Thursday, February 28, 2008

The One-State Solution?

I personally don't support the idea, as I pointed in Two People, Two States But as a UPI reportindicates, it's starting to get late for that:
Census figures show that Palestinians are likely to become a majority in Israel and the occupied territories in five years, a report said Wednesday.

On the Israeli side, the figures give new urgency to the peace process, The Washington Times reported. On the Palestinian side, some intellectuals have begun to talk of a "one-state solution," a Muslim-majority bi-religious state that would merge Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.

"If Israel wants to call it Israel from Jordan to the Mediterranean, I accept it. So we'll be equal to them," said Saeb Erekat, a chief negotiator on the Palestinian side. "And with the majority, I will change the name of the Knesset to Parliament and the name of Israel to Palestine. It's a democracy."

What Israelis call "the demographic problem" has been a factor since the 1967 war. Israelis knew that keeping the West Bank and Gaza would eventually threaten the country's Jewish identity.

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics found that the two territories now have a combined population of 3.76 million, 30 percent more than a decade ago. Combined with the 1.4 million Palestinians living in Israel, that makes 5.2 million, compared to 5.8 million Jewish Israelis.

In fact, if one adds to the number of Arabs in Israel and in the West Bank and Gaza, the number of about 500,000 "guest workers" in Israel and around 300,000 Russian immigrants who are not Jewish, there is already a non-Jewish majority in the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean.

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