Rep. Joe Walsh’s one-state solution

What would happen if a lawmaker advocated solving Israeli-Palestinian dispute with a one-state solution and encouraged one of the parties to the conflict to, well, leave to facilitate this outcome?

That’s the position advocated by Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) Of course, in contrast to those critics of Israel who back a one-state solution, the one state that Walsh proposed in his Washington Times op-ed this past weekend would be uniformly "Israel" and the folks he would encourage to leave would be Palestinians. Should they decide to stay they would be subject to "limited" voting rights.

Walsh wrote:

Those Palestinians who wish to may leave their Fatah- and Hamas-created slums and move to the original Palestinian state: Jordan. The British Mandate for Palestine created Jordan as the country for the Palestinians. That is the only justification for its creation. Even now, 75 percent of its population is of Palestinian descent. Those Palestinians who remain behind in Israel will maintain limited voting power but will be awarded all the economic and civil rights of Israeli citizens.

This is a fairly surprising policy proposal — at odds with the stated positions of the leaders of both the United States and Israel. So why the crickets, heard chirping here, by Robert Wright at the Atlantic.

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Wright writes:

Offhand, I don’t recall a member of Congress in my lifetime saying anything so grotesquely at odds with American ideals about ethnic relations and for that matter basic human rights. Will the Anti-Defamation League denounce Walsh? Will the American Jewish Committee? Will AIPAC have anything to say about the congressman whose strongly pro-Israel views its newsletter approvingly highlighted? If not, why not?

It is certainly the case that Israel critics who have made similar arguments on behalf of the Palestinians have been roundly denounced.

For example, we know what would happen to a journalist who proposed that Jews should leave to accomodate Palestinian aspirations. Witness: Helen Thomas’ career.

We also know what would happen if a Democratic candidate were to embrace a one-state solution: Witness one-stater and Israel critic Marcy Winograd, and the Democratic establishment’s repudiation of her bid to unseat Jane Harman (then a Californian rep.) two years ago.

And we know what would happen if a Democratic lawmaker engaged with folks who encouraged one-state: Witness J Street’s bringing to heel of Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) two years ago.

Incidentally, Walsh got $2,500 this year from a pro-Israel PAC, Allies for Israel. Here are its donors.

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