Thank you to Shmuel Rosner for reminding me of this startling interview Reuven Rivlin, the speaker of the Knesset, gave a couple of years ago, in reference to the two-state solution. Seems apropos given the news in Haaretz today, which I wrote about below.
Read the whole thing, but here's an excerpt:
Two months ago, at a meeting with the Greek ambassador, devoted largely to discussing the financial crisis, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin referred to a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "I would prefer for the Palestinians to be citizens of this country," he said, "rather than divide the land." This was no slip of the tongue. Rivlin's office gave the statement to the press, thereby making him the highest-ranking political figure to have publicly raised the possibility of a single State of Israel from the Mediterranean to the Jordan.
Rivlin places those comments within the framework of a broader outlook: The land, he says, is not divisible. Jews and Arabs have lived side by side here since the dawn of Zionism and before. His own family arrived in Palestine in the early 19th century. Settlement east of the Green Line is no more moral than settlement to the west of it. And incidentally, the Palestinian claim is as legitimate and just as the Jewish claim.
And the solution? The Knesset Speaker rejects the idea of a "state of all its citizens", i.e. − a binational state. But he is pondering the possibility of some kind of joint sovereignty arrangement in Judea and Samaria under the Jewish state, or even a regime composed of two parliaments, one Jewish and one Arab.
"We're living in a political reality that requires answers. "When people say that the demographic threat necessitates a separation, my reply is that the lesser danger, the lesser evil, is a single state in which there are equal rights for all citizens. Realpolitik requires us to opt for the danger in the demographic threat over the existential threat of separation.
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