Sunday, March 31, 2024

Norman Finkelstein: Israel is facing an existential crisis and South Africa offers a model for a one-state

    Sunday, March 31, 2024   No comments

The American Jewish historian, Norman Finkelstein, Argues that “Israel” is facing an existential crisis for the first time since its establishment, and suggests that South Africa offers a model for a one-state solution for one people of different backgrounds.

The American Jewish thinker and historian who opposes the Israeli occupation policy, Norman Finkelstein, said that “Israel” has obstructed all political solutions in its war on the Gaza Strip. In a symposium held with students at Princeton University, Finkelstein said: “At the current stage at least, we have reached the end of any kind of diplomacy to resolve the conflict,” adding that “talk about a two-state solution seems absolutely ridiculous, and there is no diplomatic solution.” appears in the horizon".

 He pointed out that "Israel is determined to impose a military victory and will not back down from that goal."  Finkelstein explained, “On the other hand, the Secretary-General of Hezbollah said it explicitly, that he will not accept a military defeat for Hamas, and that this will not happen,” adding that “these two goals are not reconcilable, either victorious or defeated.”

Finkelstein believed that "at the level of the Arab and Islamic worlds, a conclusion has been reached that living with Israel is impossible," adding that according to the Arab and Islamic worlds, it is "moronic and must go. For this reason, there is no political solution on the horizon in the short term."

 He pointed out that "Israel is facing, for the first time in its history, a crisis of existence and legitimacy," pointing out that "its main opponent in this regard is South Africa, the country that is confronting it at the International Court of Justice and presenting itself as a model for a one-state solution for one people."

 As for the United States, “the American Democratic Party is facing a crisis with its broad popular base that objects to Israel’s crimes, and the party’s leadership can no longer ignore that base,” according to Finkelstein.

 He continued by saying: "I was shocked and astonished by US Senator Chuck Schumer's speech last week. Senator Schumer has always been fanatical about Israel, and he was the one who called for the economic strangling of Gaza."

 The American writer pointed out that “Senator Schumer, along with New Jersey Senator Menendez, were at the forefront of those opposing the deal with Iran,” explaining that “he served as the official spokesman for the Israeli government in our country.”

 He considered that "Schumer's statements critical of Israel are beyond expectations."

Finkelstein's talk and comments were published on YouTube.

It must be noted that the two-state solution is promoted as the only solution, which is now becoming very hard to realize, when other examples from around the world point to other alternatives. One of these examples mentioned here is the South Africa example. For years the apartheid regime created systems that dehumanize the people of South Africa. The oppression was built in part on the false idea that Africans are incapable of building and running a democracy. All that was proved wrong: Africans overthrew the racist regime but did not purge South Africa of White people. One country for all.

Other examples of single-state solutions to conflict zones are in the Middle East region and they were in part promoted and engineered by Western government and their regional allies. The Lebanese example is just on the other side of the border: After 15 years of civil war, Christians and Muslims settled to live, still in tension, but in peace, thanks to a power-sharing system that allows Christians, Shia Muslims, and Sunni Muslims to create a calibrated power sharing system to preserve the national unity of Lebanon.

After the US invaded Iraq, the constitution and institutions that were produced under the authority of the occupying forces of the United States, produced a power sharing structure that allows the Kurdish people, the Sunni Muslims, and the Shia majority to live in relative peace. It is worth noting that the current president, then a Senor, Biden, promoted the idea of breaking up Iraq—a tri-state solution if you will.

If the South African, Lebanese, and Iraq models of a single-state solution whereby different peoples, separated by religion or ethnicity, can coexist and govern through power sharing structures, why would a single-state solution that would allow Jews, Christians, and Muslims to live in peace through some sort of power-sharing formular be impractical? And how would a two-state solution solve the problem of the non-Jews, nearly 30% of the population who are Christian and Muslim, who would end up in Israel under any border configuration, should the two state-solution come into existence?

As the world community is forced to address this 75-year old conflict, there is much to be learned not only from the moral force that compelled South Africa to stand against genocide, but to offer a practical example of many peoples in one nation living in relative peace despite the cruelty of the past.

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