Back to Navigation

Israeli-Palestinian conflict | Munk Debates

SEASON TWO - EPISODE #28

Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Be it resolved, a one-state solution is the best hope of ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Guests
George E. Bisharat
Gil Troy

About this episode

It is perhaps the most disputed land on earth, with claims over property rights going back thousands of years. For decades, foreign governments have attempted to broker peace between Israelis and Palestinians through a two-state solution. Yet the 1991 Madrid Conference, the 1993 Oslo Accords, the 2000 Camp David Summit and the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative have all failed in their ultimate goal: to create mutually agreed upon boundaries whereby both peoples can live side by side, peacefully, within secure and recognized borders.

With every failed attempt at a two-state solution, tensions between the two sides increase and hope for peace becomes ever more elusive; Palestinians, disillusioned with occupation and settler annexation, see their dreams of liberation and statehood slowly evaporating. Israelis, weary of corrupt Palestinian leadership and a continuous wave of terror attacks, do not see a legitimate partner for peace.

Now, many Palestinians believe it is time to give up on this pipe dream. The two-state solution, they argue, is dead. The only chance at delivering peace to the region is to end the occupation and create one democratic state with equal rights for both Israelis and Palestinians. Most Jews oppose this plan. Israel was created as a safe haven for a people that have faced generations of prejudice, discrimination, and persecution. They argue that absorbing Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza into Israel will lead to large scale violence and the end of the Jewish state as we know it.

Share:

Guests

George E. Bisharat

“Only the one state solution, a state governed by principles of equal rights and true democracy, promises to resolve all of the injustices and bring durable peace to the region.”

George E. Bisharat

“Only the one state solution, a state governed by principles of equal rights and true democracy, promises to resolve all of the injustices and bring durable peace to the region.”

George E. Bisharat was a trial lawyer for the Office of the Public Defender in San Francisco before joining the UC Hastings faculty in 1991. Professor Bisharat studied law, anthropology, and Middle East studies at Harvard, and wrote a book about Palestinian lawyers working under Israeli military occupation in the West Bank. He writes frequently on law and politics in the Middle East, both for academic audiences and for major media sources in the U.S. and abroad. Professor Bisharat is an avid fly fisher, sometimes in such exotic locations as Russia and New Zealand, and also writes articles for fly fishing magazines. He is a singer, songwriter, and blues harmonica player specializing in the chromatic harmonica, and as “Big Harp George” has recorded two albums that earned award nominations and critical acclaim. His wife, Jaleh Bisharat, is a business marketing executive working in high tech.

Gil Troy

“A one-state solution is actually a no Jewish state solution. It's a way of trying to wrap up in lovely language about justice and democracy an attempt to eliminate the Jewish state.”

Gil Troy

“A one-state solution is actually a no Jewish state solution. It's a way of trying to wrap up in lovely language about justice and democracy an attempt to eliminate the Jewish state.”

A Distinguished Scholar in North American History at McGill University currently living in Jerusalem, Gil Troy is an award-winning American presidential historian and a leading Zionist activist. In the Foreword to Troy’s last book, The Zionist Ideas: Visions for the Jewish Homeland – Then, Now, Tomorrow, which was a 2019 National Jewish Book Award Finalist, Natan Sharansky writes: “This magnificent work is the perfect follow-up to Arthur Hertzberg’s classic The Zionist Idea. Combining, like Hertzberg, a scholar’s eye and an activist’s ear, Gil Troy demonstrates that we now live in a world of Zionist Ideas, with many different ways to help Israel flourish as a democratic Jewish state.” 

Recently designated an Algemeiner J-100, one of the top 100 people "positively influencing Jewish life," Troy wrote The Age of Clinton: America in the 1990s, and eight other books on the American presidency. One leading historian called Age of Clinton “the best book on the man and his times.” Troy edited and updated another classic, the multi-volume History of American Presidential Campaigns, originally edited by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. and Fred Israel. He is also a columnist for The Jerusalem Post

Comments