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Feb
16

Israel-Palestine: One state, two states – any advance on three? | Letters

It has taken time – and has happened for the wrong reasons – for the US to abandon support for the two-state “solution” of the Israel-Palestine conflict (Trump rips up decades of US policy on Israel, 16 February). Now it’s time for the British government to do the same. The only reason for Israel and the US in the past to support the idea of two states has been to maintain the Jewish exclusivity of Israel at the expense both of the Palestinians who live in it and of those Jewish Israelis, perhaps 50%, who are secular and chafe under the rule of the rabbis.

Whichever “one state” Trump is willing to accept, it will surely be a step in the right direction. If it is a single state between the Jordan and the Mediterranean, with equal rights for all its inhabitants, it will effectively revive the original state of Palestine, albeit with a larger proportion of Jews than lived there before 1948. Those Jews who wish to adhere to the Jewish religion will be free to do so, those who don’t will be relieved of the control of a religiously dominated government and constitution, and the Palestinians will finally be living in a land from which they have been excluded for nearly 70 years. And, miraculously, the problem of the settlers will disappear because they will be able to stay where they are as citizens of the new state, although without the privileged access and security they have today.

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