The Qur’an: Sura 49:13

“O humankind! We created you from a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes that you may know and honor each other (not that you should despise one another). Indeed the most honorable among you is the most righteous.”

The New Testament: Matthew 7:12

“So in everything, do to others as you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

The Torah: Leviticus 19:34

“The stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you and you shalt love him. He is like you, for you, as well, were strangers in the land of Egypt.”

 

Call to Action ~

“A State of All Its Citizens” — one secular, democratic, multicultural, non-sectarian state throughout historic Palestine

While promoting the 2005 call by Palestinian civil society and the 2009 call by Kairos Palestine for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law and universal principles of human rights, Common Ground hosts Palestinians and Jewish Israelis to discuss why all Palestinians and the PLO, who recognized the “State of Israel” in 1988 and 1993, do not accept Israel’s demand to be recognized as an ethnoreligious “Jewish state” — allowed by President Obama in 2014, stipulated in the 2020 Trump plan, and potentially included in any future U.S. plan unless opposed by solidarity groups — and why, as Yousef Munnayer advises: “Palestinians shouldn’t stand for this, neither should anyone else” (Why ‘Jewish state’ demand is a non-starter / Why Palestinians Can’t Recognize a ‘Jewish state’‘Jewish state’ recognition adds new Israeli-Palestinian trip wire).

Common Ground invites Palestine solidarity groups to:

 

Analysis & Advocacy for One Democratic State in Palestine/Israel ~

“To eliminate discrimination and change the power relations between Jews and Arabs toward real equality, it is necessary to give up on the ideology that produces inequality.” Umar al-Ghubari, Zochrot

As Awad Abdelfattah and Jeff Halper declare in their 2020 article It is time for the one-state solution to go mainstream: “A democratic state in historic Palestine is no utopian vision. It is doable, it is critical and it is urgent. The time has come for an inclusive democratic state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.”

In his 2019 article There will be a one-state solution. But what kind of state will it be? Palestinian American Yousef Munayyer writes: “For nearly three decades, the so-called two-state solution has dominated discussions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But the idea of two states for two peoples in the territory both occupy was always an illusion, and in recent years, reality has set in. The two-state solution is dead. And good riddance: it never offered a realistic path forward. The time has come for all interested parties to instead consider the only alternative with any chance of delivering lasting peace: equal rights for Israelis and Palestinians in a single shared state. ”

In his “milestone” 2020 article I No Longer Believe in a Jewish State, Jewish American Peter Beinart “makes a monumental shift” in conceding the chance for a two-state solution in Palestine/Israel is “extinguished,” and asserts: “The goal of equality (between Jews and Palestinians) is now more realistic than the goal of separation. The reason is that changing the status quo requires a vision powerful enough to create a mass movement. A fragmented Palestinian state under Israeli control does not offer that vision. Equality can. Increasingly, one equal state is not only the preference of young Palestinians. It is the preference of young Americans, too.”

In his 2016 article In the Jewish state, equality for Arabs is impossible by definition, Palestinian Israeli Umar al-Ghubari (Zochrot Staff) discusses obstacles to equality and charts a path to change the status quo: “Because of these deeply-rooted conceptions, which stem from the very definition of the state as the state of the Jewish people, there is no chance of achieving equality in the State of Israel…. This is not just about what people want, it is a question of whether it is even possible. The State of Israel, with its self-definition, its mission, the way it was established, its priorities, its symbols, name and national anthem, cannot — even if it wanted to — bring about equality between Jews and non-Jews. The state of the Jews is by necessity a racist state. It cannot be anything else. This is structured and rooted in its very definition. It was founded on Jewish privilege, supremacy and sovereignty, and many of its laws were legislated and many of its goals were formulated on the basis of giving preference to its Jewish citizens…. Equality in the state of the Jews is unattainable, and the struggle to achieve such equality is a futile one. Even if you will it, it will remain a dream. It’s an illusion…. To eliminate discrimination and change the power relations between Jews and Arabs toward real equality, it is necessary to give up on the ideology that produces inequality. Those who carry the banner of the struggle need to change direction and demand the establishment of a truly democratic political framework — one that will not give preference to one race over another. This will pave the way for a struggle that has a chance of implementing the principle of equality…. Equality without reservations, which eliminates the equation of rulers and ruled, occupiers and occupied, expellers and expelled. That is where the struggle has to go.”

In his 2020 article From Minneapolis to Palestine, racism is the common enemy, Ahmed Abu Artema, co-organizer of Gaza’s Great March of Return and a member of One State Foundation, declares: “The killing of George Floyd, an African American man, lays bare the brutality and danger that stems from a deeply embedded culture of racism. The situation for Palestinians confronting the Zionist colonial project is no less challenging: Jewish supremacy and racial discrimination are entrenched in Israel’s constitutional law. Israel proclaims itself a Jewish state, which by definition means it is not a state for all its citizens. Even Palestinians with Israeli citizenship live under some 65 laws that are designed to discriminate against them and maintain Israeli-Jewish hegemony…. While the civil rights movement in the United States delegitimized formal discrimination – although systemic racism persists – Palestinians still suffer under a system of legalized racism, expulsion and confinement to ghettos…. Israeli law asserts the ‘right to exercise national self-determination’ in historic Palestine is ‘unique to the Jewish people.’ Indeed, what unites racists everywhere is the belief that they have superior characteristics to those of a different race or religion. This means the struggle against all forms of racial discrimination must be global.”

In Escalating the Demographic War: The Strategic Goal of Israeli Racism in Palestine (2020), Palestinian American Ramzy Raroud writes: “The definition of Israel as ‘the Jewish State’ or ‘the State of the Jewish People’ makes inequality a practical, political and ideological reality for Palestinian citizens of Israel…. Israeli racism is not random and cannot be simply classified as yet another human rights violation. It is the core of a sophisticated plan that aims at the political marginalization and economic strangulation of Israel’s Palestinian Arab minority within a constitutional, thus ‘legal’, framework. Without fully appreciating the end goal of this Israeli strategy, Palestinians and their allies will not have the chance to properly combat it, as they certainly should.”

In The Strategic Significance of the “Jewish state” in the Struggle for Palestinian Rights (2012), Toufic Haddad observes: “The ‘Jewish state’ qualification is at the root of the Palestinian Zionist conflict. It encapsulates the discriminatory racial/ethnic/religious categorization that leads to the settler colonial project of Zionism, embodied in the state of Israel…. In brief, the ‘Jewish state’ is why there is settler colonialism, occupation and apartheid in Palestine today.” Haddad observes that “Western support for Israel forms the lynchpin of Israel’s ‘successful’ settler colonialism” based on “the guise” of Israel’s “’democratic’ character. Without the democratic façade, Israel would correctly be exposed as an ethno-religious, outdated state model that dispossesses and discriminates against Palestinians on racial/ethnic/religious grounds.” Haddad observes that “there has always been, and always will be, a fundamental contradiction between Israel’s ‘Jewish’ and ‘democratic’ characters…. Western strategy vis-à-vis Palestinians has been to support Israel’s repression of Palestinians and Arabs as a means to keep the region divided, weak and exploitable…. The ascendant demand that Israel be recognized as a Jewish state, however, opens up a strategic niche of entrance for a potential Palestinian counter-strategy. This is because the indefensibility of a Jewish state within liberal values exposes lines of attack which can be widened and exploite