First, there is a historical perspective. After the Balfour Declaration set into motion the beginning of significant Jewish immigration into the British Mandate of Palestine, the British governed the Mandate for the seventeen years between the Balfour Declaration and the 1937 Peel Commission under the assumption that the territory west of the Jordan river would be a single state. Contemporaneous understandings of the creation of the Jewish "homeland" in the Mandate did not explicitly reference the creation of a sovereign nation, and indeed focused on creating a place where the Jews could live, though not necessarily a state governed by Jews. Given the population figures in the region at the time of the Balfour Declaration, it was not feasible to assert the creation of a Jewish State in a place with only a few thousand Jews. However, as Jews moved to the Jewish National Home created by the British and approved by the League of Nations at the San Remo Conference of 1922, the dynamics changed in the region as Jews, and especially the Jewish Agency, began purchasing land from the Arabs in the region. Jews had been forbidden from purchasing land in the region under Ottoman rule, but rapidly began purchasing land, often buying sparsely populated marshes and other uncultivated land. This, Many historians cite the increased purchasing activity by Jews as one of the main impetuses (coupled with a rise in Jewish immigration associated with rise of the Nazis) for the 1936-39 Arab Revolt, which were so large and difficult to put down that the British felt it necessary to change their view of the solution to the "Jewish Question."
In 1936, Lord Peel came to Palestine from Britain and conducted an extensive survey of the underlying causes of unrest between the Jews and Arabs. The 1937 Peel Commission report is notable historically for two reasons: (1) it for the first time proposed partition of the territory west of the Jordan river to create an Arab state and a Jewish state and (2) it proposed that Britain outlaw the purchase of land from Arabs by Jews. The Arabs rejected the Peel Commission plan out of hand and the Jewish reaction to it was lukewarm at best. Subsequent British review determined that the British would be unable to enforce the partition and that it was not a workable solution. In 1939, the British issued what is known today only as "the White Paper," which repudiated the partition plan proposed by the Peel Commission and proposed the creation of a binational state while significantly restricting Jewish immigration (a fact that would become highly significant in short order as Nazi Germany expanded. The White Paper contended that the number of Jews in the Mandate meant that a "Jewish national home" had been created and explicitly rejected the idea that a Jewish state would come to exist in the region. The White Paper also adopted the Peel Commission recommendation restricting land purchases by Jews.
Predictably, neither side was happy. The Jews felt the rug had been pulled out from under them, while the Arabs felt that the restrictions on the Jews did not go far enough and that Jews should be deported from the region. The White Paper remained in effect until the end of World War II, by which time the restrictions on Jewish immigration into the British Mandate, coupled with the refusal of any nation (save the Dominican Republic) to accept Jewish refugees fleeing the Nazis, had doomed Europe's Jews to their horrible and well known fate.
But knowing full well the subsequent story of the UN backed Partition Plan, its failure, and the birth of Israel and the 1948 War, how can one evaluate the proposed binational state and its likely success? From the Arab perspective, an analysis of policy statements by the PLO and Hamas are instructive. Even in the two state solution, while Arabs would remain in and (under a proposed right of return) move to Israel, it is almost universally held that the Palestinian state would be Judenrein, i.e. free of Jews. Indeed, the continued rejection of "settlements," i.e. the presence of Jews in Judea and Samaria is instructive because while Western governments and the Western media portray particular "settlements" as being problematic, the PLO stance and the view of the Arab world at large is that they are all problematic for the simple reason that they don't want Jews living in their state. This policy would be consistent with that of many Arab states, like Jordan, Syria and Saudi Arabia, all of which forbid Jews to even live within them.
So then, how would this work in a binational state? History tells us that Jews continue to live in Muslim majority states such as Iran and to a smaller extent, Morocco, but that in such cases, those Jews have limited political rights as dhimmi and certainly do not have any government representation or sovereignty. The author of this article discusses the need to disband militant groups such as Hamas, yet ignores two key facts: first that the rise of anti-Jewish groups and mobs in the region occurred long before the existence of a Jewish state and second that the goal of such groups would likely expand beyond just terminating Jewish sovereignty in a binational state and shift to "convincing" Jews to leave by any means necessary. The author points out the PLO's success in suppressing terrorism in the West Bank while ignoring their failure to hold back Hamas in Gaza and the fact that the PLO is successful only due to IDF backing and Israeli shekels. The author's holding out Lebanon as a model of balanced governance among different ethno-religious groups is too laughable to be taken seriously given the spate of political assassinations, civil wars, massacres and the less than ironic fact that Lebanon's governance practices significant discrimination against the Palestinians in that country. About as laughable is the idea that Arab Muslims and Jews would share stewardship of the land, given significant Arab rejectionism of Jewish connection to Israel and the consistent pattern of Islamic societies replacing non-conforming temples and houses of worship with mosques and madrassas.
Now one might say that the long established Palestinian ideology would change with the creation of a binational state, that Hamas and the PLO would give up violence if such a state came into being and would at least tolerate Jews. While this would be wonderful, it is most likely wishful thinking. Again, going on almost 30 years of pre-Partition history, it seems unlikely that the Arab Muslims would suddenly embrace even limited Jewish sovereignty. After all, groups like Hamas reject Jewish sovereignty over any part of Israel, it is unlikely that they would be willing to work in a government composed of Jews and Arabs. One can see the likely behavior from the Arab members of the Knesset, many of whom side with Hamas and Hizbullah and also in the abject failure of successive power-sharing Lebanese governments to bring peace between the Muslims and Christians of that nation. Why would it be any more successful in Israel?
Indeed, the likely failure of the one-state solution, and the failure that already occurred between 1920 and 1947, presents a picture that runs counter to the dominant narrative of understanding the Israel/Palestine conflict: that the goal of both the PLO and Hamas is nothing less than the end of both Jewish sovereignty and Jewish existence (except as dhimmi) in "Palestine." The Arabs could not live alongside Jews even before the Jews had sovereignty and even when the British banned land sales to Jews, capped their immigration at 75,000 per year, and proposed a plan to give them less than 15% of the land west of the Jordan river. After decades embittered by their failure to eliminate the Jews and continued military failure, the idea of governing side by side with Jews would plunge Israel, Palestine, or whatever you'd want to call it, into a civil war that would eclipse Lebanon's decades long conflict.
And of course, let's not forget the fact that a binantional state would give nuclear weapons to "former" members of Hamas.