For years Gideon Levy has been at the forefront of a left-wing Israeli media decrying the “injustice” of Jewish settlement in the biblical heartland and pushing for the creation of a Palestinian state.
At the B’Sheva Conference in Jerusalem this week, Levy acknowledged that the fight had been lost, and that the Land of Israel could no longer be divided.
The B’Sheva gathering draws Israel’s top journalists, thought-leaders and politicians to discuss and debate the political issues of the day. Levy himself is a long-time columnist for the daily newspaper Ha’aretz.
In his remarks to the conference, Levy explained that if you include the eastern half of Jerusalem (which the Palestinians claim as their capital), there are some 700,000 Jews today living in the disputed territories.
As such, the “two-state solution” is effectively dead.
“The dream of a Palestinian state, of [the Land] divided into two states, has vanished,” lamented Levy. “It pains me to say it, but it must be said here and especially abroad, so that people start moving away from the idea.”
The veteran journalist urged the “peace camp” to stop talking of a two-state solution, since it had only served to encourage more Jewish settlement. Instead, he hinted at focusing on the notion of a bi-national state in which the two million or more Palestinian Arabs in the so-called “West Bank” would be made citizens with full voting rights.
He insisted that in the long-run, there is no third alternative, it’s either separation or risking the Jewish majority by absorbing the Palestinians.