President Obama has publicly announced that Israel should withdraw to 1967 lines of ceasefire.
The truth is that historically and religiously, both Israelis and Palestinians see Eretz-Israel / Palestine – from the River to the Sea - as their real homeland. And none of both people can admit that the other imposes its sovereignty over the Temple Mount / Holy Mosques. Splitting the Holy Jerusalem would be like cutting the One-God in two...
For Israelis the two state solution is a threat to their security; for Palestinian, it is an unfair sharing which gives them only 22% of their homeland and will prevent the return of refugees to their homes. It requires compromises that neither side can make.
Consequently, an increasing number of Israelis and Palestinians understand that territorial separation is not the answer. At the same time, neither side wants to lose its identity or its independence by merging into one nation.
Everyone should be able to live and work wherever he wants between Sea and Jordan River, as individuals enjoying the same civil and human rights, and the right to self-determination as members of their own people. Any exiled from both people should be free to return home without being a demographic threat to the other side.
Obviously, a radical one-state solution is not an option either. In an unitary state, the two nations will be in open conflict to impose their identity on the other, and demography will be an explosive issue.
The authors of this article share the vision of a special kind of federation - two state in one - which is able to square the vicious circle of nationalism, religious extremism, violence and demographic threat:
Each inhabitant will have a double citizenship, a national one - Palestinian or Israeli - and a federal one, common to all. There will be three parliaments, two national ones and a federal one based on parity. A constitution will guarantee that no side could dominate the other.
There will be one army only; the territory will be undivided and will belong to the federation, as well as the district of Jerusalem. Every citizen will enjoy a personal and communal autonomy. This will allow him to live where ever he wants, and still vote for its own national parliament.
In this solution, there is no more territorial conflict, no more demographic danger, the whole Jerusalem undivided - East and West united - lives in peace under the federal covenant and our common One-God.
Some other "unionists" prefer a confederation, with a right of residency on the territory of the other nation. Others speak of one state with cultural autonomy.
We have all accepted the reality that we must live together and share Israel/Palestine as citizens and countrymen in one land. And we don't see this necessity as a misfortune that one has to cope with, but as an extraordinary and providential opportunity.
Among the more recent leaders of unity and a shared future are Yehuda Schwartz, Kamal Nawash, Josef Avesar, Hanna Siniora, Yigal Kahana, Avrum Burg, Mazin Qumsiyeh and Meiron Benvenisti to name a few.
Unity can work. Israel's population includes 1.5 million Palestinians who carry Israeli citizenship. Despite complaints of discrimination, they have lived with Jews in peace since the creation of Israel, in mixed towns like Haifa, Jaffa and Acre. Another example is the Old City of Jerusalem. It includes Muslims, Jews, Christians, Armenians and various ethnicities. They live in harmony.
We are Palestinians and Israelis, Jews, Christians and Muslims who want to live together as brothers and neighbors in Israel/Palestine.
We are convinced that our both economies associated will bring unprecedented blessings.
We have dreams of creating a new promise land, a new Eden.
We want to form an union of hope and an example for mankind.
Kamal Nawash of the Free Muslims Coalition
Yehuda Schwartz of the Federation of Israel-Palestine