One-state solution for Middle East growing by default

Nobody serious believes a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians will ever emerge (here’s just the latest reason why). Tragically, we’ll still have suffer years of delusions about the how and why but the one-state equation is growing (via the Forward):

It’s an ideology with few followers among Israeli Jews, but activists for the one-state solution are reaching out to American visitors via tours of the Arab-Jewish town of Jaffa. And they are doing so with the help of Israel’s Reform movement.

Jaffa, now part of the municipality of Tel Aviv, was a town in which a Jewish minority lived for centuries with Arab Muslims and Christians before Israel was established in 1948. Now, its graceful Arab architecture provides a rich historical background for one-state advocates Yuval Tamari, a Jewish schoolteacher, and Wasim Bearumi, an Arab psychologist, to tell a story of the past that feeds their vision of the future.

“The two-state solution is said to be a practical solution, but it’s division,” Tamari told a recent tour group. “I want to be able to visit Nablus and other places from my history. And Arabs have a lot of history here in Jaffa.”

Recently, Jaffa, where Jews now make up about two-thirds of the population, has become a hotspot of sectarian attacks. In early October, unknown attackers desecrated Muslim and Christian graves — the third in a series of attacks on Arab sacred sites in Israel and the occupied territories. This was followed by someone throwing a firebomb onto a Jaffa synagogue roof. Still, Tamari and Bearumi, both of whom declined to comment on these recent events, are undeterred.

On a recent summer day, a group of 30 tourists from the Temple Israel Center, a Conservative synagogue in White Plains, N.Y., heard the message of the tour, which was that Jaffa should actually be seen as a model for coexistence. The Daniel Centers for Progressive Judaism, a large complex of Reform cultural and community centers in Jaffa, has been running the “Coexistence Tour” for four years, giving a platform for the activists to share their political vision with almost 500 Diaspora Jews yearly, mostly as part of communal Israel trips.