By Ariella Azoulay & Adi Ophir
Stanford University Press, $24.95, 318 pages
Have you ever heard the word “intractable” used to describe the conflict in Israel and Palestine? It has been used as a stand-in for a new or creative analysis, and fortunately The One-State Condition: Occupation and Democracy in Israel/Palestine never even uses the word. The book presumes that the conflict can and should be understood, and proceeds to describe the morphing and maneuvering that Israel undertook, especially since the 1967 war, that transformed it into a full-fledged occupying power in the Palestinian Territories – even as it aspires to democracy for its Jewish citizens. Legally, the two groups – citizen and non-citizen – are governed by the same state but under different laws. By applying the existing concept of the “democratic backyard,” authors Azoulay and Ophir demonstrate the interlinked but uneven economic development in Palestine and Israel. The authors define their concepts and arguments clearly, and convincingly build the case that Israel as a regime is reliant or contingent upon its occupying activities. The One-State Condition is a must-have aid, not just for navigating the reality of the Israel-Palestine conflict as it occurs on the ground, but for reading between the lines of other news sources.
Reviewed by Sarah Alibabaie