On October 29, 2013, Avrum Burg published an opinion article on Mondoweiss, an extreme anti-Israel blog, promoting a “one-state” framework for the Arab-Israeli conflict (“We must enter a new Israeli discourse based in equality, justice, and freedom”). The article was part of a series on the blog, “What Comes Next?: A forum on the end of the two-state paradigm,” initiated by Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP).
Burg is a former politician and a controversial figure in Israel. He is also a founder, senior fellow, and advisor of Molad: The Center for the Renewal of Israeli Democracy, as well as a member of the New Israel Fund’s International Council. In addition to Burg’s position with New Israel Fund (NIF), NIF provided $385,000 to Molad in 2012 and continues to fund Molad in 2013.
In his article, Burg describes the emergence of a “one-state” discourse as “an opportunity worth taking” and celebrates a future where “there will be only one state between the Jordan and the sea – neither ours nor theirs but a mutual one.”
- “So enough of the illusions. There are no longer two states between the Jordan River and the sea.”
- “The next diplomatic formula that will replace the “two states for two peoples” will be a civilian formula. All the people between the Jordan and the sea have the same right to equality, justice and freedom. In other words, there is a very reasonable chance that there will be only one state between the Jordan and the sea – neither ours nor theirs but a mutual one.”
- “The conceptual framework will be agreed upon – a democratic state that belongs to all of its citizens. The practicable substance could be fertile ground for arguments and creativity. This is an opportunity worth taking, despite our grand experience of missing every opportunity and accusing everyone else except ourselves.”
Burg also recommended that the Israeli Left boycott the current government, in an anti-democratic attempt to strip it of legitimacy:
“We must not disturb [the Right]. Let them go all the way until the end. Until the end of their legislation and until the end of their political understanding. Let them rule. Not only is it forbidden to interfere, one must refrain from any kind of conversation with them. When they bring their idiotic laws up for a vote, one must not be a partner to the voting. Let them not say that they passed the legislation by a majority over a minority. One must not collaborate with this democratic act of pulling the wool over our eyes. Those votes in the Knesset must take place without any of the minority present, only the religious right-wing dictatorship.”
Burg’s support for a “one-state” framework should be a major concern for NIF, whose funding guidelines restrict funding to an organization that “works to deny the right of the Jewish people to sovereign self-determination within Israel,” and other supporters of Molad. It is also reminiscent of an article promoting BDS by Kathleen Peratis (If You Want Two States, Support BDS, Open Zion, October 16, 2013), another member of NIF’s International Council.