I sincerely believe that if we could convince the majority of Americans of the truth of these words we could have peace and reconciliation in the Middle East this instant. I write these words and know that they are the truth.
Dr. Andrew Freeman, PhD (Linguistics & *Near Eastern Studies*)
The One State Declaration
Statement, Various Authors, 29 November 2007
Editor's Note: The following statement was issued by participants in the July 2007 Madrid meeting on a one state solution and the November 2007 London Conference.
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 them.
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 return.
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:
· 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, 2007
Carlos Prieto del Campo
The London One State Group