This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Conflict, Security and Development, Vol. 15 No. 5 (2015) (copyright Taylor & Francis), available online at:


Since the Oslo Accords were signed in the mid-1990s, conflict resolution regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict has been guided by two conjoined premises regarding: (1) the identity and right to self-determination of the two ‘peoples’ involved, Jewish and Palestinian-Arab; and (2) Israel’s sovereignty, or lack of it, in different portions of Mandate Palestine. Although these twin premises are now treated as givens, in tandem they have paradoxically proved ruinous to the well-being of civilians living under occupation by fostering futile notions that peace can be achieved through geographic partition to serve these two rival ethno-national state projects. This approach is fundamentally flawed in basing its goals on the purported legitimacy of the Jewish-settler ideology that ethnically dismembered the ‘Palestinian people’ as conceived by the League of Nations and the British Mandate; and (2) in endorsing a derivative form of Palestinian-Arab ethno-nationalism that, in stressing the Arab character of a Palestinian state, has also become anachronistic in light of demographic realities presented by the advanced settler-colonial society now embedded in the Mandate geography. This article accordingly argues that partition to accommodate two peoples in one land would paradoxically recognize ethno-nationalism as legitimate in ways that will sustain their inherent ethnic biases and so perpetuate conditions disabling to a stable peace. Drawing on comparative political theory regarding the periodic reconstruction of ‘peoples’ and constructivist international relations theory regarding the nation-state premise for state sovereignty, this article proposes that these premises must be reassessed to suit the current condition of advanced settler colonialism in Mandate Palestine, which compels full geographic and political unification.