Other Group

One Democratic State Campaign (ODSC)

Website:

onestatecampaign.org

Type:

Anti-Israel Activist Group

Formation:

2018

Co-Founders:

Jeff Halper and Awad Abdelfattah

Location:

Haifa, Israel

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The One Democratic State Campaign (ODSC) was launched in 2018 by activists in the Palestinian territories and Israel who argued that Israel enforces an oppressive apartheid-style regime against Palestinians. Members further argue that the current State of Israel and Palestinian territories should both be subsumed into one state, and that Israelis and Palestinians should live together in one nation, governed by left-of-center political principles. In a 2018 article from anti-capitalist site The Bullet, co-founder Jeff Halper disavowed a “two-state solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict under which the current State of Israel would negotiate the creation of a separate state from the Palestinian territories and announced the ODSC as a political project to dismantle the Israeli and Palestinian regimes and replace it with a multicultural democracy. 1

Activities

The One Democratic State Campaign published a manifesto of its political goals for “one state” to replace the state of Israel from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. According to the manifesto, the only way to achieve permanent peace is to dismantle the Israeli government and to uphold Palestinian “right to return,” which would entitle Palestinians who left at the creation of the Israeli state in 1948 and the subsequent Arab invasions and their descendants to property within Israel or to compensation if they choose not to return. The manifesto also calls for a ban on discrimination of individuals or groups and correcting perceived grievances against the Palestinians through redistribution of wealth and adherence to left-of-center racial, environmental, and economic policies. 2

In June 2020, ODSC supported youth protests in Haifa that decried the deaths of two Palestinian youth at the hands of Israeli soldiers. These protestors called for an end to Israeli administration of parts of the Palestinian territories, a release of prisoners, and solidarity with the Black Lives Matter protests happening concurrently in the United States. ODSC believes that all these protests had a common adversary of colonialism and oppression and called the American and Israeli governments racist and oppressive. 3

In July 2024, Halper is scheduled to address the Northeastern Minnesota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, a liberal-leaning denomination. 4

In February 2024, ODSC held an all-day meeting in Haifa where activists called on Palestinian leaders to reject American attempts at negotiating an end to the Israel-Hamas war and called for a boycott of Israel until the Israeli state was dismantled and replaced with one left-of-center state focused on addressing alleged repression of the Palestinian people. 5

Leadership

Jeff Halper is a co-founder of One Democratic State Campaign. He founded the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) in 1997, to rebuild Palestinian homes that the Israeli government demolished. In 2006, the American Friends Service Committee nominated Halper and Palestinian activist Ghassan Andoni for the Nobel Peace Prize for this work. 6

In 2008, Halper sailed into Gaza with the Free Gaza movement to try and break an Israeli blockade of the territory. He has also sat on the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. Halper is an anthropologist by training and has taught at universities around the world. He is the author of several books, including Decolonizing Israel, Liberating Palestine: Zionism, Settler Colonialism, and the Case for One Democratic State. 7

Awad Abdelfattah is a coordinator of ODSC. He was general secretary of the left-wing Balad party in Israel and the Palestinian territories. 8 He has written extensively against the Israeli government. In November 2023, he wrote that no peaceful resolution was possible as long as the U.S.-supported Israeli government was committing “genocide” in Gaza. 9

Diana Buttu is a founding member of ODSC and a former spokesperson for the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). She taught negotiation skills at the Harvard Extension School. 10

References

  1. Jeff Halper. “The ‘One Democratic State Campaign’ for a Multicultural Democratic State in Palestine/Israel.” The Bullet. May 24, 2018. Accessed June 21, 2024.https://socialistproject.ca/2018/05/the-one-democratic-state-campaign-for-a-multicultural-democratic-state-in-palestine-israel/
  2. “Manifesto”. One Democratic State Campaign. Accessed June 24, 2024. https://onestatecampaign.org/all/en-manifesto/
  3. “Haifa Demonstration Against the killing of Palestinians.” One Democratic State Campaign. June 3, 2020. Accessed June 21, 2024. https://onestatecampaign.org/en/archives/june-2-2020-haifa-demonstration-against-the-killing-of-palestinians/
  4. “Towards a Democratic State for All Between the River and the Sea.” Northeastern Minnesota Synod. Accessed June 21, 2024. https://nemnsynod.org/2024/06/04/towards-a-democratic-state-talk-by-jeff-halper/
  5. “The One Democratic State Campaign: The American ‘Day After’ is a return to the misinformation and liquidation scheme.” February 20, 2024. Accessed June 21, 2024. https://onestatecampaign.org/ar/archives/%d8%ad%d9%85%d9%84%d8%a9-%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%af%d9%88%d9%84%d8%a9-%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%af%d9%8a%d9%85%d9%82%d8%b1%d8%a7%d8%b7%d9%8a%d8%a9-%d8%a7%d9%84%d9%88%d8%a7%d8%ad%d8%af%d8%a9-%d8%a7%d9%84%d9%8a/
  6. “Towards a Democratic State for All Between the River and the Sea.” Northeastern Minnesota Synod. Accessed June 21, 2024. https://nemnsynod.org/2024/06/04/towards-a-democratic-state-talk-by-jeff-halper/
  7. “Decolonizing Israel, Liberating Palestine Zionism, Settler Colonialism, and the Case for one Democratic State.” Pluto Press. Accessed June 21, 2024. https://www.plutobooks.com/9780745343396/decolonizing-israel-liberating-palestine/
  8. “Awad Abdelfattah.” Middle East Eye. Accessed June 21, 2024. https://www.middleeasteye.net/users/awad-abdelfattah
  9. “Awad Abdelfattah.” “Israel-Palestine war: Genocide and the two-state illusion.” Brave New Europe. November 28, 2023. Accessed June 21, 2024. https://braveneweurope.com/awad-abdelfattah-israel-palestine-war-genocide-and-the-two-state-illusion
  10. “Negotiations Skills: Strategies for Increased Effectiveness.” Harvard Division of Continuing Education. Accessed June 21, 2024. https://web.archive.org/web/20130930162706/http://www.dce.harvard.edu/professional/programs/negotiations-skills-strategies-increased-effectiveness
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