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One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 21. August 2007

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  • Taschenbuch: 227 Seiten
  • Verlag: Owl Books; Auflage: Reprint (21. August 2007)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0805086668
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805086669
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 12,7 x 1,4 x 20,3 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 258.095 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Ali Abunimah, a Palestinian-American, is the co-creator and editor of the Electronic Intifada Web site. A graduate of Princeton University and the University of Chicago, he has written for the Chicago Tribune, among other publications.

Leseprobe. Abdruck erfolgt mit freundlicher Genehmigung der Rechteinhaber. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.

One Country
An Impossible Partition
UK 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." Straw boomed, "I believe that gradually both sides have recognized that the only future for Palestinians and Israelis lies in peace and in two states."1 Straw could have learned something from those who had stood at the dispatch box before him. It was the British government after all, one still flush with colonial territories, that had in the 1930s first given its official imprimatur to partition as the solution to the conflict between Jews and Arabs in Palestine. Partition failed then, as it is failing again today, as it has failed every time it has been seriously proposed, always forthe same reason: There is no workable partition that is acceptable to a majority of Israelis and Palestinians.
Partition of Palestine into one homeland for Jews and another for Arabs was first endorsed as a government plan in 1937. That year, the Palestine Royal Commission, headed by Lord Peel, formed after disturbances in Palestine and the outbreak of the Arab revolt, proposed to divide the country into two states, with the British retaining control of Jerusalem and a corridor leading to the port of Jaffa. The proposed Jewish state would include all of the Galilee in the north and the coastal plain down to the south of Tel Aviv. The Arab state would comprise all the rest of the country. Even with this plan, expectations of settling on a fair border between the two entities were low. "No frontier can be drawn," the report warned, "which separates all Arabs and Arab-owned land from all Jews and Jewish-owned land." The problem was the Arabs, or more specifically, the quantity of them: There were simply too many. While the area allocated for the Arab state would have contained only 1,250 Jews, the Jewish state would have contained more than a quarter of a million Arabs. "It is the far greater number of Arabs who constitute the major problem," the report concluded. Because it was impossible to construct a viable Jewish state given these facts, the Peel Commission recommended solving the demographic "problem" through the removal, "voluntary or otherwise," of all Arabs from the proposed Jewish state not just to other parts of Palestine, but even across the frontier to Transjordan (modern-day Jordan), a solution that today would properly be called ethnic cleansing.2
A year after its release, the Woodhead Commission scuttled the Peel plan because it found that, at a minimum, the proposedJewish state would have an Arab population of 49 percent. The commissioners could not agree on any other partition scheme, and one member concluded that no form of partition was practicable. 3 In 1939, the British government issued a new White Paper on Palestine that also reversed the Peel Commission's key findings. Instead of partition, it endorsed a unitary state in which Arabs and Jews would have equal rights.
The next serious proposal for partition, and the most detailed, came almost a decade later. Toward the end of British rule in Palestine, granted by a League of Nations mandate, the British were losing control of the population and so handed the problem to the newly formed United Nations. In 1947, the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP), composed of representatives of eleven states, recommended the partition of the country into independent Jewish and Arab states. A majority of the countries in UNSCOP (Canada, Czechoslovakia, Guatemala, Netherlands, Peru, Sweden, and Uruguay) voted for partition, while the minority (India, Iran, and Yugoslavia) proposed a single, federal binational state. Australia abstained. On November 29, 1947, the UN General Assembly accepted the UNSCOP majority recommendation, Resolution 181, by a vote of 33-13 with 10 abstentions. Mainstream Zionist leaders endorsed the plan, but most did so "with a heavy heart" out of opposition to the idea of a Palestinian state and a desire for control over a greater area of territory.4 David Ben-Gurion, in his testimony to UNSCOP, had argued against partition because he believed that the entire country should be given to the Jews. He urged postponement of any decision until the Jews, by encouraging immigration, could become the majorityand thus take control of all the country.5 Nevertheless once the plan was passed by the General Assembly, Zionist leaders hailed it as a major diplomatic achievement, and there was widespread celebration in the Jewish community in Palestine and among Zionist supporters around the world.
While international opinion was coalescing around UN plans for partition, the voices of those who would be most affected--Palestinians--had little bearing on the deliberations. Arab leaders in Palestine and Arab states rejected the UN plan. They had proposed to UNSCOP that Palestine be given its independence as a unitary state, that there be a constituent assembly made of Arabs and Jews, that Jews participate fully in its government under proportional representation, and that Jewish immigration be curbed to prevent a Jewish takeover and the loss of the "Arab character" of Palestine.6 Even today, Palestinian speakers, including myself, are often challenged with the claim that had the Palestinians only accepted the UN plan they would by now have enjoyed their freedom and independence for nearly sixty years. But such twenty-twenty hindsight does little to illuminate the reality Palestinians faced. My father, who was twelve years old at the time, remembers that even in his small, rural village there was lively concern over the UNSCOP partition plan. Palestinians were universally against partition for two reasons. He explains: "First, they thought, you don't partition what's yours. They didn't see their rights to Palestine as disputable, so they did not see partition as a reasonable compromise. And also we knew--even as little children--and I remember talking about it, that if the Jews accepted partition it would only be as a foothold for taking the rest of Palestinelater." Palestinians simply didn't see why towns and villages a short distance away and to which they had deep ties should suddenly, by the decree of a distant body, be placed out of their reach behind international borders. It was simply inconceivable. Palestinians were being given hardly anything in the partition; they were losing more than half their country.
Even if people could have been brought to see partition as reasonable in theory, the terms proposed by UNSCOP added insult to injury. In 1947, there were 1,293,000 Arab Palestinians--Muslims and Christians--and 608,000 Jews in the country. Although Jews were one-third of the population, most had arrived only recently after fleeing the horrors of World War II, and Zionist efforts to buy up the country had met with some resistance. The result was Jews owned about 6 percent of the land.7 Nevertheless, the partition resolution proposed to give Jews 55 percent of the country. The Palestinians, who were two-thirds of the population and owned the vast majority of the land, which they had been working for generations, were to make do with less than half of the country. Jerusalem would be declared an international zone. An example of the inequity in this is UNSCOP's decision that "the Jews will have the more economically developed part of the country embracing practically the whole of the...


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Eine sehr interessante Sicht der Dinge. Diese Vision wird eines Tages Realität werden, da Israel - fernab jeder Bereitschaft zu einem Frieden - ale anderen Möglichkeiten zunichte gemacht hat.
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89 von 109 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Intelligent writing and vision make this a must-read 30. November 2006
Von Mary Anderson - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Rather than rehashing the same dead arguments on Palestine/Israel or relying on 'blame game' rhetoric, this book offers a refreshing vision of the future: one democratic state for Palestinians and Israeli Jews, living side by side with equal rights. Certainly not a new vision, as the author duly notes, but rarely argued so cogently and with such sound vision for the future. Abunimah draws on successful examples of multi-ethnic states (Belgium, Ireland, South Africa) to shape his argument for a multi-ethnic Palestine-Israel, and to envision how two peoples locked into conflict by decades of oppression might come together.
45 von 56 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Unconvincing, but Still Interesting 5. April 2008
Von Valerie J. Saturen - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
In his book One Country, Ali Abunimah puts forth a radical proposal toward resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: that of a single secular-democratic state for both Arabs and Jews. While aspects of his argument have merit, particularly his assertion that the destinies of Jews and Arabs have become inextricably intertwined, Abunimah fails to explain how such a plan could be implemented in a way that is acceptable to both groups. Although the book is thought-provoking in that it challenges the reader to imagine an ideal scenario, I simply did not find his argument convincing or plausible.

As Abunimah himself points out, both sides favor a two-state solution, although many Palestinians support a one-state solution over a two-state solution without full sovereignty of the West Bank and Gaza. For Israelis, only the most radical minority calls for what most equate with the destruction of the State of Israel. The book fails to explain how Abunimah's vision could be implemented in spite of the international consensus on a two-state solution and Israel's overwhelming opposition to losing its status as a Jewish state. He also never addresses how such a state could function in the face of such raw tensions without breeding further violence. Finally, while he shows a certain understanding of Jewish fears and insists on maintaining the Law of Return (which grants all Jews the right to immigrate to Israel), he brushes aside the fear that a state with an Arab majority will fail to truly safeguard Jewish rights. It is possible that it would, but at this point, there is not enough trust between the two communities to give Israeli Jews the security to contemplate taking such a risk.

The book provides a rough sketch of what a single state might look like, encompassing either a federalist system or a binational state with two separate government systems (one unified government with seats allocated to each group and separate ones dedicated to cultural/religious affairs). Here, again, there are problems he does not adequately address. In a federalist scenario, what would stop the two sides from continuing to fight over territory and borders? Abunimah's sketch of a binational state sounds good on the surface, but he is essentially describing a confessional government divided along religious/ethnic lines, which has failed disastrously in countries like Lebanon. Power sharing is certainly possible--Abunimah demonstrates this with his description of the Belgian system--but the current situation, with all its explosive tension, more closely resembles Lebanon at present.

Abunimah claims that the failure of Oslo and Camp David are proof that negotiations along the lines of a two-state solution will always end in an impasse. His logic doesn't work, though: the failure of certain flawed proposals does not preclude the possibility of a better proposal appearing in the future.

Still, there is value in reading this book. Unlike many books on the subject, this one devotes a significant part to painting a detailed picture of what true coexistence might look like. Abunimah's vision is unrealistic as an immediate solution to the conflict, but in the very long term, his ideas may become more relevant. As he points out, the demographics are shifting in such a way that Israel will eventually lose its Jewish majority. When that day comes, Israel will be confronted with a very painful dilemma between remaining a Jewish state or a democracy. Binationalism may someday become Israel's only moral option, and in that case, the framework Abunimah lays out is worth examining.
35 von 45 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
He Changed My Mind 28. Mai 2007
Von Jedidiah Carosaari - Veröffentlicht auf
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I came into the book committed to a two-country solution; I came out of it convinced that Abunimah is right and we need one fully democratic country in Israel of Palestine. Ali is passionate, honest about the difficulties, and filled with persuasive arguments. He writes openly and intimately, going into detail on how difficult the situation is for all sides, and proposing some very reasonable solutions. I appreciated most his use of the example of apartheid in South Africa. Others have spoken recently of the similarities between Israel and South Africa, but Abunimah goes further, speaking of how the Palestinians themselves now refer to their ghettos as bantustans. Then Abunimah uses this very example to show how we can have real hope for change, even in this most intractable of dilemmas. South Africa now becomes not the pariah state, but the hope for real change in an intractable situation, and real lasting peace. Thank you, Laila el-Haddad, for your groundbreaking blog from Gaza, to let me know of this book. Thank you Ali Abunimah for being courageous enough to speak that which dare not be named, to suggest that the original ideas had some merit, and to go beyond the rhetoric to bring us hope.
52 von 69 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
The best book on the unitary state - insightful, practical, and a joy to read 25. Februar 2007
Von T. Hopkins - Veröffentlicht auf
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This is a fabulous book, the best book yet on the unitary state which is probably the only solution that could deliver peace to the Israelis and Palestinians.

It is beautifully and elegantly written. Ali Abunimah can write like the best. It surprised me that a man who must feel deeply about this conflict was able to write such an truthful and almost blame-free book. Nothing too nasty - this is a classy guy and his restraint is admirable, making this a potent book. Arabs usually indulge in hyperbole which is a big turn-off to Western audiences, but not this author... if anything, the book is understated. But style is the least of it - what he says is worth saying.

What's different about this book is that he starts down the road of implementation. He actually considers what it would take to achieve a unitary state. He made two excellent suggestions for laying the groundwork for peace that immediately come to mind.

He says that the Palestinians need to articulate a vision that the Jews can accept, along the lines that Mandela used in his struggle - that they see historic Palestine as belonging to everyone who lives there, Jews and Arabs. Sharing! Forget the nonsense about pushing Israel into the sea.

And he says that Israel must not be rewarded for its illegal and aggressive behavior but rather, punished. Right on... it's the only way... make the status quo painful, and offer a more attractive and peaceful alternative.

Any person who is thinking about how to achieve peace between Israelis and Palestinians must read this book. It's the best.
17 von 22 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
The Need for a Single State 16. Januar 2007
Von Raja F. Halwani - Veröffentlicht auf
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Ali Abunimah's book is excellent. After showing why all partition plans have failed, why Israel's "unilateral disengagement" is a recipe for disaster, Abunimah makes a strong case, based partly on other historical precedents, why a single state for both Jews and Palestinians is the proper solution to this conflict that has played, and continues to play, a major role in world instability. One wonderful thing about the book is Abunimah's discussion of the shared values of the two peoples that could serve as the basis of the single state. Another is his discussion of the growing, albeit still minority, voices for a single state among both Israelis and Palestinians. Written lucidly and in accessible manner, this book is a must read for everyone, and it is an important contribution to the literature that will one day motivate the emergence of the only fully moral solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: a single state for both people based on principles of equality and democracy.
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