Talk of a Greater Israel

Suddenly, within a span of five minutes, I received the transcript of a speech Professor John J. Mearsheimer delivered to the Palestine Center in Washington DC and a link to a blog post by Philip Weiss on Mondoweiss. Both address the idea of a one-state solution by the creation of a ‘Greater Israel’ where Palestinians would be citizens with full rights and privileges.

Mr. Weiss highlights comments by Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin.

According to Mr. Weiss’ post, Rivlin said Thursday that he would rather accept Palestinians as Israeli citizens than divide Israel and the West Bank in a future two-state peace solution. “I would rather Palestinians as citizens of this country over dividing the land up.”

Prof. Mearsheimer, on the other hand, also talks about the eventuality of the current situation devolving into a “Greater Israel,’ but one that would be an apartheid state. Since apartheid is not sustainable in the long run, Greater Israel would eventually evolve into a bi-national state with equal rights and privileges for all, Dr. Mearsheimer said. The difference is that just due to demographic shifts in populations, Palestinians will eventually dominate Greater Israel’s political scene.

I will be the first to admit that I do not possess enough knowledge or wisdom to opine on these scenarios. But my gut is telling me that there is something inherently wrong with the one-state Greater Israel vision.  The obvious piece of the puzzle is missing. It’s called Palestine.

Before the United Nations partitioned Palestine, Jews owned less than 7 percent of the land. The Palestinians had been in the HolyLand for generations upon generations.  The state of Israel was crafted out of land taken and, in part, stolen from the Palestinians. So if there is ever one state again, why should it be called Greater Israel? Why not undo the injustice of the past 62 years and give the nation its rightful name again?

How about one state, with rights and privileges for all. called Palestine?

~ Kristin Szremski 14/29/2010

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