Meretz MK slams boycotts, binational state as “recipe for civil war”

By Kubbeh

Member of the Israeli Knesset, Nitzan Horowitz, spoke of his opposition to the proposed boycott of Israeli citizens and institutions and slammed the idea of single binational state as a “recipe for failure and civil war” in London this week:

I am against boycotts. I don’t think that they are a positive way to act. Many people who support the boycott [of Israel] don’t want Israel to exist at all, it is nothing to with the occupation. They describe Israel as an anomaly,” Horowitz told Engage at a meeting organised by Meretz UK.

Horowitz, an MK for the left-leaning Meretz party, is the second openly gay Knesset member and is active in civil rights causes and the separation of state and religion in Israel. The Meretz Party was instrumental in the start of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process in the 1990s, including the Oslo Accords. He rejected claims by anti-Israel activists in the UK that the two-state solution is irrelevant and the only option left is for a single Arab-Jewish state:

In a binational state it will be almost impossible to conduct a common government. Most Israelis and most Palestinians don’t want it. It is the perfect recipe for failure and civil war. The two-state solution is viable and can be done, all we need is the political will.”

10 Responses to “Meretz MK slams boycotts, binational state as “recipe for civil war””

  1. David Guy Says:

    Two states? The Palestinian Authority has no control about anything to do in Gaza. Three states and if one considers Jordan has a clear Palestinian majority – four states.

    • Brian Goldfarb Says:

      With regard to to the second sentence of David Guy’s comment, he might care to read Benny Morris’s latest book, “One State, Two States”. Alternatively, I wrote a review for these pages, posted on 11 May this year (followed by comments). No-one has (yet) suggested that I misrepresented Morris’s book.

  2. Non-Arab Arab Says:

    When Israelis and their supporters say that one state is a a recipe for civil war or unending strife, what they are really doing is threatening (as the possessors of vastly greater means of violence) to wage perpetual violence on the weak if they are ‘forced’ to treat them as equal human beings. It’s the exact same mentality that drove the KKK. Of course, in reality, whether it comes from supposed leftist or rightist Zionists, it’s all ultimately the same basic belief that Palestinian Arabs don’t have rights like all other human beings, only privileges to be doled out as rewards for subservience.

    In the end, Horowitz can very much count me as one of his straw men who doesn’t want Israel to exist at all. I don’t want Israel to exist any more than I wanted Apartheid South Africa or the Jim Crow south to exist. But whereas Horowitz and 99% of Zionists deliberately misinterpret the end of Israel to mean some kind of genocide, I happen to know that it means a new enlightened beginning for Jews and Arabs in Palestine to live together as equals. Giving up privilege always hurts for the wielders and abusers of power, but as Ali Abunimah has pointed out (, all these protestations from Zionists today simply mirror the protestations of the supporters of Apartheid up to that racist systems dying days. I can only presume that Zionist Apartheid supporters will be the same until they wake up one morning to discover they are legal equals with their neighbors returning home for the first time since 1948.

    • Jonathan Romer Says:

      “I happen to know that it means a new enlightened beginning for Jews and Arabs in Palestine to live together as equals.”

      Wonderful! We can all look forward to a new Golden Age for the Jews. Before we sign up can you tell us which, out of the 22 existing Arab countries, did not destroy their ancient Jewish communities between about 1940 and 1955? Which ones now treat the tiny Jewish remnant as full and equal citizens? Can you point out the parts of the Hamas charter that proclaim the equality of Jews and Arabs, or Islam and Judaism? Can you list the Arab countries whose Christian communities are thriving and growing? The Sunni-led countries where Shia have equality, and vice versa?

      Alternatively, could you take what you “happen to know” and waste someone else’s time with it?

    • Uri Golomb Says:

      “But whereas Horowitz and 99% of Zionists deliberately misinterpret the end of Israel to mean some kind of genocide…”

      It is not a Zionist misinterpretation, but a direct understanding of the speeches,writings and actions of organizations like Hamas, and their predecessors all the way back to the 19th century (there have been massacres of Jews long before they were a dominant force, and Palestinian leaders collaborated with the Nazis during World War II). The genocidal aspirations of such organizations cannot be denied (at least not with any degree of intellectual honesty). I hope they represent a minority — but given the Hamas victory in the last elections, you can’t say that
      they represent a small or insignificant minority.

      • Yehuda Erdman Says:

        Uri Golomb
        You are also right but we have to courageously move on from the 1940s and even the fiasco in Gaza. What happened in Gaza after the pullout by Israel was a huge letdown for all moderates and peace lovers. It also came as a surprise to many that all though Hamas won the election “fair and square”, they did not continue in a democratic way.
        This always happens in ideologically driven regimes: fascist, communist, theocratic so we should have expected it. Never will Hamas peacefully hand power back to anyone because “they answer only to Allah”.

        • Gil Says:

          Yehuda Eredman, on the issue of the Palestinian leadership’s pro-Nazi policy as personified by the Mufti, I agree with Uri Golomb and respectfully disagree with you on this issue. If Zionists are expected to acknowledge their responsiblity for the Naqba – at least to some extent, then in the spirit of reconciliation the Palestinians must, in turn, acknowledge that their leadership had links with Hitler and the Nazi regime and that the Mufti supported the extermination of the Jews.

          This is not to say that the Palestinians must accept that what happened in ’48 was as a result of the Holocaust. The point being made is different.

    • David Guy Says:

      The Palestinian Authority doesn’t control much but one thing it does control is the Palestinian media. Even if we, however intellectually dishonestly, ignore the unambiguous genocidal message from Hamas it’s not possible to ignore the failure of the PA to tell its people that Arafat’s policy of stages is no longer operational. In particular Section 8 of the Political Programme of the 12th Palestine National Council Once it is established, the Palestinian national authority will strive to achieve a union of the confrontation countries, with the aim of completing the liberation of all Palestinian territory, and as a step along the road to comprehensive Arab unity.

      If that is too specific for you. The PA may mumble about peace but incites its people to war.

  3. Courtenay Barnett Says:

    No 5 states – don’t forget the Palestinains in Lebanon…

    “Two states? The Palestinian Authority has no control about anything to do in Gaza. Three states and if one considers Jordan has a clear Palestinian majority – four states.”

  4. Yehuda Erdman Says:

    Firstly I must say what a pleasure it was for Meretz UK to host Nitzan Horowitz a short while ago in London. Personally it was my first meeting with him and to my knowledge everyone present felt relaxed and able to speak up (including some others not from Meretz UK).
    He was able to give us about two hours and covered many topics not mentioned in the post above. As I remember he had much to say about the education system in Israel and the disadvantages suffered by both the Haredim and the Israeli Arabs because of poverty and large family size, as well as systemic failings in the Israeli system. To those not aware of this there are several streams of schools in Israel which maintain there own curriculum and Nitzan was talking about state funded schools which is the great majority.
    To date successive Governments have allowed the status quo to continue and not imposed a central curriculum on e.g. the ultra-orthodox schools (there are many subtypes here) or the Arab ones. A big proportion of school children do not learn basic science, a second language and enough about society.

    As for the posts above, I agree that if a Palestinian State is established soon, the Gaza area will not be amenable to “rule” from Ramallah. At present they can not even agree to disagree. This is despite enormous pressure from Arab states such as Saudi Arabia to achieve some re-concilliation between Fatah (PLO) and Hamas.
    I am totally behind Nitzan in not falling for the one state solution by default through lack of leadership (from both sides Israel and Palestine Authority). It is not all doom and gloom and at least Obama and Hilary Clinton are showing determination and are pursuing the two state solution from earlt in Obama’s term.
    As for the boycott phenomenon I also support Nitzan very much and in all manifestations: academic, economic, and the counter boycott of settlers imposed on Palestinians in the West Bank. Arguably the blockade of Gaza may also be viewed as a boycott of an extreme kind. Meretz inIsrael has consistently stated that this has been counter productive and did not even lead to the release of Gilad Shalit. Nor has it prevented the large scale smuggling by Hamas and criminals of everything under the sun including more rockets. It is also noted that for different reasons Egypt does not want an open border with Gaza.
    Non-Arab Arab
    Sorry no one in the Zionist camp (including Meretz) will agree to dismantle the state of Israel and if you and the great majority in the Arab world still dream of this you are going to be disappointed all your life.
    Jonathan Romer
    I also agree with you and regard it as a tragic outcome of the titanic struggle (at least 150 years so far) between Zionism and pan-Arabism (for want of a better definition), that all the states surrounding Israel and well beyond chose to make life for Jews (and other minorities) almost impossible. It was a pull you, push you exercise though because in the early years of israeli Independence, Ben Gurion and other Zionist leaders wanted all Jews in the Diaspora to immigrate to Israel. It took them many decades to come to terms with a continuing and large Jewish diaspora.
    Still in the Declaration of Independence Ben Gurion made it unambiguously clear that all creeds, beliefs and minorities would be respected and citizenship rights for these people by implication are also enshrined.
    It is a further tragedy that even states such as Egypt and Jordan, which are at peace with Israel have not actively encouraged minorities including Jews to settle.

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