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One Country, Two Systems
Another Proposal for Middle East Peace
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Current efforts to resolve the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis are based on "Two States" models. These efforts are embodied in the Oslo Accords and the Geneva Accords. Similarly, the "Arafat Fence" is creating a "Two Countries" structure by force.
Creating a separate Palestinian State does not serve the Palestinians' interests. They get little economic resource and heavy political burdens. A different "One Country" approach may be necessary.
The basic facts are straightforward:
The political and geographic partition of Palestine in 1948 resulted from war;
Palestinian refugees lost their homes, businesses, and land in what became Israel;
Over the past 60 years, Arab nationalists and Islamic religious movements have used this displacement to win an anti-Judaic propaganda victory in the Islamic world;
An overwhelming imbalance in resources between Palestinians and Israelis intensifies these resentments;
Foreign financing of Palestinian organizations has focused efforts to violence and hate-driven, ultimately self-destructive tactics;
On the Jewish side, Israel has not sought reunification of Palestine, or to raise up the Palestinians, or to counter anti-Judaic propaganda;
Suicide bombings are indicative of fundamental resentments. They also reflect belief that Palestinian lives are worth less than Israeli lives;
Current Zero-Sum Game approaches by both sides keep extraordinary threats such as bioterrorism in play. These WMD threats risk the destruction of both the Israelis and the Palestinians. Foreigners who would use WMD's care nothing for Israelis and Palestinians;
The Palestinians and their children have become cannon fodder. They have minimal control of their daily lives. Poverty, nonarable land, Hamas for education: nothing is going to change for the Palestinians without revisiting 1948;
Any "Two State" solution leaves the ordinary Palestinians with the same political helplessness that they face today;
Critically: any workable long-term solution must be pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian. A different solution is available based on recent experience:
Go back to having Palestine as the overall political unit. Put aside the "Two Countries" approaches from Oslo and Geneva and the "Arafat Fence";
Since the Israelis have the upper hand: Have Israel annex the West Bank and Gaza;
Model the resulting nation on the Chinese experience with Hong Kong and Macao: "One Country, Two Systems". Borrow details from Switzerland;
Grant the Palestinians dual citizenship, like the Swiss, under both the new Palestine and their own local states;
The Israelis get what they need:
Maintain "Jewish State" functions in the current Israeli part of Palestine;
Keep national control to maintain multi-party democracies and Rule of Law;
Modernize to stabilize the Palestinian birth rate: prosperity and female education are the best routes to population stability everywhere;
The Palestinians get what they need:
Local Palestinian governments get 95% of administrative power;
The West Bank and Gaza infrastructures are built up to Israeli standards. Think "East Germany";
Full integration with Israel's economy;
Billions of American dollars are invested to raise up the Palestinians. Every single dollar from Islamic countries goes to de-victimize Palestinians;
The price of peace for Israel is moral involvement. Israelis work with their neighbors, the Palestinians.
Handle integration issues with a broad stategic initiative. Specifically, aim the process so that a century from now the country ends up working as it would have, if the 1948-49 war and the current hatreds had not occurred.
Both sides give up certain claims and demands and accept responsibilities:
Israel acknowledges that the Palestinians were the majority in pre-1948 Palestine and shoulders responsibility for future national development;
The Palestinians get authority over Temple Mount;
"Right of Return" is abandoned. "Right of Purchase" replaces it. Want land bad enough, earn some money and buy it;
Twenty Year Plan: Establish a national identity similar to the Chinese or the Swiss that becomes the overall public commonality
Why do it?
Because no other political structure works. "Two States" leave the Palestinians under the boot heel of foreign-financed thugs. Perpetual war lies on any path that fails to undoing the 1948-49 mistakes.
Hatred has become the fundamental problem, not Palestinians, Islam or Jews, Judaism or Israel. "If you want revenge, build two coffins."
The great worlds of Islam and Judaism are not supposed to be at war. Only Satan and Azazil, His Keeper of Hatred, are pleased.
The "Arafat Wall" will make these hatreds a perpetual feature of Arab and Israeli realities.
The proposal in this posting is NOT on the table. But perhaps it has to be. Where else can come deliverance, but from the East ? In this case, a gift from the Chinese.
Also, forgive everything: the human heart is the same over the whole Earth. As God is all the Good of the universe, no more and no less.
Sam Greenlaw is a Database Architect and Oracle DBA from New Jersey, USA.