Oh Isratine: The One State Solution

660px-flag_of_israelsvg200px-muammar_al-gaddafi-09122003palestinian flagThe New York Times had a curious op-ed piece this week from Libyan President Muammar Qaddafi who proposed a “one-state solution” to the Palestinian crisis: a new Israeli-Palestinian state called Isratine. It was a surprising source for advice on the issue from a man not only linked to “Carlos the Jackal” and terrorist operations like the destruction of Pam Am flight 103, but a man whose previously solution was to push Israeli Jews into the sea.

Qaddafi the columnist can be credited with the idea of reaching a compromise — and for the improvements in his relations with the West in the last few years. It is also a major advance to hear Qaddafi say the following words:

The basis for the modern State of Israel is the persecution of the Jewish people, which is undeniable. The Jews have been held captive, massacred, disadvantaged in every possible fashion by the Egyptians, the Romans, the English, the Russians, the Babylonians, the Canaanites and, most recently, the Germans under Hitler. The Jewish people want and deserve their homeland.

It is the new country that he outlines that is a bit of a novelty:

In absolute terms, the two movements must remain in perpetual war or a compromise must be reached. The compromise is one state for all, an “Isratine” that would allow the people in each party to feel that they live in all of the disputed land and they are not deprived of any one part of it.

It is better that Qaddafiland. It sounds better in a national anthem.
Oh, Isratine
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The One State strong and free!
From far and wide, O Isratine,
We stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Isratine, we stand on guard for thee.
O Isratine, we stand on guard for thee.

For the New York Times op-ed, click here.

34 thoughts on “Oh Isratine: The One State Solution”

  1. If anyone is interested, there are a handful of plausible if not interesting arguments made on behalf of a “one-state” solution available online: one the more articulate I’ve heard comes courtesy of Saree Makdisi (as heard on C-SPAN; he discusses this in his book Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation, 2008: 281-298), and the Wikipedia entry on same has links to most of these. The ones available are by Daniel Lazare at The Nation (2003), Virginia Tilley in the London Review of Books (2003), Tony Judt in the New York Review of Books (2003) and Helena Cobban in the Boston Review (2008). It only seems fair that if we want to assess the merits of this particular argument that we ought to examine its best exemplars.(I have nothing against ancedotal or biographically-inspired arguments as such, but more objective arguments are ‘out there’ and deserve close scrutiny).

    I have four posts at the Ratio Juris blog on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that address *some* of the questions, observations and comments raised and made above and I would invite everyone to have a look at them:





  2. Dear Mike S.,

    My criticism of Isreal does not ignore anything. I strongly believe that the creation of Isreal was necessary, in some form, after the Holocaust. I don’t believe pointing out the faults of that country some how excuses the bahavior in the Arab countries you’ve mentioned; which at many times seem to be stuck in the 7th century.

    I’ve routinely criticized the Bush administration and our “war on terror” not because I hate America, but because I think our government is leveraging the future of this country, in favor of better security, by scrapping our constitution. I don’t waste my time going after the Taliban because I think they’re a bunch of evil caveman. I guess I figure as a democracy, and relatively free country for the region, Isreal and those who care about it could take the criticism.

    But you tell me; doesn’t Isreal have to engage in a form of defacto apartheid to keep itself Jewish, given the respective population growths of the Jewish and Arab communities? I’m not trying to be a smart ass. But really, how can Isreal remain Jewish without ghettoizing the Arabs within its boarders? I also notices last week that the Isreali government said it would allow all Palistinians with foreign passports to leave the country (for good?) at thois time.

    Now I assume that some Native American tribe once held claim, or atleast used, the land my house is on. I realize I have the good fortune of not having to confront rockets launched by the former inhabitants of my home largely because of the passage of centuries. Unfortunately their are still Arabs who can see thier former homes, farms etc. which have been taken from them.

    I am someone who thinks the notion of God granting certain people dominion over certsin realestate is fantasy. And I realise that early notions of of European’s dominion of this country was based upon it being their devine right.

    Maybe it’s too bad that all of the Jews displaced during the Holocaust (and before and after) didn’t just come to this country. I seem to recall a alleged conversation between Balfour and ,I think, Prince Fasil werein Balfour tried to convince the prince that the Jews needed a safe country of thier own, and the prince said in essence, yeah I do too, give them Germany.

    I would be genuinely curious as to your thoughts on coutnries like Italy and Germany, or the U.S. for that matter, trying to keep imigrants out in order to preserve there ethic heritage. I have family in Italy and they are more than a little xenophobic about the Albanians and Africans that are growing in number. Do they have a right to fear Italy becoming less Italian? I really don’t know.

    I can sympathize with why Jews support Isreal. But I don’t think it is a topic that one can’t address unless one is Jewish. I also don’t mean to suggest I defend the tactics of groups such as Hamas and Hezbola. But seriously, if these groups magically disappeared tomorrow, if every Arab in the region magically was unable to harm any Jewish person, (like a robot under Isaac Azimov’s law’s of robotics: no Arab shall harm a Jew or from inaction allow a Jew to be harmed), wouldn’t Isreal still have to think of a way to get them out of the country given the changing demographics?

  3. “The 800 pound gorilla in the room is the fact that by its very definition the state of Isreal has to show racial and ethnic preferences in how it treats those living within its borders.”

    Your point is interesting, but like Jimmy Carter’s it ignores the other 800 pound gorilla. Saudi Arabia, Iran, Libya, Syria and the UAE define citizenship requirements in terms of being of the Islamic Faith. They deny social and religious freedom to those who are not Muslim. I believe the same is true of Afghanistan and Pakistan, but don’t know it for a fact. Why is it that the Jews can’t have their own state and Muslim’s can? Whatever evils you ascribe to Israel at least their Islamic and Christian populations are considered citizens and have the rights of citizens. This is not true of the states I mentioned above.

    Now if you want to get back to the topic of The West Bank and Gaza, then you have a point. Israel should get out of both places ASAP. However, there is a small problem of rockets from Hamas and their determination to destroy the State of Israel. I’m not a backer of Israel’s current offensive because I think it plays into Hamas/Saudi hands, however, just what are they to do about rockets?

    Now of course it is possible that you are someone who believes that Israel has no right to exist, being a State created in the 1940’s. That may have merit, but then so were most of the surrounding Arab states, which were created by Britain and the US to aid their oil interests. Prior to that they were all part of the Ottoman Empire, etc. Just as Jordan exists, so does Israel. Neither are going away anytime soon so the real question is how do we create a viable peace, rather than Israel’s existence as a Jewish state.

    Now you might answer me that none of those states should have a religious nature to their governments and in the broad sense I would agree with you. That, however, will not happen in our, or our great grandchildren’s lifetime. So we are left with the current state of affairs.

    Please let me, as a Jew who has opposed the Israeli Government since Begin’s ascension, explain to you why Israel’s existence matters so much to Jews. I am an American. Love my country and I am patriotic to it, except when it’s wrong such as Iraq. I am also of the Jewish faith. I am aware that until the dawn of the 1950’s Jews were despised and discriminated against in the US, at a level that didn’t equal that of Afro or Native Americans, but there have been many Jewish lynchings also.

    As someone aware of Jewish history I find it replete with instances where Jews appeared to be accepted in some country’s, in some era’s, only to be set upon when economic`condition’s changed and scapegoat’s were needed. Jews in Germany for instance had few problems for a hundred years prior to Hitler. The real lesson of the Shoah for Jews was that the time for passive victimhood had ended. The simple reason being that we get killed, or hurt, one way or another so why not go down fighting. As much as I love my country, the USA, I am also aware of how tenuous acceptance of Jews is (check out some Southern Baptist websites)and the possibility, slim I hope, that I will have to take my family and go. Where would I go to? I remember the ship laden with Jews during WWII that was refused entry in all country’s only to be returned to the Nazi’s.

    As a non-Jew I’m aware that you may see this as foolish, but given the Irish nomenclature you use as a pseudonym perhaps you have some knowledge of the treatment the Irish received in Ireland and then in the US when they arrived. I’m not claiming victimhood as dispensation, only a sense of reality born of thousands of historical years. I’m not, incidentally, trying to debate this whole issue with you, as I have said elsewhere, been there, done that, not worth the rise in my BP. You will also notice that I don’t claim that everyone who opposes Israel and its’ right to exist is anti-Jewish, that is a futile AIPAC dodge that gets old the more it’s used. There are many on this site who differ with me on Israel, but from their writing I know that is a difference born of point of view and not bigotry.

    I’m only trying to provide insight into how and why Jews support Israel. Do with it what you will.

  4. Wow, you are a small minded little jackass, aren’t you? Enjoy your mental illness. We all certainly find it entertaining.

  5. the state of Israel should not have been created in Palestine. But it has been so now the Jews have a right to defend themselves. The Palestinians could have had a state years ago by playing the victim but as someone told me arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opprtunity.

  6. I’m not that kind of doctor. But acknowledging you have a problem is the first step to recovery, congratulations.

  7. your your

    wordpress error

    Regulars, do any of you ever have words repeat in posts or posts double? I think it’s just normal operation but wondered if any of you experienced this from time to time as well.

  8. BTW, talk to your psychiatrist. I’d suggest lithium and an anti-psychotic in your your case.

  9. Last sentence was written before your snark bullshit above posted, troll. It’s official now.

  10. Although after reading some of your other posts, Bron, I suspect you are just a simple racist. Look, sport, if you are trying to help traditional conservatives, you’re really screwing the pooch. Take a lesson from FFLEO on what a real Republican is supposed to look and act like. I don’t think you’re evil per se, but you are certainly brainwashed. And God, your Christian “God”, has no place in public discourse. That’s for church and inside your own little heart. You want to talk ethics, fine, but keep your retrograde, misused, misquoted, maladapted 8th Century Sky God out of governance, you know, that whole process of keeping everyone alive and safe, because for 2000 plus years now you wishful thinking Jesus worshipers (and He Himself said “Do not worship me.”) have sucked at it. S-U-C-K-E-D. The reason is simple. Governance relies on FACT. Your religion requires blind exclusionary belief and will trample fact in the name of dogma. Ask Galileo. Ask Pope Pius X. Ask Tomas de Torquemada. History shows God (any version) and government are generally oil and water. The notable exception being Tibet which only worked due to physical isolation and some of the unique characteristics of Buddhism. Every other attempt at “God and government”, which is theocracy no matter how much you protest, has ended up in a lovely repressive craphole like Saudi Arabia. And they have to a one self-destructed. Yes, this is a nation founded mostly by Christians, most of the Founding Fathers were deists not fundamentalists, but they made it unconstitutional for the government to establish a state religion because of the abuses of the English monarchy and elsewhere in Europe done in “the name of God.” Yeah, they were Christians. Christians smart enough to know that their religion had no place in government either expressly or by implication. So what kind of Christian are you? From what you’ve said so far, I’m thinking the not so smart type. And before you think I’m giving you the troll treatment, I’m not. This is the “you’re very misguided” treatment. Call it tough love. But you are skirting troll territory.

Comments are closed.