However, the abandonment of the two-state paradigm may also have the potential of bringing about a new and long overdue debate. The one-state paradigm would allow for the avowal of history, namely the idea that the conflict did not begin in 1967 but rather at the turn of the 19th century, even before the 1948 Palestinian Nakba and Israel’s Independence. Only when history is acknowledged and confronted can the injustices of the past be genuinely addressed and a viable solution forged.
Unfortunately, instead of facing up to history, the Israeli government has introduced a spate of draconian new laws, policies and regulations while launching incitement campaigns against the Palestinian citizens of Israel and increasingly against Jewish liberals. Indeed, the governing strategies developed and deployed by Israel in the occupied areas are currently colonizing the Jewish state. The fact that the colonial leviathan is finally recoiling inward, instituting apartheid logic in the pre-1967 borders, is perhaps most obvious in the Israeli Negev, where the state has intensified its campaign against the indigenous Bedouin population.
Um al-Hiran, a village of Bedouin citizens destined to be destroyed and replaced by a Jewish settlement called Hiran, exemplifies this most clearly. Just a few kilometers away from this Bedouin village, about 30 religious families have been living in a makeshift gated community waiting patiently for the government to expel the Bedouin families from their homes. During a recent visit to this Jewish community, I saw houses scattered around a playground and a nice kindergarten with joyful paintings on the exterior wall. Needless to say, this bucolic setting was both unnerving and surrealistic considering its violent undertow. Ironically, the very people who are destined to dispossess the residents of Um Al-Hiran are West Bank settlers who have returned to Israel to colonize Bedouin land.
Surely the chickens are coming home to roost. Yet, as the settlers seize the dowry from the bride they are assisting the government in their entrenchment of its apartheid regime on the one hand, while they are simultaneously undermining the very pretense of stasis, thus sowing dragon’s teeth for the future.