BY CHRIS SLEE
MELBOURNE — Ghada Karmi, a Palestinian woman living in Britain and author of In Search of Fatima: a Palestinian Story, argued for Palestinians to return to the goal of creating a single, democratic secular state in historic Palestine.
Addressing a public meeting at Melbourne University on May 26, she argued that Israel's settlement policy in the West Bank had made any "two-state solution" impossible. The Palestinian territories seized by Israel in 1967 are now "pockmarked" with Israeli settlements, and divided into 80 "cantons", each of them besieged by the Israeli army.
"No Israeli government will evacuate the settlements or give back the water", she said. At best, a "two-state solution" would give Palestinians only 22% of historic Palestine, and there would be no right of return for Palestinian refugees driven out of Palestinian territories seized by the Zionist colonial-settlers in 1948.
The only solution, in Karmi's view, is for Palestinians and Israelis to live together in a secular democracy. "There is no place for states based on ethnicity or religion", she said.
She said that the number of people supporting a single democratic secular state is small but growing. While the idea currently has more support among Palestinians than among Israelis, she noted that prior to the creation of the State of Israel a significant number of Jews supported the idea of a binational state in the whole of historic Palestine.
From Green Left Weekly, June 4, 2003.
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