On Monday night December 5th, 35 people gathered at the downtown Duluth Public Library to hear Sylvia Schwarz of MN BBC discuss the viability of a 2-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict. In that neither MN BBC nor IJAN (the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network), the two Palestine-solidarity groups Sylvia is involved in, takes an official position on a one or two-state solution, Schwarz was giving her own viewpoint on the issue. Tracing history from the beginnings of the Zionist movement through the era of Ben Gurion to the present, Sylvia demonstrated how a proportional division of Palestine was never on the Zionist agenda and is less of an option than ever given the illegal presence of half million Jewish settlers in the Occupied Territories, the continuous expulsions of Palestinians and demolition of their homes, and the denial of the right of return--to name just some of the major obstacles.
When asked, Sylvia said her view was that the only just and lasting solution is a single state of equal citizens with full rights, something not now accorded to Palestinian citizens of Israel, not to mention those in occupied lands. For starters on the one-state topic, Sylvia recommends Ali Abunimah's One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse.
The event was a clear success not only for the frank analysis and discussion of the two-state solution but for the fact that it was attended by many new people from across the community. Moreover, the overwhelming majority present seemed quite comfortable with the notion of one state, indicating the beginning of an escape from the media stranglehold on the range of views considered acceptable for consideration.
Thank you Sylvia Schwarz for a thoughtful and stimulating presentation!