The number of Palestinians who think that the Oslo Accords are dead and the Palestinian Authority has failed is increasing. In very interesting developments, individuals who are considered very close to the PA, Fatah and the PLO leadership are voicing their concerns and some have provided practical alternatives. On May 15, 2013, 29 individuals met and signed a declaration for the creation of the popular movement for the establishment of one democratic state in historic Palestine.

Senior Fatah officials call for single democratic state, not two-state solution

This important step was preceded on March 17 by the creation of the Yaffa (Jaffa) group for one democratic state in historic Palestine.

 

Yaffa odspales_ods - For One Democratic State in Historic Palestine

Writing from South Africa on April 25, Israeli columnist Gideon Levy wrote an important column in Haaretz calling on the Palestinians to adopt the odspales_ods ideal of "one person, one vote" to hasten the end of Israel's domination over Palestinian lives. Levy calls on Palestinians to follow the lessons of the South African anti-apartheid movement. The option of creating a viable Palestinian state is withering away and their struggle should focus on changing the nature of the Israeli system that rules over their lives. He said:

This world cannot remain indifferent to the basic demand of one person, one vote; no one can possibly refuse such a basic right of every human being.
Focusing on this demand will disarm Israel of all its excuses. What can it say? That the Palestinians aren't human? That they don't have rights like any other nation? Not every nation has a state, but every person has the right to vote. Palestinians do not have voting rights in the state that determines their fate. Theirs must be a struggle for this right without criminal violence, such as the terror of the second Intifada. Such a struggle will attract international support by peoples and governments. Nobody, apart from the Israelis, could possibly oppose it. Israelis will be forced to reexamine their values, beliefs, and all the sacred truths and red lines they invented. Israelis will be forced to admit that for some time now they have been living in one state, but it is shadowed by a form of apartheid. Once this happens, there are only two possibilities: Either the Palestinians will succeed as Mandela did to calm people's fears, and the all-Israeli nightmare of the one-democratic-state solution will make way for the promise of a bright future; or Israelis will finally come to their senses and hasten to withdraw from all the occupied territories and allow, at virtually the last moment, the establishment of a viable Palestinian state.. There is no other just a possibility for a solution of the conflict.

Like Israel, Palestinians must also learn the lessons of South Africa

 

On May 29, 2013 Nasser Laham, one of Mr. Mahmoud Abbas's top allies in the West Bank and editor-in-chief of Ma'an News Agency confessed in a published interview that "We failed. The PLO made a mistake. The negotiations with Israel failed. Arafat believed in peace, signed by Rabin, they killed Rabin, they killed Arafat, they succeeded, and I believe we will have to pay the price…. Trust me, in just days or months, we will quit. We gave up. Congratulations. Game over. We failed. We made a mistake. We believed in peace."

Top Abbas Confidant: ‘I give up… We failed.’

Readers should however note that odspales_ods is not achieved without the realization of the full Right of Return (RoR) of all Palestinian refugees to their homes and land from which they were expelled during and since 1948 – as enshrined in UN Resolution 194. While we welcome with utmost warmth Gideon Levy's support for one state in historic Palestine, his position is not identical to that of odspales_ods because he believes only in a very watered-down version of RoR. In a 2010 interview by Mondoweiss he was asked:

Firstly, in terms of the Palestinian refugees – do you have a view about whether they should be permitted to return? His answer:

First of all, something must be very clear – the problem must be solved. And as long as their problem will not be solved, nothing will be solved. Those hundreds of thousands of refugees cannot continue, generation after generation, to live in their conditions. They have rights. Now on the other hand, you can't, and you don't want, to solve the problem and to create a new problem. Full return means creating new refugees. The place I live in Tel Aviv belonged to a Palestinian village. If the owners of this village will come back, I will have to go somewhere else. All Israel is originally Palestinian – if not its villages then its land, its fields… almost all of it belonged to the Palestinians. So if you do a total return, you create a new problem. And also there are very few precedents in history in which everyone was allowed to return to his original home decades after the war. But it must be solved.

Gideon Levy: ‘Zionism in its present meaning, in its common meaning, is contradictory to human rights, to equality, to democracy’

It is necessary for all advocates of odspales_ods to examine their position on RoR.
The universal ideals of odspales_ods are increasingly catching momentum inside and outside of historic Palestine. Do not stay on the sidelines. Get involved and join the movement.