How the one-state solution gains more Jewish supporters

Writer Sara Dowse, opinion editor at the Independent Australian Jewish Voices website, outlines the core Zionist beliefs and support for the Jewish state but then puts forward the one-state solution, a concept gaining more traction across the world:

In a very real sense, history has left Israel behind.…  … The idea of mono-cultural, mono-ethnic states has given way in most of the world to a much broader concept of nation; in Europe, Asia and Africa as well, nation states encompass plural ethnicities.…  Indeed, one can hardly think of a state that coincides exactly with a single ethnicity. This is not to say that there are no ethnic tensions in binational or multicultural states, but these are due largely to economic and political factors, and are rarely as intense in stabler, more developed countries than where there are conflicts over access to resources.…  When ethnic clashes are compounded by religious divergence, the mix can be highly volatile, but it isn’t a given.…  And in the case of Israel and Palestine, separation isn’t likely to make much difference.…  The situation is volatile already, and creating two hostile neighbouring states isn’t going to make things better.

Which is why Jews and Palestinians alike are increasingly opting towards establishing a single, binational state.…  The idea isn’t new, but was brushed aside in the past when Zionism was still a new, exciting phenomenon, and nineteenth-century nationalism was considered a liberating goal.…  There is, of course, little possibility at this stage for most Jews either inside or outside Israel to contemplate such a radical change of direction, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be a viable alternative.

What needs to be done in the first place is to acknowledge and talk through the fears.…  What will happen to Jewishness if the specifically Jewish state became part of a federation of Middle Eastern states, or was simply subsumed into an Israel-Palestine (or whatever name could encompass both)?…  If the strength of Jewish identification was weakened, would this be a wholly negative outcome, the acceleration of a process already underway, or rather the result of ongoing, beneficial transformations?…  What could the Jewish population contribute to the functioning a multi-ethnic or binational state, to its survival and wellbeing?…  What would be the result of the returning, once again, to the status of a minority?…  Could we stand it again? … Or is it, in truth, where 8 million of us still feel most at home already?

There’s the rub: a minority.…  But it may be a baseless fear.…  Look at the figures.…  As of 2006 over 40 percent of the world’s Jewry lived in Israel, with annual population growth there increasing instead of dropping as it is the Diaspora.…  It may turn out that even if Israel ceased to exist as a separate state, and even allowing Palestinian return in a new binational polity, it could have as many Jewish citizens as Palestinians.…  Instead of a catastrophe, a genuine opportunity.