JERUSALEM (JTA) — Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi made his case for a one-state solution in a New York Times op-ed.
Gadhafi, a longtime supporter of the Palestine Liberation Organization who became leader of Libya in a 1969 coup, said in a column published Thursday that since both Israelis and Palestinians have long histories on the land, they should inhabit it together.
"The Palestinians believe that what is now called Israel forms part of their nation, even were they to secure the West Bank and Gaza," he wrote. "And the Jews believe that the West Bank is Samaria and Judea, part of their homeland, even if a Palestinian state were established there. Now, as Gaza still smolders, calls for a two-state solution or partition persist. But neither will work."
Gadhafi said a two-state solution would be an "unacceptable security risk" for Israel and that areas set aside for a Palestinian state would not accommodate all of the displaced Palestinians that want to return.
He called the Israelis and Palestinians "cousins" who have "faced cruel persecution."
Gadhafi concludes, "If the present interdependence and the historical fact of Jewish-Palestinian coexistence guide their leaders, and if they can see beyond the horizon of the recent violence and thirst for revenge toward a long-term solution, then these two peoples will come to realize, I hope sooner rather than later, that living under one roof is the only option for a lasting peace."
At a lecture via videoconference to Georgetown University students on Wednesday, Gadhafi called for the establishment of a democratic state called Isratine. He added that to preserve the Jews as an ethnic group, "Take them to Alaska or Honolulu or the Hawaiian islands or the Pacific islands and they can live peacefully in an isolated setting."
The United States restored full diplomatic relations with Libya in 2006.