Beyond The Two-State Solution, by Jonathan Kuttab, is a short introduction to the current crisis in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Zionism and Palestinian Nationalism have been at loggerheads for over a century. Some thought the two-state solution would resolve the conflict between them. Jonathan explains that the two-state solution (that he supported) is no longer viable. He suggests that any solution be predicated on the basic existential needs of the two parties, needs he lays out in exceptional detail. He formulates a way forward for a 1-state solution that challenges both Zionism and Palestinian Nationalism. This book invites readers to begin a new conversation based on reality: two peoples will need to live together in some sort of unified state. It is balanced and accessible to neophytes and to experts alike.
“….history is full of instances of mortal enemies who killed millions of each other, and yet who eventually became friends and allies. Germans and French fought pitched battles and destroyed whole cities for each other within living memory, yet today they are allies and friends. There is no reason to think that the same cannot be true for Palestinians and Israeli Jews once a just solution is reached that addresses their deepest needs.”
In the Israeli/Palestinian context, it is clear that no peaceful coexistence can be achieved until the demographic demon is put to rest. The fulfillment of each community must not be jeopardized by the obsession with achieving numerical majority or the dream that such majority status will allow them to negate or obliterate the rights of the other group. Once that truth sinks in, the Right of Return (for Jews and for Palestinian Arabs) will no longer be a frightening taboo, and a non-negotiable item.
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Jonathan Kuttab’s website
Jonathan Kuttab is co-founder of Nonviolence International and a co-founder of the Palestinian human rights group Al-Haq. A well-known international human rights attorney, he has practiced in the US, Palestine and Israel. He serves on the Board of Bethlehem Bible College and is President of the Board of Holy Land Trust. He is co-founder and board member of the Just Peace Advocates. He was the head of the Legal Committee negotiating the Cairo Agreement of 1994 between Israel and the PLO. Jonathan is also a member of the Peacemaker International Board of Reference.