There are those who argue that the possibility of a two state solution is eroding, that the more settlements grow and the longer that there is an absence of an agreement, the less likely it is that any two state solution could be achieved. These individuals tend to argue that the result of such failure would be a bi-national democratic state (not Jewish) or a Jewish state in which the Arab population would not have full rights as citizens (nondemocratic).
There are also those who argue that no two state solution makes sense, that the sides will never be able to agree on any division of the land, that all the land belongs to the Jews anyway and that the solution is for the Palestinian population to find freedom elsewhere. These individuals are generally fundamentalists, either Jewish or Christian.
Finally, there are those who argue that all the land belongs to the Arabs and that any recognition of Israel is unfathomable. These individuals will continue to work for the destruction of the Jewish state after any peace agreement might be signed.
The reality is that no single state solution has ever been or could be possible without first fighting a war. There would be massive bloodshed in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank the moment anyone tries to create a single state. The ensuing war would involve nations from throughout the region joining against the Jews in an attempt to force the Jews from the land. At the same time, the Jews, quite likely along with Druze and other minorities, would fight back, potentially forcing large scale flight of the majority of the Palestinian population.
Hence, a single state solution would not result in a “bi-national democratic state” as described by advocates such as John Mearsheimer, but instead in a state dominated by a single ethnic group after the defeat and flight of the other. After such a war, there could well be a Jewish democratic state on the entirety of the land with a limited minority population, but getting there would hellish and the humanitarian consequences (a horrific refugee situation as well as high death totals) would be awful as well as leading to condemnation of the Jewish state for generations to come. There are those who might wish to pursue this option out of zealotry. I do not believe that many in Israel would be willing to do so, but those who might should not be seen as promoting a policy healthy for the nation.
There is no realistic single state solution. The true alternatives to a two state solution are the following:
- A THREE state solution with an independent Gaza opposed by an independent West Bank with Israel in the middle,
- A THREE state solution with an independent West Bank opposed by an Egyptian controlled Gaza with Israel in the middle,
- A THREE state solution with an Egyptian controlled Gaza and a Jordanian controlled West Bank (a smaller version than Jordan controlled previously), or
- A STATE-SEMI-STATE solution, basically maintaining the status quo indefinitely.
In a State-Semi-State solution the current situation wherein Palestinians have a semi-state with freedom within the territories currently under their control, but have not achieved sovereignty to any significant degree will continue to be the likeliest of alternatives to a two state solution.
Advocates for Israel, for the Palestinians, and for peace for all need to stop trying to convince either side that the alternative to finding a two state solution would be some form of a single state solution. Doing that is not helpful for the pursuit of peace and the likely humanitarian consequences of pushing the creation of a single state too far are very high.