One State movement
with unity across
the Green Line
UPDATE: on July 14, two dozen activists from Haifa in Israel went to Ramallah to meet their newly formed counterparts in the West Bank (pictured above). They all agreed to adopt the Munich Declaration of One Democratic State as a uniting platform. In contrast to the official “peace negotiations”, they say that they met “not as two sides but as partners in the same struggle for a common future”.
Below, read the story so far:
In mid-May, a brief press statement revealed that a group of 20 senior Fatah and PLO officials had met in Ramallah and declared for a single democratic state in all of Palestine. Now, just six weeks later, their numbers have tripled and they are launching The Popular Movement, an active mass organisation with cells in every town, saying that they believe over 90% of Palestinians will come to agree with them.
Stressing that only a single state would provide Right of Return, they are already planning to set up branches in the massive Palestine refugee communities of the Middle East.
This is news that the One State movement has been waiting years to hear. Its importance is huge. It could potentially end the crisis of leadership of the Palestinian struggle, its damaging misdirection into puppet “state building” and its divisions both geographically and politically.
Yes, there IS a Plan B
Just a few weeks ago British Foreign Secretary William Hague returned from another fruitless round of Two State investigations saying that the Two State solution was up to its neck in water and “there is no Plan B”. Now the people that Hague and his ilk have been plotting to stitch up and sell out are organising themselves and the message is: Two States is indeed dead in the water and there is a Plan B. The diplomats are redundant: the people will be doing it for themselves.
In an impressive interview with Gulf News, spokesman Dr Radi Jeraei (left) of the new single state Popular Movement explodes the right wing Zionist obsession with demographics and ethnic baby-counting, with a politics-based vision of one country: “Life in the bi-national state will be based on a ‘one man: one vote’ formula where parties can and will be formed on economic and political grounds putting aside all national, religious and all types of racist grounds.”
The Popular Movement will be built up in a manner that accords with the aims and vision of one whole democratic country, reaching immediately, here and now, from the river Jordan to the sea, organising across borders and boundaries.
“The founding committee” he said “will launch several campaigns to introduce the idea to both the Palestinian and Israeli public. Subcommittees have already been set up to spread the idea in the Palestinian cities, refugee camps in the Palestinian territories and in the diaspora. The movement closely coordinates with groups in Yaffa and Haifa (see interview on Haifa beach below) in the 1948 areas [that fall under the Israeli state] to reach the Israeli public. Our founding document has been translated into Hebrew and will be published shortly to enable the Israeli public to read it. The Zionist movements have planted racism in the Israeli society for more than 60 years. We need to show both Arabs and Israelis the possible gains in the event this democratic state is created.”
Established coexistence and resistance groups such as Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, Combatants for Peace, Breaking the Silence, the Negev Coexistence Forum, Zochrot (Remembrance) and many others are living examples and evidence of how a new human rights based society can be formed and flourish. If the confrontational blueprint of separation and division is replaced by cooperation and common building of one democratic state, these groups could come to be seen by fellow Israeli Jews as forerunners in a benign and beneficial endeavour, and not as traitors who side with the enemy.
Already, out of Jewish Israelis polled in the past year, 12% declared that they support a single state with equal rights for all citizens, and 22% said they were not opposed to it. This substantial silent minority may be about to find its voice, come out of the closet, break cover and take to the streets, offer their talents to write and to speak, fly the flag, get organised, form a party, initiate projects, set up debates at work, with family and with neighbours, stand up to be counted and find ways to be a force to be reckoned with. They too will put the single state at the top of the agenda.
Two years ago when Israelis came out and pitched their tent cities and demanded social justice, they were headed away from the Palestinian issue which, constantly described as an “occupation” was easily dismissed as “foreign affairs”. Next time it could be very different.
Interviewed on the beach, spokesman for the Haifa group Yoav Haifawi (pictured left) sets out simply and eloquently how the one state programme can unite the fragmented Palestinians, undo the wrongs that were done, free Israeli Jews from militarism and the shadow of war, and enable instantly a joint struggle with Palestinians against racism and for universal human rights, instead of the Two State peace camp that petitioned the government to grant crumbs to a small section of the Palestinian people. The 5-minute interview in Hebrew is on video here, and below we have transcribed the English subtitles:
The idea of one state requires dealing with the entirety of the Palestinian question. It is easy, from one perspective, to talk about the 1967 occupation, and to neglect the refugees, which is the main question. This is the big mass of people who lost everything. A large part of them still live without status and without citizenship in refugee camps in harsh conditions. The separation between the 1967 occupation and the rest of the problems of the Palestinian people led to the fragmentation of the Palestinian people, and in recent years the struggle focused only on the question of two states and the possibility Israel will retreat from the West Bank. The refugees were marginalised from the political discourse.
The Palestinians who remained in Israel are under a growing attack by racist laws and segregation, and their problem is presented as if it was not part of the Palestinian question, although it is a problem at the heart of the Palestinian question. Therefore, only a framework that will take the problem as a whole: the 1948 occupation, the 1967 occupation, the right of return of the refugees, and the right of every person to live in peace and equality as equal citizens in their homeland — this is the only framework that can bring about a resolution.
Settlements are theft. It is not only the occupation, but settlement is an action of land theft that continues today. The idea of one state is not there to legitimise this theft, but to undo the wrongs that were done. The perspective of the single state is based on resolving the real problems. The problems of national oppression are never resolved by the good will of the oppressor. The struggle of the oppressed resolves the problems of oppression and changes the power relations for the good of the oppressed.
For the Palestinian people to achieve its rights the Palestinian people has to unite. The programme of one state as opposed to the programme of two states unites the Palestinian people because it represents the three parts of the Palestinian people: the refugees, the residents of the territories occupied in ‘67 and the residents of the territories occupied in 1948 as taking part of one struggle with one objective.
As for the Jews, Zionism does not guarantee peace or prosperity. The wars are a growing danger and a growing expenditure that waste all the resources and energies of this country. After all, the Jews are in an impossible situation of being the frontline soldiers of imperialism in a lost war. We see the USA retreating from Iraq, retreating from Afghanistan, retreating from positions like those of the Mubarak regime and tomorrow from other anti-democratic governments and before the demand for a more democratic middle east. Jews will have no alternative but to undo the Zionist adventure, to undo a racist state and an apartheid regime. Just as the white population of South Africa searched for a solution, including the leaderships, the people that built and supported apartheid. They looked for a way to get rid of Apartheid.
The establishment of one democratic state here that will secure the rights of the Jews as equal citizens and allow them to integrate in the region and live in peace — this is the same promise that Zionism made, but never intended to fullfil. The fact that five million Jews rule without limits over a Palestinian majority that already lives in Palestine, preventing the return of millions of refugees and representing an aggressive foreign power, is unsustainable under any scenario.
The two state political programme also led to an impasse regarding Jewish-Arab cooperation in the struggle against Zionism. The two state programme preserved the territorial separation for different ethnic groups, while saying to the Jews who wanted to work for peace, “your way is to make pressure on the Israeli government to sign a peace agreement with the Palestinian side”. The programme of one state represents a different perspective, that builds a partnership in the struggle against racism, against the occupation and for living together in one state. The partnership is a partnership from the first day against the Zionist regime, and not separation making the Jews to support the Zionist regime and ask it to make concessions.
The only way to live in peace in an equal society and not under racism is one democratic state.
We’ve told Abbas
we are sending a message
to the entire world
Ramallah 2nd July 2013: The Popular Movement, which advocates a single democratic state for Israelis and Palestinians in historic Palestine, has held its first meeting at Al Beirah Municipality and has sent an official letter to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas informing him of the launch.
Committees have already been set up to work in the various Palestinian governorates. Dr. Radi Jaraei said, “Every Palestinian city will have its local committee to spread the idea and gain public support. Paper and electronic membership applications are available for new members.”
“This is a popular movement which is planned to gain tremendous public support with the aim of creating political power which sends a clear message to the entire world,” he said.
Dr Jaraei said the founding committee of the movement will hold a key meeting with Jaffa and Haifa groups which support the movement in order to coordinate future work. It has also commissioned a committee to connect with the Palestinian refugee camps in the Palestinian diaspora. (Gulf News)
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