Thursday, June 02, 2011

The Arab Spring and the One State Solution

The lack of democracy in the Arab world is one of the main reasons I oppose the idea of Isratine, a single country from the River Jordan to the sea. The closest thing to an Arab democracy right now is Lebanon, a country where every party has its own militia. My view has alrways been that, in a One State, we'd probably be like Lebanon at best - if democracy doesn't break down completely, that is.

Now the Arab Spring brings with it a glimpse into the possible future of the theoretical One State. Of course, this will be a long process with different outcomes in different Arab countries, and what happens in Egypt or Syria isn't exactly what would happen with the Palestinians. We can approximate, though, since many of the refugees who would return under the One State plan live in these other Arab countries, and there are other cultural similarities.

These are the questions that have to be asked: Will there indeed be Arab democracies? If so, what kind of democracies will they be. If we see illiberal democracies forming, where people get the formal right to vote but other freedoms are suppressed, this may indicate the illiberal future of an Isratine. Already, we see that the religious freedom of minorities has greatly diminished in some Arab Spring countries. I do not want to be persecuted in my own country like the Coptic Christians are in Egypt.

Also in Egypt, it seems like the new transitional regime is more interested in hanging Mubarak and his henchmen, rather than in recoving the money they stole and rebuilding Egypt. Will the new Palestinian majority not want to do something similar, by wishing to hang Jewish Israeli leaders who they believe committed crimes against them, rather than building the new joint society?

I am looking to see whether or not any Arab country will manage to achieve the level of democracy Israel has. I live in a very vibrant democracy, even though it is very flawed. Don't even start talking to me about a binational state before you prove to me that there is even a slight chance that it won't become less liberal and less democratic than it is now.


  1. No, you live in an apartheid state that only appears democratic to you because you are amongst the favored group. Israstine already exists from the Mediterranean to the Jordan and it is many things, but it is not a democracy just because the favored group votes for its leaders.

  2. Isratine doesn't exist, because it isn't one country. Even though Israel controls all of mandatory Palestine (minus Gaza), Israel proper is a different entity than the West Bank. Israel proper is a very vibrant democracy, though it has serious flaws. The occupation is a whole different story.