Op-Ed: The One State Solution
Joel BainermanJoel Bainerman is an independent researcher of Israeli affairs. His research...
Contrary to what most Israelis believe, the One-State Solution (OSS) is not a bi-national federation in which the
All citizens of the State of Israel would be free to work and take up residence anywhere in the country.
Jews give up their national sovereignty and enter into a 50:50 partnership with the Arabs. In the OSS Israel grants full Israeli citizenship to the West Bankers, ending the state of military rule over them. The Israeli army continues to safeguard the borders between Israel and Gaza, and the West Bank and Jordan.
Nothing else would change in an OSS. Hebrew and Arabic will still be the two main national languages. Arab holidays would become state holidays for Arab citizens. All citizens of the State of Israel would be free to work and take up residence anywhere in the country.
The One State Solution is a Win-Win for Everyone
The West Bankers will no longer be in regional conflict with Israel. They will be able to pursue their full economic rights in the Israeli national economy - equal to any other Israeli citizen. This includes a right to work in any job, anywhere in Israel, and the right to own assets and property. As citizens, they would have the right to sue the Israeli government in a civil court for what they claim was the theft of their land or other property.
The Israeli government would take over the task and responsibility for rehabilitating the approximately 175,000 Arabs who live in refugee camps today on the West Bank. It would also upgrade the entire social, economic, educational, health and public infrastructure in the West Bank. As the economy grows, a local, municipal tax system will be introduced, so that the regional councils have the money to maintain the infrastructure and provide essential government services.
Israel will no longer have to deploy the Israeli army to rule over the West Bankers, nor will any Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria be dismantled. Israel's reputation abroad will improve. There will no longer be any justification for the criticism that Israel "violates human and civil rights in the West Bank", as the residents there will be granted full Israeli citizenship.
The Economic Benefits of the One State Solution
The West Bankers are more valuable to Israel's long-term interests gainfully employed in Israel, and as consumers in the national economy, than they are remaining under its military rule.
The One State Solution will enable the Israeli government to invest 50 billion shekels over the next ten years for new infrastructure projects and apartment buildings for the West Bankers. Tax revenues collected by the Israeli government from the Israeli companies and workers on these infrastructure projects will repay the interest and principal on the invested capital. This additional economic growth will be critical, as it will compensate the Israeli economy for the loss of exports due to the slowing of the global economy over the next five or more years.
The Israeli Arab economy will experience unprecedented growth in a One State Solution. The Israeli Arabs will serve as a bridge between the Israeli and West Bank economies. They will be the lead managers in the new infrastructure development projects that Israel will finance in the West Bank and in Israeli Arab communities.
The One State Solution Can Work
The "Two State Solution" to solving the conflict didn't work. It was tried and it failed. The stark reality is that there never will be a stable, prosperous independent Palestinian state. We need to move on to something else.
The One State Solution to the conflict already exists. It's called the State of Israel.
Israel has the right, and indeed the moral responsibility, to grant full citizenship to the people under its dominion and sovereignty. The OSS does this.
The One State Solution to the conflict already exists. It's called the State of Israel. No agreement with any existing Palestinian political entity is required for Israel to begin allocating work permits and ID cards for every West Bank resident. It will be up to the West Bankers if they wish to accept it. Most probably will. Considering the other options available to them (i.e., the status quo), they will see no reason not to take the offer. What are the alternatives?
For the Israeli Jewish population, annexing the West Bank does not endanger the Jewish majority of the State of Israel. The size of Israel's Arab minority is not relevant, if this minority is gainfully employed, happy and content. Israel can remain a Jewish state with Jewish sovereignty.
The OSS will not create a bi-national state, but a much more efficient "bi-ethnic" state.