From outside one will always triumphantly impress theories upon the world and then fall straight into the ditch one has dug, but only from inside will one keep oneself and the world quiet and true. /FK (Contact: TBONotebooks at fastmail.fm. The Blue Octavo Notebooks welcomes mail, although we cannot guarantee a response. Your email may be posted in part on The Blue Octavo Notebooks unless otherwise requested.) Please enjoy the notebook entries, and thanks for reading.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

One of the more charming aspects of the so-called “One State” scenario—that is, that Israel should annex the territories and extend citizenship to millions of Palestinians, few of whom regard Israel in any sort of positive light—besides the fact that it’s completely unfeasible is that it’s often advocated by folks who wouldn’t have to live with its immediate repercussions. Indeed, according to a recent poll by OneVoice, 76% of Israelis and Palestinians are against the idea.

NEW YORK - Expressing views that may go unnoticed amid the headline-grabbing violence in the Mideast, 76 percent of Israelis and Palestinians favor a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, according to a poll of people on both sides.

That finding was offered Tuesday by leaders of OneVoice, a privately funded group that aims to promote peace in the Mideast. While preliminary, they said, the survey suggests that giving ordinary citizens an "active role" might help end the region's 60-year cycle of bloodshed.

Meeting with reporters in New York, the group's founder-president, Daniel Lubetzky, and Mideast regional director, Mohammad Darawshe, said their ultimate aim was to survey a quarter-million people, to show there is a "silent majority" on each side that favors mutual agreement instead of violence and extremism.

"Every Palestinian and Israeli says they are for peace, but the people have not been held accountable for their beliefs," said Lubetzky. "What's happening now is that 40,000 people stood up and said this is what they want."

The “One State” scenario is, at best, an intellectually disingenuous position—an immodest proposal, if you will, similar to calling for a “One State” solution for India/Pakistan or the former Yugoslavia—whose implementation, rather than bringing peace, would imperil millions of people. The fact that this is a popular topic of discussion amongst various academics and journalists despite obvious contingencies of reality—not least the fact that a large majority of the people in question reject the notion—is reminiscent of George Orwell’s observation that some ideas are so dumb that only an intellectual could believe them.

A modest proposal, as the saying goes, and a less unfeasible “One State” solution would be for Israel, Egypt, and Jordan to return to the 1949 armistice areas. Jordan and Egypt would annex the West Bank and Gaza, respectively, with minor adjustments for security considerations. There would be one state—Israel—but rather than millions of Arabs being absorbed into it they would instead be integrated into two countries both of which, unlike the Zionist entity, are primarily Arab and Muslim. These border adjustments, as agreed to by the three countries in question, would be in accordance with United Nations Security Resolution 242, which the U.N. and other parties hold as the basis for a Middle East settlement.

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