Suffrage Over Statehood

Goldblog thinks Abbas should abandon the statehood bid, acknowledge the occupation will never end – and ask for Palestinian voting rights within Israel instead:

Reaction would be seismic and instantaneous. The demand for voting rights would resonate with people around the world, in particular with American Jews, who pride themselves on support for both Israel and for civil rights at home. Such a demand would also force Israel into an untenable position; if it accedes to such a demand, it would very quickly cease to be the world’s only Jewish-majority state, and instead become the world’s 23rd Arab-majority state. If it were to refuse this demand, Israel would very quickly be painted by former friends as an apartheid state.

Israel’s response, then, can be reasonably predicted: Israeli leaders eager to prevent their country from becoming a pariah would move to negotiate the independence, with security caveats, of a Palestinian state on the West Bank, and later in Gaza, as well. Israel would simply have no choice.

It's a fruitful and constructive idea. Its greatest benefit, I think, would be integrating the Palestinian fight for democracy with the democratic forces at work elsewhere in the Middle East. It would mean that the Arab Spring might save, rather than threaten, Israel. Maybe such a policy – and a big Palestinian majority in Palestine – would encourage many of the less fanatical settlers to, er, self-deport back to their own country. What I fear is that this maneuver would go nowhere, weaken Abbas still further at home, and be blocked from progress by AIPAC-Christianist front in the US. But, hey, if Goldblog is optimistic, who am I to rain on the parade? It's something. Instead of an increasingly deadly and intractable dead end.