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Given that many of the comments here have disappeared because of troll rating perhaps I could refocus the discussion on what is actually the question posed by the Diary - One State or two.

The most compelling argument for a one state solution, in my view, is that extensive Israeli settlements within the Occupied territories has made a two state solution unviable.  Obviously if these settlements were abandoned, then the two sate solution could become viable again.  So ironically it is the the actions of Israel in making the two state solution unviable which is forcing us to consider a one state solution at all.

Terry and Zionists in general arguing that a one state solution would result in the destruction of the only Jewish state in the world, and in one sense he is correct|:  A single Israeli/Palestinian state  would be c. 50:50 Jewish/Palestinian and would therefore no linger be exclusively Jewish in character.  It would be a secular state like any other modern western democracy.

There are also a lot of other sub-options which could help to manage, contain and diffuse any conflict that might ensue - e.g. Federal, confederal, cantonal, and N.Ireland style constitutional arrangements which can safeguard the human rights of all and give some recognition to the distinct ethnic identities within.

There would be real problems of transition from where we are now towards a more stable state structure regardless of its precise configuration. Perhaps a more fruitful discussion might centre on what these constitutional and transitional arrangements might be - building on the experience of managing ethnic, religious, and regional conflicts in other advanced democracies elsewhere.

Critical would have to be constitutional and security guarantees to all, and economic measures to help revitalise devastated areas.  The economic potential of the area as a whole could increase dramatically with greater access to land, labour forces, consumer markets, and less expenditure on the current huge security apparatus. But what are the transitional arrangements that could best reduce the understandable fears of both communities that they might be dominated by the other?

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 12:30:36 PM EST

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