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The Myth of One-State Alternative To the Two-State Solution

The alternative to the two-state solution is more conflict, not a binational single state.
Stone-throwing Palestinian protesters run during clashes with Israeli soldiers at a protest against a nearby Israeli settlement in the West Bank village of Kfar Kadum, near Nablus May 31, 2013. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman (WEST BANK - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) - RTX1078I

The new prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, Rami Hamdallah, is perceived by some as an “obscure figure,” by others as a “nice guy who will not make waves” or as “Palestine’s Nothing Man.” When I first met Rami Hamdallah in May 2010, in his office at An-Najah University, he appeared to me as a statesman with a clear vision and a strong sense of purpose. The interview that followed became part of a book focused on the persons and the ideas that in present-day Palestine and Israel are inspired enough to present alternative solutions to the local dramatic reality.

While fully supporting the self-determination of his people, Hamdallah stressed that discussing the one or two-states solution is risky, because it can de-focus the attention from the real priority: Palestinian rights and equality of treatment. Furthermore, the then-president of An-Najah University pointed out that a sustainable peace could not be achieved without deliberately engaging local women: This, he claimed, was the reason why most of their students (56% in 2010) were women. Finally, Hamdallah noted that only a nonviolent grass-roots struggle had the potential to achieve change instead of only shaking the status quo: A standpoint that mirrors Erich Fromm’s approach. Human beings, the German social psychologist wrote, have “continued to evolve by acts of disobedience.”

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