Hebrew University - Hebrew U professor Bashir Bashir proposes a
Middle East with no Israel in it
Bashir Bashir, an adjunct lecturer in the
department of political science at the Hebrew University of
Jerusalem, and Leila Farsakh, associate professor of political
science at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, proposed a
binational solution to the conflict over the division of land that
comprises Israel and its occupied territories during a talk at the
Kennedy School of Government yesterday.
Professors Push One-State Solution
Hebrew University professor says one state is the best option
By Eliza M. Nguyen, CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Published: Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Bashir Bashir, an adjunct lecturer in the department of political
science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Leila Farsakh,
associate professor of political science at the University of
Massachusetts, Boston, proposed a binational solution to the
conflict over the division of land that comprises Israel and its
occupied territories during a talk at the Kennedy School of
Bashir advocated for the idea of binationalism, in which one
state recognizes both ethnic groupsóIsraeli Jews and
Palestiniansóco-existing, rather than the two-state solution that is
most commonly proposed.
"It is our duty to think of alternatives," he said. "We are
seeking inclusion rather than apartheid."
Farsakh began the talk by presenting a history of the discourse
surrounding the partition of Israeli land. Since the UN General
Assembly's affirmative vote on the Palestine Partition Plan of 1947,
"the leadership has functioned in the statehood paradigm," said
She said that political leaders do not have the will to create a
two-state solution. According to Farsakh, their inaction has created
more problems within the state, and they need to shift their
framework of thinking in order for advancements to occur.
Bashir proposed that such advancement would happen with a
binational state. In a state where lines are not drawn in ethnic
terms, both parties will have collective rights along with state
recognition, he said.
"The binational alternative is feasible and morally desirable,"
He added that neither Palestinians nor Israelis would have to
give up anything in favor of this solution, and their identities and
ethnic rights would be preserved.
Despite the perceived optimism surrounding his partition plan,
audience members questioned the practicality of his ideas.
In response to a question regarding feasibility, he said,
"reality is posing some substantial problems."
Jean M. Entine, a board member of Jewish Voice for Peace, said
the intellectual discourse surrounding the desire to find a
resolution to the conflict makes her hopeful that a compromise can
be reached. But, regarding a feasible solution, she said, "I don't
think I've heard it yet."
Bashir remained hopeful that politicians would support the idea
"We need to go beyond intellectualizing this issue. This
discourse needs to go down to political activism," he said.
He also said he hoped his talk would expose more people to an
"There is a desperate need to expose a larger audience to
thinking outside the box," he said.