Pro-Israel Lawmakers Promote One State

Bills Push Rule in West Bank, But Is It Good for Israel?

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

Published March 12, 2012, issue of March 23, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

A resolution calling for a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been adopted in two state legislatures and is headed for more.

Allan Clemmons
courtesy of allan clemmons
Allan Clemmons

Usually, such a call would be interpreted as a pro-Palestinian move that many fear could obliterate Israel as a Jewish state. But not in these cases. Instead, these resolutions are protests against U.S. efforts to implement a two-state solution, the endorsed policy of both the United States, Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Both houses of the Florida legislature and one house of the South Carolina legislature unanimously passed similar versions of the non-binding resolution, drafted by a South Carolina state legislator and supported in Florida by the Zionist Organization of America. The most recent vote, in Florida, was on February 28. South Carolina’s House of Representatives passed its resolution last June.

The spread of the resolutions points to a weakening of the two-state consensus established in the U.S. since June 2002, when George W. Bush became the first president to declare American support for establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel in the West Bank and Gaza, the territories Israel has occupied or controlled, along with East Jerusalem, since winning the 1967 Six Day War.

After decades of opposing the establishment of a separate Palestinian state, Israel itself came to embrace the option in the 2000s, partly on the grounds that the likely alternative, a single state encompassing Israel and these territories, with their more than 4 million Arab residents, would create a country with an Arab majority and spell the end of a Jewish democratic state.

Supporters of the state resolutions, however, appeared unwilling to discuss these implications.

The bill’s intention is to “send a signal to Jews worldwide and to Israel that…we consider Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem to be part of Israel, and what Israel decides to do with it is Israel’s business,” said Alan Clemmons, the South Carolina lawmaker and real estate lawyer who drafted the bill, using the biblical terms for areas of the West Bank.

Pressed on the meaning of the resolution’s call for “one law for all people” in Israel and the West Bank, Clemmons said, “This document was drafted over a period of hours, not months, in an exercise of exorcising my own concerns with President Obama over advocating that Israel abandon Judea, Samaria, and East Jerusalem.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • William Schabas may be the least of Israel's problems.
  • You've heard of the #IceBucketChallenge, but Forward publisher Sam Norich has something better: a #SoupBucketChallenge (complete with matzo balls!) Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman & David Remnick, you have 24 hours!
  • Did Hamas just take credit for kidnapping the three Israeli teens?
  • "We know what it means to be in the headlines. We know what it feels like when the world sits idly by and watches the news from the luxury of their living room couches. We know the pain of silence. We know the agony of inaction."
  • When YA romance becomes "Hasidsploitation":
  • "I am wrapping up the summer with a beach vacation with my non-Jewish in-laws. They’re good people and real leftists who try to live the values they preach. This was a quality I admired, until the latest war in Gaza. Now they are adamant that American Jews need to take more responsibility for the deaths in Gaza. They are educated people who understand the political complexity, but I don’t think they get the emotional complexity of being an American Jew who is capable of criticizing Israel but still feels a deep connection to it. How can I get this across to them?"
  • “'I made a new friend,' my son told his grandfather later that day. 'I don’t know her name, but she was very nice. We met on the bus.' Welcome to Israel."
  • A Jewish female sword swallower. It's as cool as it sounds (and looks)!
  • Why did David Menachem Gordon join the IDF? In his own words: "The Israel Defense Forces is an army that fights for her nation’s survival and the absence of its warriors equals destruction from numerous regional foes. America is not quite under the threat of total annihilation… Simply put, I felt I was needed more in Israel than in the United States."
  • Leonard Fein's most enduring legacy may be his rejection of dualism: the idea that Jews must choose between assertiveness and compassion, between tribalism and universalism. Steven M. Cohen remembers a great Jewish progressive:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.