One Land, Two States: Israel and Palestine as Parallel States

One Land, Two States: Israel and Palestine as Parallel States

One Land, Two States: Israel and Palestine as Parallel States

One Land, Two States: Israel and Palestine as Parallel States

Synopsis

One Land, Two States imagines a new vision for Israel and Palestine in a situation where the peace process has failed to deliver an end of conflict. "If the land cannot be shared by geographical division, and if a one-state solution remains unacceptable," the book asks, "can the land be shared in some other way?"

Leading Palestinian and Israeli experts along with international diplomats and scholars answer this timely question by examining a scenario with two parallel state structures, both covering the whole territory between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River, allowing for shared rather than competing claims of sovereignty. Such a political architecture would radically transform the nature and stakes of the Israel-Palestine conflict, open up for Israelis to remain in the West Bank and maintain their security position, enable Palestinians to settle in all of historic Palestine, and transform Jerusalem into a capital for both of full equality and independence--all without disturbing the demographic balance of each state. Exploring themes of security, resistance, diaspora, globalism, and religion, as well as forms of political and economic power that are not dependent on claims of exclusive territorial sovereignty, this pioneering book offers new ideas for the resolution of conflicts worldwide.

Excerpt

This volume analyzes the possibility and feasibility of establishing two parallel states, Israel and Palestine, on the same territory, the land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River. Two state structures exercising sovereignty over the same piece of land is an idea that has not previously been explored in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—or almost any other setting, for that matter. At the heart of such a political arrangement is the still-novel idea of states responding primarily to their citizens, and only secondarily to their territory. In such a scenario, state structures would be separate and independent, but would have to take each other into account in most if not all major policy decisions and their broader function. Sovereignty over the broader territory would be both divided and shared between the two governing authorities and the bodies politic they represent.

This study, and the project it grew out of, is a provocation against conventional thinking, against the Middle East peace process as we know it, and against the main actors in the region and outside. The aim is not to provoke for the sake of provoking, but to study new thoughts and ideas that can contribute to opening a way forward toward a truly “just and lasting peace” between Palestinians and Israelis. The study is also a provocation against established understandings of concepts such as sovereignty and state and against some of the most fundamental principles of international law the way we are accustomed to interpreting it.

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