Why Did Israel's Greatest Living Writer Turn on the Two-state Solution?

A.B. Yehoshua has always been opposed to the idea of boundary blurring, particularly between Jews and Palestinians. Why, then, in his ninth decade, is he promoting a one-state solution?

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Avi Garfinkel
Avi Garfinkel

For most of his life, the writer A.B. Yehoshua, who turned 85 earlier this month, lived in mixed – Jewish-Arab – cities: Jerusalem and Haifa. Yet at more or less the same time he moved to Givatayim, one of Israel’s most homogeneous cities, he made a breathtaking U-turn. After supporting the two-state solution for 50 years, he announced, in a number of opinion pieces in this paper, that he considers that solution unviable. What needs to be done, he wrote, is to give all the Arabs of the West Bank and East Jerusalem citizenship within the framework of a single, joint Jewish-Arab state. In 2016 he suggested that Israel immediately begin to grant residency status and citizenship to the approximately 100,000 Arabs who live in Area C of the West Bank (which is under Israeli control), thereby giving resonance to the plan of the former director general of the Yesha council of settlements, Naftali Bennett, who is today prime minister.

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