Gideon Levy may be the most hated man in Israel, or the most heroic, but the controversial Haaretz columnist has a dream. Recently, he expressed his enthusiasm for turning Israel into ‘one just state for two peoples.’
One state for two peoples? It has already existed for a while now. More than two peoples live in it – Jews and Arabs; ultra-Orthodox Jews; religious Zionist and secular Jews; Jews of Middle-Eastern descent and Jews of European descent; settlers and Palestinians. (…) This, though, is how an imaginary, just state would appear: It would grant everyone the right to vote, and have a democratic constitution that would protect the rights of all communities and minorities – including an immigration policy like that of all other nations.
Such a state would have a legislature that would reflect the mosaic of the country, and an elected government formed by a coalition of the communities and the two peoples’ representatives. Yes, a Jewish prime minister with an Arab deputy, or vice versa.
Levy’s Utopian ‘state of all its citizens’ will replace Zionism with ‘something infinitely more just and sustainable.’ In his dream, the lion will lie down with the lamb and all threats will dissipate. Foreign aid will flood into this cross-confessional nirvana.
One can assume that ‘an immigration policy like all other nations’ will not privilege Jews over Arabs. Very quickly, Arabs would become a majority, Hatikva would cease to be the national anthem, and the Jews will be forced to give up their national state.
Levy’s solution has already been tried. It has failed. Lebanon was a mosaic state, but following a bloody civil war, it is little more than a precarious collection of quarreling sects on the edge of another precipice. The Maronite Christians have become a beleaguered minority, prefiguring what will happen to the Jews of Israel. Who said the definition of insanity is proposing the same solution but expecting different results every time?
Gideon Levy’s dream is the triumph of hope over experience. The 650,000 Jews who sought a haven in Israel and now form a 52 percent Jewish majority – some 300,000 others went to the West – did not escape violence and repression in Arab states in order to find themselves once more under Arab-Muslim dominion.
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