First Thursdays - international updates on ODS on the 1st Thursday of every month

For previous blogs see our First Thursdays archive.


2 September 2021   5 items


1)  On the Vox site on 26 May 2021 Zack Beauchamp wrote a thoughtful argument for the Zionist two-state solution in an attempt to refute the positions taken in the New York Times by Yousef Munayyer and Peter Beinart. It however deals almost exclusively with what is possible rather than what is desirable, i.e. with feasibility rather than justice. Where Beauchamp does reveal his values it is to treat as equally valid the collective claims of two different ‘nations’ to Palestine – although the amount of territory for each, based on the Green Line (not even on the Resolution 181 borders) is far from equal. This emphasis on (allegedly) ethnic collectives shows once again that bi-nationalism is closer to the two-state solution than to the one-democratic-state solution.


2)  BDS is chalking up successes, as a BDS-Movement report of 27 July 2021 shows. Some of the 16 concrete “impacts” so far in 2021 do pertain to Israel as the apartheid ruler over all of Palestine, but the emphasis is on on boycotting and divesting from companies active in the 1967-occupied territories. There, Israeli presence is an “illegal occupation”, but one wonders about Israel’s presence in the 1948-occupied territories – a debate that goes on within the BDS movement.


3)  BDS co-founder and co-leader Omar Barghouti wrote about BDS recently in the Journal of Palestine Studies (Volume 50, Number 2). He, too, although a supporter of the one-democratic-state solution, emphasises the targeting only of firms working in the “illegal Israeli settlements” in the West Bank, referred to as the locus of “Israel’s occupation”, and says that “BDS calls for ending Israel’s 1967 occupation” rather than, as the 2005 BDS Call has it, “ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands”. Nevertheless, the article is an inspiring call for Palestinian self-determination. Barghouti moreover brooks no compromise on the Right of Return and rightly notes that BDS is scaring Israel to the extent that in 2017 it budgeted $75 million to fight BDS – real proof of success! He also spells out the neutrality on the one-state/two-state question maintained by the BDS movement, which “does not advocate for a particular solution to the conflict” but “instead… focuses on the realization of basic rights and the implementation of international law” – international law which arguably regards the presence of the Zionist state in Palestine as justified, or at least legal. In footnote 53, Barghouti reacts to out-of-context use by BDS opponents of his statement in a talk that “we oppose a Jewish state in any part of Palestine”.


4)  It is well worth re-reading Noura Erakat’s 1 February 2012 Al-Shabaka article on the debate between rights- and solution-based approaches, as well as her reply to her critics wherein she does take a stand for the one-democratic-state solution: “Palestinians should adopt a one-state solution as a political vision that aims for the equality of all persons irrespective of nationality, ethnicity, religion, or race. By endorsing a one-state solution, we are calling for the dismantlement of institutionalized racism that privileges Jewish nationals above their non-Jewish Arab Palestinian counterparts rather than supporting the creation of two ethnically homogenous states.”



5)  Also from ODS’s history, the pioneering ‘London One State Group’ back in 2007 wrote and published a statement which provided the basis and some of the wording for the Munich Declaration – the slightly shorter statement of principles of our ODS group which was adopted at a 2012 ODS conference in Munich. The 2007 declaration was agreed on at conferences in Madrid and London and signed by “Ali Abunimah, Naseer Aruri, Omar Barghouti, Oren Ben-Dor, George Bisharat, Haim Bresheeth, Jonathan Cook, Ghazi Falah, Leila Farsakh, Islah Jad, Joseph Massad, Ilan Pappe, Carlos Prieto del Campo, Nadim Rouhana, the London One State Group and many others”.