One State Conference at Harvard’s Kennedy School

  [Before the first intifada brought in journalists with pen, paper and cameras,  many  Americans were unaware  that a place called Palestine existed. This black out was by Zionist design, giving the colonial state the time it needed to systematically erase Palestine and the Palestinians before anyone discovered it and the genocide blueprint. The Intifada foiled the plot and it has been downhill for Israel ever since.
With the internet it is hopeless for Israel cover ups. The horror is exposed. Anyone who wants to know will know and does know.
 Israel itself will not survive the light. Not a two state, not a one state. One way or another, public pressure is going to crush Israel, the whole of it.]

Bo Fauth, one of PIN’s founders and co-chair of FOSNA in New England, attended the One State Conference at Harvard’s Kennedy School and wrote this review:
On the first weekend in March, students at the Harvard Kennedy School held a conference on Israel/Palestine and the One-State Solution.  The conference was designed to help expand the range of academic debate and to educate “about the possible contours of a one-state solution and the challenges in the way of its realization.”  Like the first conference on this topic held three years ago at the University of Massachusetts in Boston, pressure was put on the sponsoring university to cancel the conference.  In a statement to the Boston Globe, Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, calling upon Harvard to cancel the conference, said that he wanted “to condemn in the strongest possible terms Harvard’s sponsorship of a conference exploring a “one-state solution” to the Israel-Palestinian conflict… This is dangerous thinking that gives comfort to Israel’s enemies who view the ‘one-state solution’ as a euphemism for eliminating Israel as a Jewish state.”
Despite the pressure Senator Brown, the Anti-Defamation League, and others put on Harvard, the conference was held and was sold out.  In front of the entrance, a small group of picketers handed out sheets equating Anti-Zionism with Anti-Semitism. Inside the Kennedy School, a panel of Ali Abunimah, Eve Spangler and Stephen Walt addressed the question of what has happened to the two-state solution.  The answer, according to Walt, lies in the demographics and Israel’s settlement building.  Israel, which has settled 600,000 Israelis in the West Bank despite promises to halt settlements, has never believed in two states.  The settlement expansion in the last twenty years leaves no viable two-state solution, although Walt believes that a one-state solution will result in further ethnic cleansing and apartheid.
Abunimah suggested that people’s fervent belief in two states is akin to a belief in the tooth fairy.  He never thought a two-state solution was just, because it never addressed the needs of the Palestinians. The question will be resolved through raw struggle from the grass roots.  BDS (which a later panelist urged should be stated in full as Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions and repeated often as the politics of repetition) is a greater threat to Israel than Iran.
Eve Spangler noted that Zionists have never been reticent about their territorial ambitions, and she faulted the negotiations for having always been entered on the basis of Israel’s needs and wants, rather than on international law.  The defense of Israel as a Jewish state is driven by an ideology of exclusion and privilege, but the absolute bedrock should be the human and civil rights of all.
The conference featured two keynote speakers: Ali Abunimah and Ilan Pappe.  Abunimah credited Edward Said for the idea of a single state and said that the two-state solution ignores the facts on the ground and the unequal power of the parties.  We must not be afraid to talk about whether Israel has a right to be a Jewish state.  Abunimah has no sympathy for the fictional narrative of a land without a people for a people without a land; the reality is that Israel is a colonial state.  Political rights alone cannot redress the injustice of the occupation; there must be economic justice and a regime of equality, as well.
Ilan Pappe sees more urgency in 2012 in that we have witnessed two funeral processions: one for the death of the two-state solution, as evidenced by the non-vote at the UN, and the other for the death of liberal Zionism.  Israel can be a Zionist Jewish Apartheid state or a democratic one, but it cannot be both.  Palestine has become the world’s largest mega-prison, with the West Bank as an open-air prison and Gaza as a maximum security prison, both of which require a huge staff to run.  Journalists should report on the cumulative, daily atrocities which result in collective punishment for those who have not committed a crime.  Pappe, however, feels that with the Arab Spring and the many one-state conferences, we’re at the dawn of a new era.   We need to change the framing and shift the paradigm of peace to the paradigm of decolonialism and of ending occupation.

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