About a week ago, I spent the afternoon with a round table of Moslems (including Palestinians) and by the end of our discussion, not only did they agree that a democratic single-state solution was the best possible outcome, the were genuinely enthusiastic about it. They also agreed that Islam needs to work within the context of a larger human effort towards peace, not the other way around.
What we need to be talking about now is presenting a viable alternative to an Islamist extremist and Zionist extremist state that can actually make both Muslims and Jews feel included, and get Christians and others around the globe excited and optimistic. Obviously the final settlement would have to be worked out between the Israelis and Palestinians, but as I (and many others) see it:
1) Essentially a single-state plan would grow from the already existing state of Israel with the annexation of all occupied territories including Gaza, West Bank, and East Jerusalem (The Golan Heights is a “disputed territory” and may be part of different deal) but with 100% full, equal citizenship for all current residents of both Israel proper and the occupied territories, with equal rights and equal access to all government positions and services regardless of religion or ethnicity.
2) A comparable right of return for both the Jewish and Palestinian Diaspora.
3) The gradual integration of the IDF and other security services with the same terms of service for Jews and non-Jews.
4) the full recognition of this state by all nations
First and foremost this can be an end to the fighting.
This has the potential to be agreeable with Israelis because it means no territorial concessions and the state of
It has the potential to be agreeable with Palestinians because even though they would be a minority at first, in a matter of decades with or without any right of return they will have a majority. Everybody in the region knows this, and it’s better to get all the players operating under the same peaceful democratic framework sooner than to have what the Israelis refer to as the “demographic time-bomb” go off later while there is still fighting.
For the rest of the world, this is an opportunity for peace, and to really stabilize the region. This is realistic because it puts human right for all at the forefront of the struggle, and it takes the focus away from the two sides going back and forth endlessly. The closest historical parallel would be ending apartheid in
Without the Israeli/Palestinian conflict to use as a cudgel, the Arab dictatorships will have to actually confront the deprivations of their people, and there will be no need for external powers to take sides. There will be no Islamist Palestinian state, and groups like Hamas (which at this point can’t be destroyed by military means) will either have to disarm, recognize the deal, and become just one political party of many, or forever be marginalized.
Obviously extremists like Hamas and Israeli hardliner parties like Shas and Likud will hate this deal, but this is a way out for everyone else, and an overwhelming global consensus can eventually keep the extremists in check.
This plan is already out there but so far major players have focused on the two-state solution, but after this assault there is the increasing realization that the two-state plan is no longer viable.
A window of opportunity is now open…
Posted by admin | Filed in Foreign Policy