For One Democratic State
in the whole of Palestine (Israel)


FOR One Man, One Vote



Shamir le fou et Thion le fanatique


By Israel Adam Shamir


My good friend and French dissident Serge Thion has written a fiery response to an old essay of mine called The right move  (Fr: ) under the title Shamir gone mad. Apparently only now, after ten years of correspondence, has Serge finally apprehended that when I speak of the One State Solution I actually meant just that: One State, as compared to the infamous Two State Solution. Serge may be forgiven for not understanding the assumptions behind the term “One State Solution” because this, the only reasonable solution to the nightmare of Zionism, has for at least ten years lain buried below a wall of static. One State, for the well-meaning and well-adjusted, obviously means a diverse state that is capable of representing a diverse population which includes Muslims (of all backgrounds), Christians (the tiny remainder), and (surprise!) the ruling class of Jews, who are (surprise again!) quite a diverse lot. Serge represented the majority when he was initially shocked by the idea of “One State”, because the media had long prepared him to understand it as a euphemism for the ethnic cleansing of Jews. Well, now that he has graduated from the sadly typical state of the average brainwashed global citizen, we can finally have a dialog like adults.


I wrote: “One State is not an apocalyptic vision of the Last Days. It is a perfectly feasible and mutually profitable development.” Serge exclaims: “That is to say also beneficial for the Zionists”. Right, Serge! It is beneficial for Zionists as well. We are not playing a winner-takes-all game, where the loser picks up his toys and heads home. That game has never worked here in the Holy Land. Everyone has to be taken into account, and no one is too small or loathsome to be left standing in the cold. A model Palestine might be a beacon unto the world. The shining example of the South African solution guides us. Just as the transformation of racialist South Africa into a normal state was beneficial to both the despised white nationalists and the indigenous darlings of the left, so too the Jewish nationalists (“Zionists”) should be rewarded (whether they deserve it or not) in the normalization of racialist Israel to the normalized state of Israel/Palestine.


Serge reminds his readers “The Zionists denied the creation of a Palestinian state, and now Shamir wants them to support one non-denominational state. Is it a dream?” Dreams can become reality, dear Serge. Yesterday’s dreams are tomorrow’s reality. It is only the dogmatic sectarians, for whom the world is made of inflexible crystal, that change not.


Serge declares with horror that the Zionist right-wingers like Moshe Arens “want… to annex the territories, purely and simply by giving citizenship to Palestinians who live there now (not to those who left, of course!).”  Let them do it, Serge, this is a fine first step.  The full enfranchisement of Palestinians living in Palestine is the best we might hope for, in fact it is the best anyone should wish for.


Serge is strong on emotions, weak on arithmetic. He claims: “it will not change the situation much, as there are already many Palestinian citizens of Israel”. Today Palestinians are held to being not more than 10% of voters for the Israeli Knesset. If all Palestinians had the right to vote, they would make up at least 45% of Israeli voters. Imagine that! No law could pass without their approval; no government could be formed without including Palestinians. Even the return of the 1948 refugees would become possible under those circumstances (those “dreams” Serge might say).


Serge impugns my own dreams (and my choices as an Israeli voter) when he proclaims: “Shamir tried to sell us the mafia politico Arcadi Gaydamak by saying that he would win [municipal] elections and clean the Augean stables. But Gaydamak, with the cops after him even in Israel, has managed, by paying dearly, to return to Russia where he went to ground.”


I do regret the sound defeat of Gaydamak in Jerusalem’s municipal elections. Instead of him, Jerusalem chose to elect the terrible Barkat, who has demolished Arab houses on a daily basis ever since election day. If a day comes when all Jews are expelled from Israel/Palestine, it will be more the fault of the Barkats than the Religious Zionists. Barkat rightwing policies bring shame to Jerusalem, but he was the choice of even the most leftist of Zionists (like Avnery) because he was against religious Jews. Gaydamak might have been the first good mayor of Jerusalem. The holy city has never had a good mayor; some say Nashashibi was good, and others say not even him.  Gaydamak actually cared about Palestinian Jerusalemites, as well as for orthodox Jews. He delivered weapons to the pro-Communist MPLA government of Luanda, and it is a good deed in my book. Of course the cops were after him! Let’s not forget that the cops were after Serge Thion, too! Gaydamak escaped, and so did Serge. I am glad both are free, and there is no need for the pot to call the kettle black.


Serge talks about “going to ground” like a good revolutionist, but he shows how out of touch he is with the reality on the ground in Israel. He still thinks that the Sinai Bedouins are under Israeli military administration. But Sinai with its Bedouins reverted to Egypt in 1970s. He thinks Israeli citizens of Arab origin were under military administration “for dozens of years”. In actuality, this had been over by 1966. Serge says that since Israeli Arabs are given second-class status in Israel, they should either walk away or expel their rulers.  This is the way revolutionists talk.  But there is another way, the evolutionary way.  The partition-or-nothing argument is a staple of the leftist Zionist supporters of the Two State Solution, of people like Uri Avnery. I argue against that elsewhere


Serge is worried that, under the One State solution, Jews might survive and flourish in Palestine. He prefers to give Jews the well-known choice: “the bag or the coffin”. In this, we must part company. I do indeed want “to save the Jews, to maintain their presence in Palestine after the failure of the Jewish state.” Serge reveals, “Jews will always be able to get along, even in an Arab state, and perhaps in Muslim Islamist. They know how.” Yes, Serge, that’s right! That is what I want. The Jews manage fine in Muslim Islamic Iran, and they will manage fine in a united Palestine. This irks you and suits me fine, because I am for Palestine and you are against Jews.


We might discern the Christian virtue of charity implicit in the One State Solution.  The Zionists have fought hard - no one was more single-minded or world shaking in their determination - and yet they still have lost.  Such is the profit from all worldly endeavors.  The Jews have, for many and varied reasons, cooperated with the Zionist juggernaut. How shall we punish them?  Shall we expel them, giving them no reason whatever to cooperate with us?  Or shall we acknowledge their worth, perhaps to recognize at the very least their boldness and proven fundraising skills?  Charity to the deserving is not charity at all – it is justice.  Justice is what the Palestinian people have been denied, but the fact is that justice is coming.  How shall the victorious Palestinian people treat the vanquished?  I would hope they might treat them with charity.

Serge made his choice clear in his foreword to an Italian translation of one of my books, saying:

The Palestinians, ultimately, have only one claim, simple and legitimate: that the Jews will go back where they came from. Nobody among the Palestinians wishes them harm, but nobody will ever accept their presence… Israel is a lost cause, post-Zionists want to save the Jews however possible. To give up the old dream of two states, to struggle for a single, democratic state of "one man one vote" (old slogan of anti-apartheid in South Africa) – and to maintain the politico-financial elites within this state, like in South Africa. This prospect does not appear realistic to me. The weight of the crimes committed by the Zionists is the Himalayas beside the Nazis' hills. The river of blood that the Zionists made run since 1936 is too broad for them to cross it by saying "Let us forget all and become partners". The rejection is visceral, violent, everywhere in the Middle East. The Jews will have to leave, and the bloody Zionist venture will be "erased from the pages of times", as Imam Khomeiny said poetically. (Israel Shamir, "Should the Jews be Deported?")

In my view, this approach is as erroneous as it is immoral. It harkens back to the joys of the partition of India. “Send them back” is a slogan of the far right in Europe and the US; there they want to send the blacks to Africa, the Turkish-Europeans to Turkey, and the Mexican-Americans to Mexico, even if the targets of these racial stereotypes have never even visited their designated place of origin. Just so, Israeli extremists want to send Arab-Israelis to Arabia. There is no end to this “sending back”. I do not say it is impossible, because it is possible and it has been done in the past. Spaniards pushed the Moors back to North Africa after they had lived side by side for 700 years. Russians expelled the Germans from East Prussia 900 years after they had moved in. Algerians attempted to rid themselves of Frenchmen 150 years after the French culture arrived.  The results are so similar as to be predictable by this time: bloodshed, robbery, and a people divided by hatred. Beyond the brutality required to force populations to move against their will, the state is generally permanently weakened by the disorder. Today’s Algeria is less developed and probably less democratic than it was before the mass flight of the European settlers. It is better to live and let live; making people equal does not require displacing anybody.

As a citizen of Israel, I know that this mature attitude of compromise holds sway “on the ground” there. The majority of the Palestinians in Palestine do not share Serge’s wish to “send the Jews back home”. The bitter and disillusioned do wish it, and profoundly. Most Jews, for their part would like the Palestinians to return to some kind of imagined pan-Arabian homeland. It is a natural wish, a child’s wish. I wish my problem would just go away, so that I don’t have to deal with it. It is as natural as the desire to become young again. We do not have to fight our feelings – it is enough to understand that it is not going to happen.

Rivers of blood once divided the Bretons of western France from the rest of the country; now they live peacefully together in one state. It is possible. We stand for One State; that is to say one state where people live together as equals, without expelling anybody – not Jews, not Zionists, not anybody! When Jews evolve past their superiority complexes, and their persecution complexes, they do manage to become normal, useful citizens. It would be better for everyone, themselves included, if they could shed their clannishness, but this can wait, for it is said in the Song of Songs: “Do not wake up my beloved until she wakes up herself.” Let us struggle for equality like grownups. Let us not indulge ourselves in Serge’s childish fantasy: the dream (or rather, nightmare) of ridding ourselves of millions of human beings.

Serge howls, “Shamir, you're wrong to take us for idiots.” Serge, I speak to you, and you alone when I take to task a man who has let himself be carried away by his personal anti-Jewish feelings. Your unreasoning hatred is a gift to the more reasonable opponents of Zionism. At the bargaining table prudent people will turn with disgust from your inhuman final solution, and embrace Ahmadinejad, Hamas, and even Hezbullah, for they at least will permit a Jewish presence after Palestine has been freed from the chains of Zion. I wrote, “Integration is a good thing for Jews.”  Serge clarifies: “Because they can exploit, [they will become] the bankers.” Your game, Serge, is clear: you want to get rid of Jews, and you want the blood to be on the hands of the Palestinian people. If you feel you must, Serge, do as your heart commands. But please do it in France, on your own turf.  Palestine has enough worries, and cannot spare the blood to satisfy your cravings for ethnic cleansing.


You are no idiot, Serge, and I would never question your ability to come up with a bold solution. You have placed yourself into a very specific category, that of being an extremist and an anti-Jewish fanatic. Your sort makes everybody else look moderate. Thank you for performing this valuable service.