Mirage or Vision: Binationalism in Theory and Practice

Uriel Abulof*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


What is binationalism, what sets it apart, and can it help resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict? This paper crystallizes the concept of binationalism and shows how it challenges prevalent principles and practices. I distinguish binationalism from dual citizenship and civic-ethnic amalgams, and analyse its normative narrative. Typically, the nation proclaims ‘this land belongs to us’ and ‘we belong to the land.’ With binationalism, two ethnic nations tell each other ‘we belong together:’ the individual belongs to one nation—and to one state, but the two nations ‘belong together’ in a single state. This model defies the exclusivity of the nation-state model. I discuss the meaning of such potential transformation in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, and discuss the extent to which binationalism can aid its resolution. I conclude that binationalism has largely been a mirage but may become a vision for a future, with ramifications for, and beyond, the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)422-437
Number of pages16
Issue number4
StatePublished - 7 Aug 2016


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