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zombie two-state option

June 24, 2014

Foreign Policy Journal: “Zombie Ideas and the Presbyterian Church Divestment Decision” by Richard Falk, professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University.

The piece is about the recent divestment by the Presbyterian General Assembly of $21 million worth of stock in companies associated to Israel’s policies in the West Bank, Jerusalem, and Gaza (noting particularly Motorola Solutions, Hewlett-Packard, and Caterpillar).

Falk “unreservedly” applauds the divestment but not the entire vote, writing:

Because it reflects false consciousness, it may not be too soon to challenge the Presbyterian text for its ‘endorsement’ of the two-state solution. It seems to me to illustrate what Paul Krugman in another context called ‘the Zombie doctrine,’ namely, the retention of an idea, thoroughly discredited by evidence and the realities of the situation, but somehow still affirmed because it serves useful political purposes.

With all due respect to the Presbyterian drafters of the text, it is not helpful to Palestinians, Israelis, and even Americans to lengthen the half-life of the two-state solution. Zombie ideas block constructive thought and action.

Paul Krugman has infected many with this version of “zombie”. And see more “zombie ideas“.

zombie richard falk

Falk concludes:

Those who favor a just and sustainable peace should abandon the pretension that separate states are any longer feasible, if ever desirable. It has become important to derail two-state discourse, which is at best now diversionary.

The only futures worth pondering under current conditions is whether there will emerge either a political community of the two peoples that becomes an Israeli governed apartheid state or somehow arise a secular and democratic bi-national state with human right for all ethnicities and religious identities on the basis of equality from the ruins of the present.

That’s surely another false dichotomy but his point is good. Apartheid is bad. Human rights for all. If only it were so simple as selling a little stock.


From → money, politics, war

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