It’s hard to tell whether the reports that more and more Palestinians are now leaning toward a one-state solution are genuinely due to an increase in supporters of the idea, or to Israeli sensitivity. The binational bogeyman is so off-putting to Israelis that any Palestinian expression on the issue gives rise to speculation and conspiracy theories. Former Palestinian Authority prime minister Ahmed Qureia (Abu Ala) is aware of this sensitivity, and exploits it every time he hits a bump in the negotiations: “If Israel continues to put up opposition, we will demand a single state for two peoples,” he said recently.
Indeed, the Palestinians use the slogan “One State” to threaten Israel, and they know full well how effective that threat is. So great is the fear that the Palestinians are planning to exchange their struggle for national independence for a demand for citizenship rights in a binational state, that the very mention of this option is seen as proof of their unwillingness to reach peace. The Palestinian demand for Israel to annex the territories and extend citizenship rights to their inhabitants is considered more of a threat to Israel than the demand for an independent state, since civil equality is a universal norm and the demand for its implementation would win sweeping support in the West. And woe to the Israeli who dares to champion binationalism; he is denounced as a traitor wracked with self-hatred.