One Country A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse

Ali Abunimah




Trade Paperback

240 Pages


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The Israeli-Palestinian war has been called the world's most intractable conflict. It is by now a commonplace that the only way to end the violence is to divide the territory and separate the two peoples, and all efforts at a resolution have come down to haggling over who gets what: Will Israel hand over 90 percent of the West Bank or only 60 percent? Will a Palestinian state include any part of Jerusalem? One Country proposes an alternative: to revive an old and neglected idea of one state shared by two peoples. Ali Abunimah shows how the two are by now so intertwined—geographically and economically—that the pursuit of separation is doomed to fail, providing neither the security Israelis need nor the rights Palestinians must have. He reveals the bankruptcy of the two-state approach, takes on the objections and taboos that stand in the way of a binational solution, and demonstrates that sharing the territory will bring benefits for all. The absence of other workable options has only lead to ever greater extremism; it is time, Abunimah suggests, for Palestinians and Israelis to imagine a different future and a different relationship. Defying the present climate of hopelessness and deadlock, Abunimah argues that a vibrant, thriving Jewish community can coexist alongside a Palestinian nation, reunited and healed after decades of dispossession, in a new entity that is equally and simultaneously the Jewish state and the Palestinian state.


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One Country
CHAPTER ONEAn Impossible PartitionUK foreign secretary Jack Straw stood at the dispatch box in a packed House of Commons. After parrying members' questions on the intricacies of European Union (EU) budgetary reform and sugar subsidies, he became more ebullient when debate turned to the Middle East peace process. He commended Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for his "courage" in pulling Israeli settlers out of Gaza and declared, "I am more hopeful about the prospects for a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians than I have been at any time in the past four and a half years."
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  • Ali Abunimah

  • Ali Abunimah, the Jordanian-American son of Palestinian refugees, is the creator and editor of The Electronic Intifada Web site, since 2001, and more recently of Electronic Iraq and Electronic Lebanon. A graduate of Princeton University and the University of Chicago, he is a frequent speaker and commentator on the Middle East, writing for the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times. A resident of Chicago, he also directs research for the design of children's services in the United States and Europe.