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One State, Two States: Resolving the Israel/Palestine Conflict Paperback – March 23, 2010
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“I urge you, in the strongest terms, to read ‘One State, Two States.’ . . . I very much hope that it will ignite a freer, more honest, radically different conversation on the left, one informed by historical knowledge and current realities rather than the fantasies—alternately sentimental, infantile and grandiose—for which such a high price has been paid by all sides.”—Susie Linfield, TruthDig.com
(Susie Linfield TruthDig.com)
From the Author
A conversation with Benny Morris
Q: What do you see as the relation between this book and 1948: The First Arab-Israeli War?
A: In a way, One State,Two States follows through on 1948. That is, 1948 is still with us, both in the sense that a two-state solution for the Palestine problem is what the international community and the Israeli left and center still want, and in the sense that the refugee problem, created in that year, remains with us and is the main motor force of Palestinian revanchism.
Q: Last year, you stated that if Palestine were to accord Israel legitimacy, this conflict would be soluble but that, at present, the Palestinian mindset makes this impossible. How can this mindset be changed?
A: Mindsets can be changed over the long term through education and gradual osmosis. But this doesn’t seem to be happening among the Palestinians or, for that matter, the Arab world in general. Rather the oppositethese peoples are growing increasingly radicalized, making the requisite change of mindset even less probable in coming decades. Alternatively, mindsets can be changed at a stroke, albeit a very violent stroke, in a critical instant in historyas German and Japanese mindsets changed almost overnight around 1945. Perhaps a similar trauma would do it for the Arab world. Perhaps.
Q: Are you now more hopeful about the possibility of resolving the Israeli-Arab conflict?
A: No, I do not hold out high hopes for the future, believing that the Palestinian national movement has never accepted, and continues to reject, in its innermost being, a two-state solution, while most Israeli Jews, 99 percent of them, do not agree to a one-state solution and most Arabs will not agree to sharing government in a one-state solution based on parity, so neither solution will come about. So, no, I am not optimistic.
Q: What impact do you hope your book will have?
A: I hope it will propel readers to think about the problem and its possible, or impossible, solutions. And to think about the Jordanian option, which I believe should be resurrected as the only, albeit slim, avenue toward a brighter future.
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Top Customer Reviews
Morris opens with a brief exposition of the One State idea and history of its recent support in America, Europe, and among some Palestinians. The meat of the book follows with a history of how both Jews-Zionists-Israelis and Palestinians thought about statehood from the 1930s to the present. Like much of Morris work, this is a well written piece of exposition. The gist of Morris' conclusions is that from the late 30s to the present, the Jews-Israelis were/are willing to accept some form of partition and a two state solution and that the Palestinian's, despite multiple defeats and social catastrophe, were/are not. Morris argues that the Palestinians are not only unwilling to accept a two state solution but essentially unwilling to tolerate substantial numbers of Jews in Palestine.Read more ›
Professor Morris grossly understates the importance of the more 130 illegal settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem which leaves little hope for a two state solution. It should be obvious that from the beginning of the creation of the Jewish state, Israel planned to expand its territory into the West Bank and to keep all of Jerusalem.
I could site many examples of bias, but I shall just explain one. I refer to the Camp David Peace initiative organized by President Clinton with Ehud Barak representing Israel and Yasir Arafat representing the Palestinians. It is true President Clinton put most of the blame on Arafat, but both sides are equal to blame. It is clear Israel never intended to give up East Jerusalem. Ehud told Clinton this before the initiative began. It was also the Israeli proposal to take 9% of the West Bank including the territory adjacent to Jerusalem which included a large number of illegal settlements. Arafat was also to blame as he refused to make a counter proposal. Arafat also refused to give up the idea of resettlement of Arabs into Israel.
Solomon Ben-Ali, israel's Minister of Foreign Relations at the time, and a participant in the negotiations stated, "Camp David was not a missed opportunity for the Palestinians and if I were a Palestinian, I would have rejected Camp David as well."
I wish Israel and Palestine could live in peace in separate but friendly states. Here I agree with Morris that the situation at this point is beyond possible.Read more ›
Such a commendation need not presume that Morris' book represents the "last word" on the subject, nor need it pretend that the book is "bias-free". It is clear, almost from the first sentence, that Benny Morris writes as an Israeli; his perspective is shaped both by his essential sympathy with the Israeli "narrative" and by his affirmation of Israel's right not only to exist but to exist as a Jewish state. In this reader's judgment, however, those sympathies and loyalties do not prevent Morris from offering critical assessments of Israeli government actions in those instances in which he sees those actions as wrong-headed, nor does it prevent Morris from recognizing some of the particular challenges (and they are sobering challenges, indeed) that would face the Palestinian people were they to attempt to build a functioning state on the two small parcels of land currently available to them: the West Bank and Gaza.
And so one commends this small volume as one particularly well-written "testimony": a well-researched historian's testimony concerning the genesis of the Israel/Palestine conflict, at the same time a thoughtful citizen's not entirely despairing testimony concerning possible roads into the future: roads that just might initiate a process by which this tragic conflict may one day be resolved.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Morris does a good job of documenting and re-hashing the origins of the conflict. He makes a well-supported argument that the Palestinians do not want and have never wanted a... Read morePublished 10 months ago by polibooks
I had to leave a rating to comment, but I thought it was unfair to give it 1 star and lower it's ratings. this book is one of a series of books purchased for my daughter. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Marie Utah McNair
Benny Morris is most likely the best authority on Israeli palestinian history among current day scholars. Read morePublished on December 25, 2011 by Mati Shoshani
I looked all over for an even-handed, non-propaganda book about this conflict, but about halfway through Mr Morris shows his hand. Read morePublished on June 2, 2011 by Burleigh Grimes
First of all, you should note that the majority - or possibly all - of the editorial reviews above ( which I was stupid enough to trust)refer to Morris' work " 1948: A History of... Read morePublished on December 1, 2010 by Desiree Skiold
This book presents a very detailed assessment of the development and variety of concepts proposed since the late 19th Century regarding a resolution for the Israeli-Arab conflict... Read morePublished on February 20, 2010 by Ilana Novak
I've always been a fan of Morris's historical work, but this book was a big disappointment. First of all, only the last 2-3 pages is dedicated to "solving the Israel/Palestine... Read morePublished on October 16, 2009 by S. Lee