We were surprised to come across a website that claims to represent Libya's leader Moammar Ghadhafi, where we found a most unorthodox Arab approach to the Middle East conflict. We have no idea whether this site faithfully conveys Ghadhafi's opinions, nor is our publication meant to express an approval of its contents. However, the "Isratine" proposal is undoubtedly written in an original manner, based on a fair amount of research, and presents a sharp deviation from the dogmatic uniformity that we so often encounter in our region. We would like to hope that more innovative ideas, on both sides of the border, may lead to better results in the future.
The Jews, especially the religious among them, would not accept any substitute for land that is, in their beliefs, sacred, and the Palestinians, notably the hard-liners among them, will not accept any substitute for the land of their forefathers. If two statelets are established, each party will continue the struggle against the other, in order to live in the land of their forefathers in the case of the Palestinians, and in the Promised Land in the case of the Jews. The solution is to benefit from both the present set of circumstances and the historical reality of the situation, and to establish the state of Isratine to comprise both Palestinians and Israelis, thereby allowing both to move wherever they will. He who believes that the West Bank is his land can live there or travel there as he wishes. He could even call it Judea and Samaria should he so want. Likewise, if a Palestinian should want to live or travel within the coastal cities of Acre, Haifa, Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Jadwal and the others, he could do so. This would put everything back the way it was, and thereby end the injustice and deprivation, for there is no history of enmity between Jews and Arabs. The only hostility is that that occurred between the Jews and Romans in earlier times and between Jews and Europeans more recently.
1) The land area is too narrow for two states.
2) Two states would come into conflict, because the land of each, they believe, forms part of the land of the other, and each statelet would feel threatened by the other party.
3) Neither could absorb Jewish immigrants and Palestinian refugees.
4) Each party has settlements on the land of the other. At least one million Palestinians live in the so-called state of Israel and about half a million Israelis, at least, currently live in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Other sects include the Druze, Catholics, Christians and Muslims. The area provides a model for assimilation.
5) The workers in Israeli factories are Palestinians.
6) Mutual reliance, if not integration, in respect of goods and services."
1) Return of Palestinian refugees and displaced persons to their homes.
2) A single state — Lebanon is an example.
3) Free elections under UN supervision on the first and second occasion.
4) Removal of Weapons of Mass Destruction from the new state and, if any, from the Middle East.
5) Conflict in the Middle East would then end. The new state would be like Lebanon. It would receive recognition and could even accede to the Arab League.
There may some objections to the name, but they would be unhelpful, harmful and superficial. Proponents of such objections would be relying on their hearts more than their minds. We have to make a judgement between two alternatives: Jewish security, with Jews living in peace with Palestinians, assimilated with them in a single state; or retention of the name, thereby sacrificing Jewish security and peace in the Middle East and the world generally. We should not listen to the voices of the old guard, with their World War II mentality; we should listen to the voice of the young, the generation of globalisation, the generation of the future. It is the old mentality that stands behind the present tragedy. A Jewish state alone is exposed to the Arab and Islamic threat, but a mixed state comprising Muslims, Jews, Arabs and Israelis would never come under the threat of Arab or Muslim attack. Since 1967 the situation has been that of a single Israeli-Palestinian state. Even the attacks by fedayeen were mounted from outside the borders of that state. The present fedayeen attacks are not mounted by the Arabs of 1948, as they are called, but by Palestinians not included within the boundaries of the so-called Israeli Arabs. This is a clear example of the success of a single assimilated state — Isratine.
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