University of Sussex
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Countering an illusion of our epoch: the re-emergence of the single state solution in Palestine/Israel

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posted on 2023-06-08, 10:17 authored by Cherine Hussein
Since the Oslo Accords, the two-state solution has dominated, and frustrated, the official search for peace in Israel/Palestine. In parallel to it, an alternative struggle of resistance — centered upon the single state idea as a more liberating pathway towards justice to the conflict — has re-emerged against the hegemony of Zionism and the demise of a viable two-state solution in Israel/Palestine. This thesis inquires into the nature of this phenomenon as a movement of resistance and investigates its potential to become a counterhegemonic force against the processes of Zionism as embedded within the peace process since Oslo. To this end, it reconstructs the re-emergence of the single state solution both intellectually and organizationally. This reconstructive analysis is undertaken in two interlinked ways. On the one hand, this thesis analyzes and evaluates the single state alternative from within its own self-understandings, strategies and maps to power. In doing so, it centers the political practices of the situated resistances of the oppressed themselves. On the other hand, it mobilises a classical Gramscian theoretical approach—one that re-centers the processes of counterhegemony, and Gramsci’s radical embrace of the transformative power of the human being—through the writings of Edward Said. This theoretical lens enables the analysis of the counterhegemonic potential of this alternative through an evaluation of the extent to which it meets the more stringent demands of becoming a Gramscian-Saidian counterhegemonic force of liberation. Hence, this thesis represents both an empirical contribution to knowledge, and a theoretically informed analysis of the nature of the single state alternative. The thesis finds that the single state alternative can be seen as a Gramscian-Saidian movement of critical pedagogy aimed at creating a reconstructive moment within the conflict. It argues that it has laid much of the groundwork required to become an expansive counterhegemonic force. However, this potential has yet to be seized through a unified, officially led vehicle openly endorsing a single state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—and has several obstacles left to overcome in its process of becoming an established political force.


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