Two State Solution: Why A Jewish Democracy Is An Impossibility
In Peter Beinart’s NY Times Op-Ed, To Save Israel, Boycott the Settlements, he begins by painting the picture of a ‘noble’ ideal being attacked by two antithetical extremes:
TO believe in a democratic Jewish state today is to be caught between the jaws of a pincer.
He first points out the threat to Israel’s status as a democracy, namely Israel’s continued occupation and settlement expansion of Palestinian lands, where “millions of West Bank Palestinians are barred from citizenship and the right to vote in the state that controls their lives.”
He then points towards what he feels threatens Israel’s Jewish majority, namely BDS supporters’ calls for “the right of millions of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes,” which if were to happen, would “dismantle Israel as a Jewish state.”
What strikes me as odd, is the fact that Beinart cannot see the blatant incongruity of the two core components of his Utopian ideal for Israel: ‘democratic Jewish’ state.
It is farcical to believe that a two-state solution, even if it prohibited the Palestinians’ right of return (which international law, by the way, accords every human being on the planet), would bring a ‘Jewish Democracy.’
Democracy is a government by the people, as ruled by the majority. If one subgroup within what constitutes ‘the people’ is permitted to enforce discriminatory laws to ensure that their group always enjoys a ruling majority, then the government is not really one of ‘the people’ — i.e. a democracy — but a government of that one subgroup.
Those outside that dominant subgroup, in this case non-Jewish Israelis, could not claim to enjoy democracy inside their own country, because the laws have been stacked against them to ensure they will always remain outnumbered, and thus, their voices forever silenced in government.
To predetermine that ANY group will always remain powerless within their own government is to pervert the very concept of democracy in ways that might even make Vladimir Putin blush.
Liberal Zionists should at least be honest, like Netanyahu has been, and state unequivocally that their notion of Israel’s ‘survival’ is predicated on a country where ONLY Jews will have a voice in government, and all non-Jews effectively silenced by a permanent minority status, which can only be ensured by systematic discrimination.