Since 1967 discussion around Israel and Palestine has always differentiated between the territory considered “Israeli,” the 78% of historic Palestine that lies within the 1967 borders, and the “Occupied Palestinian Territory,” the 22% of Palestine comprising the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza – the “two-state solution”. This reflected the idea that somehow one day a Palestinian state would arise alongside Israel.
Today it is obvious that the two-state solution is gone, finally buried under settlements and settlement blocs, a massive network of highways that incorporates the West Bank irreversibly into Israel, the Separation Barrier and a vast matrix of military bases. So much Palestinian land has been lost, so fragmented has the Palestinian territory become, that no coherent and contiguous territory exists anymore upon which a Palestinian state could be established. East Jerusalem, where the Palestinian capital would have been, is gone, its urban space reduced to tiny Palestinian enclaves amidst massive settlements, the entire Palestinian sector annexed to Israel decades before.
What this means is that today only one state exists between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River – Israel. Only one government effectively rules the entire country: Israel’s. Only one army controls it: the IDF. There is but one official currency (the Israeli shekel), one water and electrical system, one highway system, etc. The day when we begin advocating a one-state solution is not far off. To prepare the public for that transition, we should begin speaking of Palestine/Israel as one entity. And we should demand equal rights for all inhabitants of that country.
ICAHD’s “Judaizing Palestine” Campaign makes the point that the Zionist dream of conquering the entire Land of Israel has been accomplished. Whether official Israeli policy supports a two-state solution, aspires to perpetuate its present control of the entire country in a kind of de facto apartheid or is in fact working towards expulsion of the Palestinian middle classes and the warehousing of the rest in Gaza-like cells, one reality prevails: Israel has turned the entire country between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River into a single state.
The “Judaizing Palestine” Campaign will document the current one-state reality and begin the process of viewing the country as it is and will be: a single polity. It stresses the fact, crucial for advocacy, that Israel has eliminated the two-state solution. Since apartheid/warehousing is unacceptable, a bi-national, democratic state is the only option Israel has left us with. By the time the Palestinian and Israeli peace camps formulate a onestate solution protecting the collective and individual rights of all the country’s inhabitants, the “judaization” campaign will have provided a basis for viewing Palestine/Israel as once again a single indivisible country.
Although “judaization” has no bearing in international law, unlike genocide, ethnic cleansing, occupation and apartheid, it captures the nature of Israel’s policy of displacement. Nonetheless, a key goal of this proposed campaign is to introduce this concept – which is officially used by Israeli governments – so as to “name” this policy and process.
The Focus on House Demolitions:
Nothing demonstrates the existence of a state oppressing its subject population more than Israel’s policy of house demolitions, part of an ongoing process of ethnic cleansing that has continued since 1947/48 on both sides of the “Green Line.” Over the years Israel has demolished well over 100,000 Palestinian homes – at least 52,000 in 1948 and the years immediately following, some 46,000 in the Occupied Territory since 1967, and thousands more within Israel over the years (al-Araqib, an “unrecognised” community of Israeli (Bedouin) citizens in the northern Negev, has been demolished over 80 times in the past five years). The wholesale destruction of entire villages, towns, urban neighbourhoods, cities and their infrastructures has fundamentally damaged the very fabric of Palestinian society, as has the trauma of each individual demolition. It is this ongoing process of ethnic cleansing and displacement that continues today on both sides of the “Green Line” that forms the central focus of the Judaizing Palestine campaign.
ICAHD’s campaign will help link the disparate efforts to fight house demolitions now being waged in a fragmented and sporadic manner – in the West Bank, in East Jerusalem, in the Negev/Naqab, in the Galilee and in the Palestinian urban neighbourhoods throughout Israel – into more coherent actions, both on the part of Israel and Palestinian organisations already engaged in this issue, new partners, and our colleagues. Hopefully it will also advance the process of formulating a just solution to the conflict after the death of the two-state solution.
– This entire article can also be downloaded as a pdf here: Judaizing Palestine.