Israel must not forget that without an initiative that seeks a two-state solution, it is giving up its future (Shutterstock)
A former Israeli official says that amid the Gaza war, Palestinians may be forced to revise their demand for a two-state solution with equal democratic rights for all, and that this will cause a shock in Israel equal to that of October 7.
Avi Gill, former director general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry and a current researcher at the Jewish People's Policy Institute, explained that the war in Gaza strengthens Palestinian support for a one-state solution.
Palestinian leaders sometimes warn that in the absence of a viable two-state solution, they may have to revise their demands and shift from demanding an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel to demanding equal democratic rights for all, in one state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.
He pointed to Israel's rejection of these warnings as "threats" rather than a concrete political strategy, adding that the potential impact of war with Hamas on Palestinian thinking could be strong.
Palestinian proponents of a one-state solution argue that the expansion of Jewish settlement in the West Bank has eliminated the possibility of creating clear borders between the two peoples. That expansion had led the Palestinians to conclude that Israel was leading them towards annexation and was constantly working to absorb their land.
If the Palestinians cancel their demand for an independent state and instead demand equal rights, Western countries will have to support their demand, and over time, these countries will find it difficult to justify a reality in which Palestinians have no right to participate in the democratic process that determines the government responsible for their fate in Israel.
One third of the population
Periodic surveys conducted by Dr. Khalil Shikaki, director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah, had revealed that the one-state solution currently enjoyed the support of one third of the Palestinian population, with higher rates of support among the younger generation.
He added that demographers are debating whether there is indeed a population parity between Jews and Arabs, between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, and that those who underestimate the demographic factor among these scientists argue that the 2.1 million Arabs living in Gaza should be removed from the total Arab population on the pretext that Gaza is ruled by Hamas, noting that this argument could collapse if Hamas control ends.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in 2003 that Israel's Arab population should not exceed the 50 percent threshold to preserve Israel's Jewish character.
Israel may have to grant political rights to anyone living within its jurisdiction, so it must not forget that without an initiative that pursues a two-state solution, it is giving up its future.
Source: Yedioth Ahronoth