The One State Declaration

by Alexander Cockburn And Jeffrey St. Clair

For decades, efforts to bring
about a two-state solution in historic Palestine have failed
to provide justice and peace for the Palestinian and Israeli
Jewish peoples, or to offer a genuine process leading towards

The two-state solution ignores
the physical and political realities on the ground, and presumes
a false parity in power and moral claims between a colonized
and occupied people on the one hand and a colonizing state and
military occupier on the other. It is predicated on the unjust
premise that peace can be achieved by granting limited national
rights to Palestinians living in the areas occupied in 1967,
while denying the rights of Palestinians inside the 1948 borders
and in the Diaspora. Thus, the two-state solution condemns Palestinian
citizens of Israel to permanent second-class status within their
homeland, in a racist state that denies their rights by enacting
laws that privilege Jews constitutionally, legally, politically,
socially and culturally. Moreover, the two-state solution denies
Palestinian refugees their internationally recognized right of

The two-state solution entrenches
and formalizes a policy of unequal separation on a land that
has become ever more integrated territorially and economically.
All the international efforts to implement a two-state solution
cannot conceal the fact that a Palestinian state is not viable,
and that Palestinian and Israeli Jewish independence in separate
states cannot resolve fundamental injustices, the acknowledgment
and redress of which are at the core of any just solution.

In light of these stark realities,
we affirm our commitment to a democratic solution that will offer
a just, and thus enduring, peace in a single state based on the
following principles:

– The historic land of Palestine
belongs to all who live in it and to those who were expelled
or exiled from it since 1948, regardless of religion, ethnicity,
national origin or current citizenship status;

– Any system of government
must be founded on the principle of equality in civil, political,
social and cultural rights for all citizens. Power must be exercised
with rigorous impartiality on behalf of all people in the diversity
of their identities;

– There must be just redress
for the devastating effects of decades of Zionist colonization
in the pre- and post-state period, including the abrogation of
all laws, and ending all policies, practices and systems of military
and civil control that oppress and discriminate on the basis
of ethnicity, religion or national origin;

– The recognition of the diverse
character of the society, encompassing distinct religious, linguistic
and cultural traditions, and national experiences;

– The creation of a non-sectarian
state that does not privilege the rights of one ethnic or religious
group over another and that respects the separation of state
from all organized religion;

– The implementation of the
Right of Return for Palestinian refugees in accordance with UN
Resolution 194 is a fundamental requirement for justice, and
a benchmark of the respect for equality.

– The creation of a transparent
and nondiscriminatory immigration policy;

– The recognition of the historic
connections between the diverse communities inside the new, democratic
state and their respective fellow communities outside;

– In articulating the specific
contours of such a solution, those who have been historically
excluded from decision-making — especially the Palestinian Diaspora
and its refugees, and Palestinians inside Israel — must play
a central role;

– The establishment of legal
and institutional frameworks for justice and reconciliation.

The struggle for justice and
liberation must be accompanied by a clear, compelling and moral
vision of the destination ­ a solution in which all people
who share a belief in equality can see a future for themselves
and others. We call for the widest possible discussion, research
and action to advance a unitary, democratic solution and bring
it to fruition.

Madrid and London,


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

Alexander Cockburn’s Guillotined! and A Colossal Wreck are available from CounterPunch. Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His new book is Killing Trayvons: an Anthology of American Violence (with JoAnn Wypijewski and Kevin Alexander Gray). He can be reached at: sitka@comcast.net.

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