DiEM25’s official stance on Israel-Palestine

DiEM25 members call for a Single Democratic Secular State solution.

In June, 2021, after weeks of lively debates within our movement (see forum discussion and video debate), DiEM25 members decided that our position on Israel-Palestine should be that of a Single Democratic Secular State solution.

In the face of the terrible loss of civilian life during Hamas’ recent attack on Israel, and of Israel’s ongoing, unjustifiable collective punishment of the people of Gaza, we renew our call for the solution below. You can download the full document here.

Part 1: THE FACTS

  1. From the Oslo Accords to this date, the strategic goal of Benjamin Netanyahu and his allies was the termination of any meaningful Peace Process. An objective achieved long ago
  2. Since the Oslo Accords, the state of Israel has been:
    a. massively, and illegally, expanding settlements in the areas where the Palestinian state was meant to be, the result being more than hundreds of thousands of settlers are now ensconced on occupied Palestinian lands
    b. utilising the Israeli army, architects, civil engineers, road builders and town planners, as part of a well-planned project to build an apartheid state (as confirmed by Israeli human rights’ advocate B’Tselem and, more recently, Human Rights Watch)
    c. in 2018 legislation was introduced that formalised the second-rate status of Palestinians with Israeli citizenship
    d. assassinating/humiliating potential Palestinian Partners in Peace while consistently undermining and destroying secular, democratic alternatives
  3. A two-state solution, today, would:
    a. either lead to a non-viable Palestinian state resembling a set of loosely connected Bantustans, while Palestinians living in Israel remain second-class citizens of a Jewish state
    b. or require the forceful removal of hundreds of thousands of settlers from the West Bank, with the Palestinians now living in Israel either forced to move to the new state of Palestine or remaining as second-class citizens of a Jewish state.
  4. In view of 2&3 above, the objective of Benjamin Netanyahu and his allies has been fully achieved: It is now impossible even to imagine two viable, sovereign states living peacefully side-by-side, each free of discrimination, guaranteeing equal civil rights to all their citizens, and brought about without systemic violation of basic human rights (i.e., freedom from ethnic cleansing and population exchanges).

Part 2: BASIC RIGHTS OF JEWS & PALESTINIANS

A. The historic land of Palestine must be a safe, peaceful country both for Jews and Palestinians
B. Members both of the Jewish and the Palestinian diaspora must retain their right to return
C. Jews and Palestinians must enjoy equals rights to liberty, security, non-coercion, non-discrimination, freedom to associate, and pride in their identity and nationhood

Part 3: DiEM25’s POSITION

Short-run measures that DiEM25 campaigns for:

  • An immediate end of the Israeli Occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the blockade of Gaza
  • An immediate termination of Israel’s Apartheid policies and institutions both within its pre-1967 borders and elsewhere
  • The immediate implementation of the right of Palestinian refugees to return (United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194)
  • The immediate recognition by the EU of the State of Palestine, so that Israelis and Palestinian negotiators enjoy legal parity in International Law
  • The immediate embargo on arms sales, technology transfers and maintenance to/from Israel
  • The immediate dissolution of all military alliances and treaties of EU member-states with Israel
  • The immediate cessation of all trade with Israeli settler communities in the Occupied Territories
  • An immediate de-nuclearisation of all states and entities in the Middle East
  • An end to foreign power meddling: Foreign powers have traditionally stoked the fires of conflict. The United States in particular have no legitimacy as an honest broker, and nor does the European Union. Israeli and Palestinian progressives must now take it upon themselves, with the support of progressives from around the world, to take the necessary steps

Long-run vision:

Consistent with DiEM25’s internationalist, humanist principles of non-discrimination, equality before the law, diversity, and freedom of movement, DiEM25 believes that the only long-term settlement requires progressives from both sides, Israelis and Palestinians, to work together toward a Single Democratic Secular State in the land of historic Palestine for Jews and Palestinians.The Single Democratic Secular State we support and envisage must be:

  • The homeland of both Jews and Palestinians
  • A country to which all Jews and all Palestinians (and their descendants) evicted during and after 1948 will have an equal right to return
  • Based on a Democratic, Non-Discriminatory Constitution written jointly by a Constitutional Assembly of Jews and Palestinians, supported by the international community, through the UN and with resources committed for the purpose by the EU, the USA, Russia and China
  • A force of good, and peace, in the broader Middle East, catalysing the end of various regional conflicts, delegitimising oppressive regimes and supporting greater economic, social and cultural cooperation in the region.

Nb. DiEM25 has come to this view only because the facts on the ground, as engineered by the state of Israel, are such that, at this stage, every viable two-state solution will involve population exchanges and/or the entrenchment of apartheid that are incompatible with DiEM25’s basic principles.

SUMMARY

DiEM25 acknowledges and respects the craving of Palestinians for their own state and that of Jews for a Jewish state. But, over the past decades, the Peace process that could have delivered a two-state solution has been intentionally undermined and dismantled – irreversibly. Any attempt at a two-state solution now will involve massive, and very likely violent, displacement of people and/or the formalisation of some form of apartheid.

Progressive humanists, faced with this situation, must fight for an end of the apartheid policies practised with ruthless efficiency by the Israeli state, for a cessation of fighting, and for a democratic entity in which both Jews and Palestinians can live free of fear and coercion. To build up this unique alternative to varieties of apartheid, i.e., a SINGLE DEMOCRATIC SECULAR STATE, the first step must involve the recognition of the State of Palestine, the right of both Palestinians and Jews to live and to return to historic Palestine.

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