Caitlin Johnstone: The Two-State Lie

Netanyahu is so politically desperate, and opposing Palestinian rights is so popular in Israel, that the regime can’t resist telling the truth about itself.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in January 2014. (World Economic Forum, Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

By Caitlin Johnstone

Listen to Tim Foley reading this article.

There’s been a surprising number of recent Israeli government admissions that not only is a two-state solution not on the table, but that it never was. 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu boasted at a recent press conference in Tel Aviv that he’s spent decades thwarting the formation of a Palestinian state, and that he is “proud” of doing so.

Netanyahu’s senior advisor Mark Regev told Piers Morgan that a true Palestinian state with its own military and true sovereignty was never an option for Israel, calling it “common sense” that Palestinians should at best have “less than a state.”

Israeli Ambassador to the U.K. Tzipi Hotovely told Sky News last week that there was “absolutely no” possibility of a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

It would have been the easiest thing in the world for the Israeli government to keep up the generations-long lie that it had always supported a two-state solution but the Palestinians kept rejecting it, and claim that only now after Oct. 7 has such a deal become impossible. But at this point, Netanyahu is so politically desperate, and being oppositional to Palestinian rights is so politically popular in Israel, that these goons can’t resist telling the truth about themselves.

It’s actually pretty simple. Once Israel ruled out a true two-state solution on the justification that doing so could allow Palestine to become a military threat, and ruled out a true one-state solution on the justification that giving equal rights to everyone would end Israel’s existence as a Jewish ethnostate, the only options left on the table were genocide and ethnic cleansing.

No Limit on Killing Innocents

Outside Indonesian Hospital in Jubilee, just north of the Gaza Strip, after an Israeli airstrike on Gaza on Oct. 8. (Palestinian News & Information Agency, or Wafa, for APAimages, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0)

The entire position of the pro-Israel side of the Gaza debate is hinged on the premise that there is no limit on the number of innocents you can morally kill when pursuing a military objective. 

From their point of view, not only is it perfectly acceptable that 10 thousand children have been killed by Israel’s bombing campaign in Gaza, it would be perfectly acceptable if it was 100 thousand, or a million.

As far as the Israel supporter’s moral framework is concerned, Hamas could have killed one-10th the number of Israelis it killed on Oct. 7 and Israel can kill 10 times the number of children it has killed, and Israel’s actions in Gaza would still be justified.

For normal, psychologically healthy people, this position looks deranged. Of course there’s a limit on the number of innocent people it’s acceptable to kill while pursuing military objectives, especially objectives that could be resolved non-militarily. 

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The only exceptions would be situations in which there is no other option besides either defeating your enemy by any means necessary or facing your own annihilation. 

Since there is no rational argument that Hamas poses an existential threat to the state of Israel, and since there were options for responding to Oct. 7 without dropping a single bomb, there is no argument to be made that it’s acceptable to kill all these innocent human beings while pursuing the (completely unattainable) goal of wiping out armed resistance to Israel militarily.

Peace could be obtained by negotiating with the Palestinian resistance and achieving a deal that works for everyone. The uneasy, abusive status quo of Oct. 6 could also be revived by simply addressing the massive, spectacular failures of Israel’s military and intelligence services which let Oct. 7 happen in the first place. 

When you weigh these two options against killing a thousand children a week in a military offensive in Gaza, both of them are self-evidently superior in the eyes of any normal, healthy person.

Peaceful Resolution Not Wanted

A peaceful resolution isn’t impossible, it just isn’t desired. It isn’t desired because Israel has long sought to further expel Palestinians from their land, and the “war on Hamas” provides cover for that goal. The claim that Israel has no other choice but to snuff out tens of thousands of lives in the name of fighting Hamas is patently false; it doesn’t need to, it just wants to. Ultimately their argument is “We need to kill all those people because we really really want to,” which is not a valid defense.

After all the lies and atrocities we’ve seen over the last two and a half months, everyone should be reflexively disbelieving of any claims by the Israeli government and begging the forgiveness of Palestinians for not believing everything they’ve been claiming for generations.

Newsweek has published an opinion piece by a former IDF soldier titled “Calling for a Ceasefire Is an Antisemitic Demand That Jews Endorse Our Own Genocide”. 

That’s right, now calling for a ceasefire is anti-Semitic. Ceasefires are anti-Semitism. Pro-Palestine chants are genocide. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.

As election season heats up Americans should not allow Biden supporters to draw a distinction between his “domestic policy” and his horrific “foreign policy.” Dead kids are dead kids. They’re just as dead regardless of where on earth they live and their lives matter just as much.

Saying a politician is relatively good on domestic policy but bad on foreign policy is like a woman saying her boyfriend cooks and cleans and treats her nice, and his only negative is that he also happens to murder a lot of sex workers. You don’t get to compartmentalize horrific acts of mass murder away from the sum total of the picture. Biden’s genocide in Gaza and nuclear brinkmanship with Russia are not separate or distinct from the rest of his presidency in comparison to former President Donald Trump.

You’d only believe it’s legitimate to compartmentalize “domestic policy” from “foreign policy” when discussing how good or bad a U.S. president is if you believed American lives matter more than non-American lives. That is not a morally defensible position to hold, and should be forcefully rejected.

“Come to Israel, it’s the only place Jews can be safe!” 

Okay, I’m here. Hey! Who are those guys shooting at us? 

“Oh they say we’re oppressing them. They’ll kill us sometimes but don’t worry, the IDF is here to protect us.” 

Ah what the hell, now the IDF are shooting at us! 

“Oh yeah they kill us sometimes too.”

Come and join the IDF, where the gals are pretty and the fire is friendly.

Caitlin Johnstone’s work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following her on FacebookTwitterSoundcloudYouTube, or throwing some money into her tip jar on Ko-fiPatreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy her books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff she publishes is to subscribe to the mailing list at her website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything she publishes.  For more info on who she is, where she stands and what she’s trying to do with her platform, click here. All works are co-authored with her American husband Tim Foley.

This article is from and re-published with permission.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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24 comments for “Caitlin Johnstone: The Two-State Lie

  1. December 23, 2023 at 09:50

    If ‘normal psychologically healthy’ people are the needed standard for both leadership and electorate, we are so screwed! The primary drivers of modernity and psychologically mature responsible adulthood seem to increasingly be incompatible. This is a such fundamental dilemma that no satisfactory solution seems possible without deep changes in our relationships with so many aspects of our world.

  2. CaseyG
    December 21, 2023 at 16:24

    sigh—I would like a change made that would be quite simple, regarding wars.
    Supposedly Congress votes to declare war. O.K —but those who vote to go to war, perhaps they should go to war. It’s quite easy to love wars as long as the person deciding can sit safely in Congress. And those leading the different armies—the Generals should go to war instead of staying in the Pentagon.

    When I read about Mi Lai, it was horrifying to learn of what American soldiers did—somehow killing grandparents and kids puts a black mark on all the soldiers. And on America too : (

  3. freefall
    December 21, 2023 at 12:07

    The long con of these religions are coming to a close. When one group can be duped into giving “Master Race” status to another without a shot being fired, the battle is already lost. Religious treason due to twisted scripture keeps the pecking order in place.

  4. Vincent Amato
    December 20, 2023 at 22:59

    Most interesting that early on in this article, we come upon Caitlin Johnson’s use of the term “ethnostate,” a first time encounter with that term for this reader. The word appears in Johnson’s phrase asserting that a true one-state solution would be unlikely given that it “would end Israel’s existence as a Jewish ethnostate.” Unfortunately, this addition to the glossary of terms apparently required to discuss the future prospects for peace in the area once called Palestine that UN Resolution 181 drafted to create a shared homeland for Zionist and Palestinians alike serves only to further complicate prospects for productive discourse on the matter. It seems we are presently involved in a maelstrom of questions that have plagued Western civilization for two millennia. In order of their current urgency, “Who exactly did the UN have in mind when it created a Jewish homeland? “A secular state?” “A theocracy?” ” A homeland for whom exactly?” More basically, “Does the term Jewish refer to a religion, a race or a culture?” “Can one reveal an absolute hatred for the state of Israel and yet not have an antisemitic molecule in one’s being?” Do individuals who are the descendants of Jews but are agnostic or atheists, or have never stepped in a synagogue or hosted a Passover meal require a homeland? One could no doubt continue this list to the point of exhaustion, but, like it or not, the time seems to have come for an open and public discourse on these questions. It seems necessary in such a discussion to mention that there was a time when English prime ministers spoke of “the English race.” The term has clearly been used to mean different things to different people. An additional afterthought: Why has no one ever heard mention of a Palestinian race?

    • Elliot
      December 21, 2023 at 17:54

      ah but Vincent, you are committing the crime of having actual rational, internally consistent deep thought. It would seem the powers that shouldn’t be don’t want us using these “powers”. Funny how no one in the political arena seems to speak like a normal human being with said “powers”. I suppose it has been this way for a looooong time. If we want to be, strongly enough, we can be rational beings but our emotions are so easily manipulated and far too powerful to be held at bay by the mear notion of rationality it seems.

  5. John Zeigler
    December 20, 2023 at 21:00

    The government of Israel, cloaking itself in the Jewish faith, is reincarnating the carnage of the Nazi holocaust that was inflicted upon Jewish people during Hitler’s regime. Why does no one mention that indigenous Palestinians are a Semitic people, too? Antisemitism cuts both ways in this sorry slaughter.

    • robert e williamson jr
      December 21, 2023 at 09:53

      Mr. Zeigler, if there is anything positive to take from this last round of genocide being inflicted on the corralled group of Palestinians is the obvious intentions of the government of Israel is that they show No mercy. Nor do they have any compunction about their actions. This displays their twisted logic.

      They are exactly who they claim to be and definitely see no reason to reflect on their actions. If this is not the behavior that is a companion to the psychopath I would greatly appreciate someone explaining, in terms the remainder of the human race can understand, this behavior.

      If these people were actually as exceptional as they claim they all would have wings.

      From what I know I would sense your last sentence is spot on.

      Thanks CN

      Hey Joe, what about You!

      • John Zeigler
        December 21, 2023 at 16:15

        Carl Sagan in his posthumously published book, The Demon Haunted World (1996) saliently observed that governments lie, and that most frequently. When will we ever learn?

  6. Marilyn Henighan
    December 20, 2023 at 20:47

    Dear Caitlin,

    Thanks for helping me deal with this nightmare.
    You had me laughing and crying at the same time.
    The emperor has no clothes and most of the world knows this.


  7. George Rudman
    December 20, 2023 at 16:55

    Instead of genocide how about premeditated mass murder?
    This predoliction torwards killing Palestinian children seems to be a sick national israeli perversion.

    • Wally Jasper
      December 21, 2023 at 13:44

      The reason it is called genocide is because it is premeditated mass murder that is not random but is specifically aimed at a particular group of people, in this case the Palestinian people, the indigenous people of Palestine.

  8. Jack WAUGH
    December 20, 2023 at 16:20

    “Since there is no rational argument that Hamas poses an existential threat to the state of Israel, …” — Why doesn’t it? How can Palestinians return home if the armed Zionist Movement continues in control of their land?

  9. SH
    December 20, 2023 at 15:50

    But remember – Vote Blue no Matter Who – Trump is ever so much worse than Genocide, Ecocide Joe ….
    Are there other choices? Yeah – but we wouldn’t want to “spoil” it for anyone, would we …

    • December 20, 2023 at 16:51

      To hell with that. Vote green, or yellow, or orange – or any color but blue or red.

      • Steve
        December 21, 2023 at 06:02

        Maybe vote for someone who puts the american people first, second and last – that would be a start. Though good luck finding anyone that would do that !

  10. AA from MD
    December 20, 2023 at 15:48

    “Come to Israel, it’s the only place Jews can be safe!” – Because they won’t be safe in Europe, USA or Canada. That is the message. You Jews go there because we are very anti-semitic and can’t or don’t want to really keep you safe here in the west.

  11. Fritz
    December 20, 2023 at 15:16

    “…calling for a ceasefire is anti-Semitic.”

    Anti-Semitic is a one size fits all denunciation that can mean whatever the Zionists say it is, including any sort of objection to their objectionable behaviour.

    That’s as basic as an axe, not unlike murdering children who are Semitic people and objectors of this behaviour are then accused of promoting hate (ant-Semitism) against the murdering Zionists.

    This sort of cognitive dissonance makes perfect sense to a psychopath.

    • Valerie
      December 20, 2023 at 16:19

      And there is no reasoning with psychopaths Fritz, as they are clinically mentally deprived.

      • robert e williamson jr
        December 20, 2023 at 22:17

        Valerie didn’t see a comment form you at C Johnson – That Can’t Be True About Israel. I case you missed it you might want to check out some of the comments.

        Taras77 comments 12,17,23 @ 1927 , “Israel is a nation of hate, arrogance, lies, psychopaths.” : Rebecca comments 12,18,23 @04:08 : I comment 12,19,23 @14:18.

        I have wondered, could I be the only one to notice the constant continuity of the characteristics of highly charged extreme paranoia, and irrational hate surrounding and saturating the populace in question at the slightest hint of any criticism of their actions. The displays of high indignation always seeming to be highly physical and hysterically driven over the top.

        Actions not at all to be confused with the displays of great emotional pain because of loss of a loved one.

        It does seem however that I am not alone in identifying the psychopathic traits associated with certain behaviors indicating either a deep break with reality, denial of reality or total absence of ability to recognize ones own actions as unacceptable abnormal behavior.

        “Well I’m allowed to behave this way because I’m exceptional.” Think forty fifth president.

        “When someone tells you who they are, believe them the first time.” Maya Angelou

        Thanks CN

        • Valerie
          December 21, 2023 at 10:36

          Yes robert. I did see that article and read the good comments. I don’t think you are alone with the “paranoia” and “hate” aspect. Aljazeera had a good documentary interviewing Israelis about Palestinians. It was shortly after that aired, Israel said it would close their office. But their actions warrant criticism.

    • robert e williamson jr
      December 20, 2023 at 18:51

      Fritz, agreed. The catch -all utility of the term anti-Semitic serves the Jewish / Zionist cause very well. Equally interesting is the term “Zionist”, which can be used in conjunction with these terms, political, liberal, labor, revisionist, cultural, and religious.

      Nothing like covering all the bases I guess. I find this ll very interesting.

      • Valerie
        December 20, 2023 at 20:29

        Very interesting and very disturbing.

  12. Robert Marcus
    December 20, 2023 at 15:08

    It’s not just Israel that justifies murdering hundreds of civilians for every dead Israeli. George Bush justified the 1989 invasion of Panama and the killing of thousands of women and children and burying them in mass graves, on the grounds that people under Noriega’s command “shot and killed an unarmed American serviceman, wounded another, arrested and brutally beat a third American serviceman and then brutally interrogated his wife, threatening her with sexual abuse. That was enough.” If I recall Bush’s speech correctly, it was the threat of sexual abuse of a serviceman’s wife that put him over the edge and justified mass murder of thousands of civilians (probably tens of thousands) in response.

    This was an interesting moment in history. 1989 was the first time they could no longer justify a war based on the Soviet Union. And they didn’t have terrorism yet. So Bush was forced to justify the war on the flimsiest excuse possibly ever given. And he proved that the American public are just fine with that. For 75 they had used the Soviet Union excuse when they could have just done whatever they wanted anyway. In America you don’t need an excuse to murder foreigners, the public just assumes if we’re doing it, there must be a good reason, because obviously we’re always the good guys.

  13. Valerie
    December 20, 2023 at 14:50

    From the article:

    “As far as the Israel supporter’s moral framework is concerned, Hamas could have killed one-10th the number of Israelis it killed on Oct. 7 and Israel can kill 10 times the number of children it has killed, and Israel’s actions in Gaza would still be justified.

    For normal, psychologically healthy people, this position looks deranged.”

    It therefore follows (as i’m sure most of us will agree) that we are dealing with immoral and psychologically bereft governments and leaders of nations who support this crime against humanity.

    More disturbing is the fact it has been allowed to continue for the past 7 decades to the level of this culmination of genocide/ethnic cleansing.

    And i would like to draw our attention to another recent genocide which was also for the most part ignored:


    (Please note, the UK wishes to send asylum seekers to Rwanda, which they deem a “safe” country – the equivalent of sending homeless Brits/Americans to Gaza.)

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