of Israel’s population — and will become even more of a minority as time goes on — Netanyahu’s single-state policy will inevitably end in a minority dictatorship imposed on the population.
So, here are eighteen hardened military and intelligence chiefs calling for peace and democracy. They are the same folks who have led genocidal raids on the people of Gaza; who have carried out kidnappings and assassinations around the world; who have been the backbone of the Israeli subjugation of the Palestinian people. But now they see the writing on the wall. They see that, sooner or later, Israel will not be able to maintain both formally democratic elections and majority Jewish rule. With the fig-leaf of Israeli democracy gone, it will be that much harder to maintain support into the indefinite future. They saw what happened to apartheid South Africa, and want to avoid that.
So they call for a two-state solution. A “demilitarized Palestinian state” and “the democratic Jewish homeland of Israel”. A Jewish state and an Arab state. But, clearly, only one of these — the Palestinian state — would be demilitarized. So it would be a demilitarized Palestinian state and a nuclear-armed “democratic Jewish state”. To state this is to see just what the makers of the NY Times ad have in mind for the Palestinian state: to live under constant suspicion, in enforced weakness, and to — at best — settle for scraps while waiting for the next Netanyahu to come along and launch the next genocidal attack.
A very different solution is plain, and it is sorely needed. But a solution to the crisis in Israel/Palestine is not possible within the framework of capitalism Only through the revolutionary transformation of society and the creation of a federation of democratic socialist states in the Middle East can the violence be ended, a democratic socialist, secular state in which the rights of Palestinians, Jews, and all other ethnic and religious groups are guaranteed.
This is not a pipe dream. It can be a reality. But not so long as Palestinians are viewed as less than human, and not until they are allowed to democratically exercise their majority in the population.