On looking at the map, the reason for the Palastinian/Arab rejection of the partition plan proposed by the UN general assembly in 1947 needs no further explanation. Again, we might want to revisit King, Victor Emmanuel III’s “Ma è ancora casa di alltri“. However, less understandable would appear to be the rejection of the British White Paper of 17 May 1939, which Gilbert Achcar quite rightly referes to as “the major historical error of the Palestinian national movement.”
This document rejected the idea of creating a Jewish state on Palestinian soil and just as importantly, it not only declared itself in favour of limiting Jewish immigration for the next five years to 75,000 annually, but it also promised an independent Palestinian state, which would be ruled proportionally, within ten years. Therefore, even if we are to look at the map of Palestine at the time of the UN partition plan some nine years later, we would quickly conclude that that White Paper would appear to form the basis for the best scenario that Palestinians could ever have hoped for. However, we might want to go further and in light the events since, there is enough evidence to suggest that any two-state solution has never been a viable alternative for Palestinians. Especially when we consider the aims of Zionism and the record of the Zionists
Indeed, the ongoing ethnic cleansing which began in 1948 and which continues to this day was always there to ensure that the Palestinians could never have a state of their own. Therefore, it should come as no surprise when we read in yesterday’s ‘Guardian’ that Israel has decided to go ahead and build 1,100 homes in an East Jerusalem settlement. Of course, it comes as no surprise, this has been an ongoing pattern since 1948 and surely, surely, even the most myopic among us must realise that, as far as Israel is concerned, there is to be no two-state solution. That is why we might want to give a one-state solution as suggested by Ali Abunimah and others our consideration.
Unfortunately, while the ‘Guardian’ reports on a decision to expand the settlements as if it were real news, the real news is contained elsewhere in the article:
“An Israeli police investigation concluded that a settler and his infant son, who were killed when their car overturned last Friday, had been struck by a rock thrown by Palestinians. At their funeral on Sunday night, a rabbi called for “collective punishment” of Palestinians, saying “there are no innocents in a war”.
In 1939 it was not only the Palestinians who rejected the British White Paper, but it was also vehemently opposed by the Zionist movement. With 500,000 settlers living in the Occupied Territories – in 1939 the total Jewish population of all of Palestine was less than 500,000 – and with not only individual Zionists calling for the collective punishment of Palestinians, but with it also being practiced by the Zionist state itself, the one state solution, like the two state solution, is at present a chimera. For either to be otherwise, it will require condemning Zionism, like other forms of colonialism, to the dustbin of history and that is where the real political struggle lies.