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One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse

4.22  ·  Rating Details ·  212 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
A "visionary"* approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict--one state for two peoples--that is more urgent than ever

It is by now a commonplace that the only way to end the Israeli-Palestinian violence is to divide the territory in two. All efforts at resolving the conflict have come down to haggling over who gets what: Will Israel hand over 90 percent of the West Bank
Paperback, 240 pages
Published August 21st 2007 by Picador (first published 2006)
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Steve Cran
“One Country” by Ali Abunimah

The Israeli/ Palestinian conflict is one of the most intractable conflicts of the century. Several attempts at resolving it have lead to utter failure. The author of this book believes that political leaders have been adopting the wrong approach. His title just about sums things up, One Country for both people.

Mr. Abunimah believe that the key to resolving this conflict lies not with forgetting the past as most would believe. He believes in remembering a past where i
Evanston Public  Library
This past August, a book talk by Mr. Abunimah generated great controversy at our library. Abunimah is an ardent defender of Palestinian rights: one of his central views (expressed in both of his books) is that the modern Israel was established wrongly on Palestinian territory and has no right to exist as a Jewish state. Some would say this reflects blatant anti-semitism. He rejects the charge, drawing a distinction between anti-Jewishness (which he decries) and two core anti-Zionist beliefs: tha ...more
Roger DeBlanck
Sep 26, 2016 Roger DeBlanck rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
For a book proposing that Israelis and Palestinians live in one binational country, Abunimah's One Country offers primarily an Arab perspective of the ongoing crisis. He says the two-state solution has failed because the majorities on both sides cannot agree on a satisfactory partition. But he also thinks peace proposals have undermined the Palestinian cause for statehood due to Israel’s refusal to withdraw from the occupied territories and their denial of basic human rights to Palestinians. Man ...more
Jun 01, 2009 Zoe rated it really liked it
I ordered this book after hearing Alice Walker recommend it on Pacifica Radio. The State of Israel is one of the main philosophical conundrums "occupying" my mind.

5/4 - I got the book today and read the introduction. I think I will like this book...and I think I will be in agreement w/ Abunimah that a one-state solution is best. This issue is very close to my heart.

6/1 - Finished this book last night. I must have been ripe for it because by the end I found myself feeling committed to a shared c
Remi Kanazi
Dec 02, 2008 Remi Kanazi rated it it was amazing
Ali Abunimah's new book, One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse, exposes the impracticality of partition and presents an alternative vision, one that encompasses both peoples on the basis of equal rights.

Abunimah's book may not be the key to a one state solution, as he readily admits, but it is surely a well founded guide to help Palestinians and Israelis begin to resolve the conflict.
Nov 03, 2013 Foxglove rated it it was ok
A brilliant book if the world was hypothetical. Ignores the fact that neither side currently wants one state, and basically spends him time saying "Israel is evil, but if we all become one state, all will be well." Once one side is called "colonized" and one side "the oppressed," it's very hard to see any form of reconciliation of both sides, since we have a third world economy and a first world economy. Just combining the two would crush the new country (Israel is a socialist state who can bare ...more
Jul 31, 2013 Paul rated it it was amazing
Shelves: palestine
This book successfully convinced me the only way forward is one country that embraces all ethnicities.

Quote from the book:

"With the failure of the two-state solution and ongoing realignments within both Israeli and Palestinian politics, we are at a moment of profound uncertainty and risk but also of tantalizing opportunity. There is no credible "peace process" to provide hope that the misery on the ground is merely a transitory phase on the way to deliverance, and the one big idea that is suppos
Jan 18, 2013 Ashley rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! Abunimah provides a radical, provocative and ultimately, compassionate path forward to peace in "Israel-Palestine" through his vision for One State. His vision for justice for Palestinians is rooted in the human rights principles of the equality and dignity of all people and a belief in humans' fundamental ability to co-exist in pluralistic societies when given equal rights. I picked up "One Country" hoping to gain knowledge about the foundations of the Israeli/Palestinian confl ...more
Sep 26, 2007 Iano rated it really liked it
Brilliant. So obvious, simple and clear. I've always thought that the notion of elective/dual citizenship in the good friday agreement in Northern ireland was a good model for resolving Palestine/Israel and that the two-state solution is ridiculous folly. Abunimah explores this very clearly and uses many South African experiences to explore how it could work. Refreshing to hear something hopeful about this horror. Let's hope that there are brave and visionary Palestinians and Israelis outside of ...more
Mar 29, 2009 Reb rated it it was amazing
Shelves: israel-palestine
brilliant, clear, thoughtful, concise.
if you're a conflict-watcher or activist or whatever, read this.
Abunimah doesn't get bogged down (as I so often do) in discussions of collective psychology or history or overmuch geopolitical analysis--straight to the point that partition isn't going to work because the Jewish and Arab populations are so intermixed at this point.
Also a beautiful argument for democratic secularism in all its forms. and a gentle comparison to South Africa, not via demonizing t
Sep 23, 2009 Lee rated it it was amazing
This book was exactly what I wanted in a book about Palestine. Abunimah intertwined relevant moments from his own family's history with a sharp, hopeful, and most importantly easy to read account of Zionism and a proposal for a one state solution. Abunimah made a compelling and detailed arguement for the ways in which the idea of a two state solution has maintained Israelis and Palestinians in a state of violent limbo year after year. I loved that he was compassionate towards both sides and talk ...more
Sep 11, 2013 Yazeed rated it it was amazing
This is a very well-written book. Ali Abunimah writes very eloquently for why a one-state solution is the only viable solution to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He believes the two-state solution only offers a dwindling supply of false hope, while it does not lead to any real solution. For his one-state proposal, Ali outlines eight principles rooted in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He then shows that this kind of solution is not unprecedented, especially in post-apartheid Sou ...more
Mar 04, 2011 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: israel-palestine
Even though I was already convinced that a one-state solution would be the most just one for the Israel-Palestine conflict, this book clearly lays out why, including some arguments that had previously never figured into my rationale/understanding. I also learned a lot about South Africa and how the situation there is similar or different to the Zionist worldview, history, political ambition, settlement...NOT just apartheid, but from the very beginning. It was super interesting. I definitely reco ...more
Aug 06, 2008 Safiya rated it it was amazing
brilliant analysis on why a two-state solution is no solution at all for palestians and israelis. impecably researched and executed. informative, yet soulful. abunimah produced a balanced narrative without compromising his subjectivity as a palestinian within the diaspora. questions about land, human rights, borders, military occupation and FREEDOM are interrogated in abunima's bold proposal for truth, reconciliation and healing in the middle east.
Nate Glenn
THE moral, ethical, and practical solution to the israeli-palestinian conflict. Rooted in universal human rights, democratic values, and justice. Abunimah's vision is clear and far reaching, his message profoundly simple and uncompromising, he is the modern voice of palestine, struggling for the freedom and human rights so long denied, voicing the dignity and resolve of a people long slandered and dehumanized but never defeated.
Nov 13, 2007 David rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I've read (and I've read a bunch at this point) on Israel/Palestine and how to move forward. Abunimah is a clear and young voice of compassion and reconciliation in a world of elderly and infirm voices who espouse a tortured logic. If you're of the mind that the only way to peace in Israel/Palestine is a one state solution, you should read this book. If you're not, it goes double that you should read this book.
Mohammed Abujayyab
Dec 19, 2010 Mohammed Abujayyab rated it it was amazing
Fantastic and amazing proposal that stays true to our basic human values as a basis for arguments. It might be more of an activist point of view than one that can be realistically carried on and implemented, but it's great to see that the disturbing reality of the situation doesn't deter some from reaching out to what is right and be perfectionists in seeing the future. It caters to the world community more than it does to Palestinians or Israelis, which might be its main weakness.
Sep 11, 2009 Tinea rated it liked it
Recommended to Tinea by: Oberlin Students for a Free Palestine
A succinct, well-argued possible solution to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. It's appealing because Abunimah focuses on human rights, democratic principles, and minority political and cultural rights. He argues for a one-state solution based on reconciliation (like in South Africa), instead of ethnically-based land claims that inevitably make two-state partition agreements impossible.

Sometimes I wonder how my position as an outsider influences my agreement with compromises like this.
Dan Tal
May 11, 2015 Dan Tal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Open position for a leader with vision in the Middle-East

A healthy view and prescription how to cure the malady between Jews and Palestinians in the Middle-East. The author's optimism radiates with hope that one day a brave leader will arise, one with the vision like Nelson Mandela's.
Feb 05, 2010 Jillian rated it it was amazing
Ali Abunimah articulates every reason a one-state solution cannot work, then effectively counters every one. Whether you're well-read on the conflict, or this is your first stop, this book is absolutely worth a read (or in my case, two reads!)
Jul 28, 2011 Maryc rated it really liked it
Shelves: palestine-israel
An eye opener if you've been relying on mainstream US news sources. An honest, refreshingly optimistic look at an overwhelmingly difficult situaion. I would love to hear this author speak! Excellent read.
Jul 23, 2009 Mk rated it it was amazing
Shelves: palestine, favorites
This book is full of hope, solid arguments, and empathy. If you ever ponder the question "what do I want to see happen?", and I think most of us who work around this issue do, Abunimah's book can help you envision a solid answer.
Sep 08, 2008 Ianluna rated it it was amazing
as clear a statement of the one-state solution, the geopolitical equivalent of the love that dare not speak its name...
Jun 22, 2008 Mendal rated it it was amazing
The introduction to this book was incredible and I found it almost unnecessary to read the rest. It felt like a hopeful minute buried in a possible solution in Israel/ Palestine.
Jun 11, 2007 tamar rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: people who are interested in the israeli/palestinian topic and can read critically
i learned some things from him, but since i already agree with the one country solution it didnt hit me that hard. this is a short, very biased book.
Jul 16, 2015 Tess rated it really liked it
Shelves: palestine
The chapter "Learning From South Africa" should be required reading for anyone interested in Palestine/Israel.
Paul Burrows
Jul 06, 2012 Paul Burrows rated it really liked it
Shelves: israel-palestine
speculative and hopeful look at how the land between the Jordan and the sea could be -- and indeed must be -- shared by two equal peoples.
Nov 16, 2007 Graham rated it it was amazing
If you think the two state solution is the answer, then you need to read this book. Better than anything Chomsky has written on the issue.
Jan 29, 2008 Grace added it
Ali Abunimah is brilliant and this is one book about the history and politics of that region which is, so far, very captivating
Dominic rated it really liked it
Dec 13, 2011
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Ali Abunimah is co-founder of the award-winning online publication The Electronic Intifada, established in 2001. He is author of the book One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, which argues for a single, democratic and decolonized state in historic Palestine. Based in Chicago, he has written hundreds of articles on the question of Palestine, many of which have been p ...more
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“Peace cannot require Palestinians to acquiesce to the denial of what was done to them. Neither can it require Israeli Jews to view their own presence in Palestine as illegitimate or to change their belief in their right to live there because of ancient historical and spiritual ties. Peace, rather, must be based on how we act toward each other now. It is unacceptable for a Palestinian to draw on his history of oppression and suffering to justify harming innocent Israeli civilians. It is equally unacceptable for an Israeli to invoke his belief in an ancient covenant between God and Abraham to justify bulldozing the home and seizing the land of a Palestinian farmer. The 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which proposes a political framework for a resolution to the conflict in Ireland, and which was overwhelmingly endorsed in referendums, sets out two principles from which Palestinians and Israelis could learn. First “[i]t is recognized that victims have a right to remember as well as to contribute to a changed society.” Second, whatever political arrangements are freely and democratically chosen for the governance of Northern Ireland, the power of the government “shall be exercised with rigorous impartiality on behalf of all the people in the diversity of their identities and traditions and shall be founded on the principles of full respect for, and equality of civil, political, social, and cultural rights, of freedom from discrimination for all citizens, and of parity of esteem and of just and equal treatment for the identity, ethos, and aspirations of both communities.” Northern Ireland is still a long way from achieving this ideal, but life has vastly improved since the worst days of “the Troubles” and it is a paradise on earth compared to Palestine/Israel.” 1 likes
“But Israel’s might is useless in a struggle that is not about winning territory but securing democratic rights for all. This is why opposition to the grim realities must be coupled with a battle of ideas in which walls and checkpoints provide no defense. Furthermore, it is why the struggle must take a moral form that offers Israel no excuses for its oppressive measures.” 1 likes
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