If readers of my blog were to read any of the posts on religion and some of the posts on Palestine, they would quickly deduce a massive contradiction in what I write. On the one hand, there is me describing religion as the great “gobbly-gook”, while on the other I am talking about a two-state solution for Palestine, where a viable Palestinian state might find its place alongside the continued existence of a Jewish state. To be honest, this is only a result of an inadequate attempt to see the world as it is and at the same time get the best possible deal for a people who have lost everything. Of course, in reality, if the two-state solution wasn’t dead before 1993, Oslo and what has happened since has killed it. Therefore, two questions arise; a) what kind of state are the Palestinians likely to be offered? and b) Do I really want to tolerate Jewish states, Christian states, Muslim states, Buddhist states, Hindu states or any other kind of state that is based on the ascendency of a particular ethnic or religious group?
The kind of the “state” that the Palestinians might be offered by the Israelis and were offered by the Israelis at Oslo, cannot be a proper state; it will not be one continuous geographical entitity and it will not be sovereign in any real sense of the word. Indeed, its creation would be a rubber stamp for the Zionists and Israel’s policy of ethnic cleansing. This is a conclusion that was reached by Edward Said before his death in 2003(1) and has since been supported by Jonathan Cook(2), Ali Abunimah(3) and others. It might be that what we should be looking for is a Palestine for all of its citizens. Of course, when I think about the present realities in the Middle East such a one-state solution becomes even more illusory than that two-state solution envisaged by my inadequate attempt to see the world as it is. Nevertheless, the “Jewish Democracy” likes to portray itself as a bastion of western civilisation, we in the west might begin by letting Israel know that we are moving towards multi-cultural, truely democratic societies and that those societies, while not always free from racism, xenophobia and discrimination, are, at least, states for all of their citizens. Moreover, the fight against racism, xenophobia and discrimination is, I believe, being won in the west, it can only be won if we do not tolerate it elsewhere.