The Leftist Critique of the One-State Solution

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A fascinating Michael Weiss interview with the Israeli leftist Zionist Gadi Taub. Here's one exchange about the anti-Zionism of the settlers:

MW: One of the more interesting points you make in your settlements book is that settlers seem to be echoing the sentiments of the anti-Zionist left in calling for a binational state. You quote Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook and Shlomo Aviner and others who make it plain that they'd rather see Greater Israel with an Arab majority than any division of land.  That the intelligentsia of the Yesha Council more and more resembles the collective wisdom of the London Review of Books might be taken for a sign of how just marginalised and discredited the settlement project is.

GT: I think that's very true. Which is why recently some on the right have been arguing for annexation which will include full citizenship to all residents of the territories.

I have very little respect for that solution when it comes from them, just as I have little respect for it when it comes from anti-Zionists.

A look at Gaza, where the differences between Hamas and Fatah were settled by the use of arms, should help us all wake up from imaginary schemes of peaceful bi-nationalism. I don't see how Gaza would have turned into a liberal democracy if only there was a Jewish faction added to the mix. What the one-statists are promoting is going to be a chronic Lebanon style civil war. And the odd thing is, how little the London Review has drifted from old colonial habits of mind. The natives - we Jews and Arabs - aspire to national self-determination. But the good ol' Brits, never tired of carrying the White Man's Burden, know that the natives are too barbaric to understand what the right form of self-determination should be for them. So until they grow up, we, Western intellectuals, will serve as their political parents, and impose on them the state we know they should want. Because it is Western and enlightened, of course.


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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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