A one-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict may seem a laughable idea, says Karl Sabbagh, but so did Theodor Herzl’s idea for a Jewish state that later became reality. Benedict Birnberg says both sides should campaign for two states

In 1902, Theodor Herzl wrote a book, Altneuland (OldNewland), presenting the laughable – at the time – idea that Palestine, then over 90% Arab, should be turned into a Jewish state. The sheer improbability of the proposal at the time did not prevent the predicted events coming to pass.

This week, on the 70th anniversary of the establishment of Israel, we published a short book, A Modest Proposal To Solve the Palestine-Israel Conflict, in which – perhaps equally laughably – I summarise the benefits to Palestinians and Israeli Jews of setting up a democratic state between the Jordan and the Mediterranean in which all people living in that area have equal rights and to which those Palestinians who want to can return.

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