Another Proposal for Middle East Peace
“One Country, Two Systems”
by Sam Greenlaw (comments welcomed at email@example.com)
Current efforts to resolve the war between Palestinians and Israelis are based on a "Two Countries" model and the Oslo Accords. Creating a separate Palestinian State leaves the Palestinians with little economic resource and heavy political burdens. A different approach may be necessary.
Basic facts are straightforward:
- The political and geographic partition of Palestine in 1948 resulted from the first war and from U.N. decision making
- Palestinian refugees lost their homes and land in what became Israel
- Over the past 60 years, Arab Nationalists and some Islamic religious movements have addressed this displacement to win an anti-Judaism propaganda victory in the Islamic world
- Also, a continuing and overwhelming imbalance in resources between the Palestinians and Israelis intensifies these resentments
- One result is a burden of hatred across much of Islam directed toward Jews
- Israel has not sought reunification of Palestine, or to raise up the Palestinians, or to counter anti-Judaic propaganda
- Suicide bombings are indicative of the fundamental resentments, of the anti-Jew propaganda victory, and the resulting hatreds
- Current Zero-Sum Game approaches keep extraordinary threats such as bioterrorism in play. These threats risk the destruction both of Israel and of the Palestinians
- The Palestinians and their children have become cannon fodder. They have no way out and minimal control of their daily lives
- Poverty, nonarable land, inadequate education: nothing is going to change for the Palestinians without revisiting 1948
- Any “Two Country” solution leaves the Palestinians in the same economic and political conditions they face today
- Critically: any workable solution must be pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian
A solution is available based on recent experience in Asia:
- Copy China: "One Country, Two Systems"
- Go back to having Palestine as the overall political unit. Put aside the "Two Countries" approach from Oslo
- 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. Borrow details from Switzerland
- Go the PLO/PA one further and grant the Palestinians dual citizenship under both the new Palestine and their own local state
- The Israelis get what they need:
- Maintain "Jewish State" functions in the current Israeli part of Palestine
- National level requirements that local states maintain multi-party democracy and Rule of Law
- The Israelis worry about the Palestinian birth rate. Prosperity and female education are universally seen as the best route to population stability
- The Palestinians get what they need:
- Local State is granted 95% of administrative power
- Full integration with Israel’s economy
- The West Bank and Gaza get built up to Israeli standards
- Think "East Germany" investments from West Germany
- Invest the billions of American money for Palestinians. Use every dollar that comes from Islamic countries to de-victimize the Palestinians
- The price of peace for Israel becomes involvement and primary responsibility in building up their neighbors, the Palestinians
- Handle integration issues so that a century from now the country ends up working as it would have, if 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
- Israel gives up the concept of the Palestinians as enemies
- No "compensation" for individual Palestinians. Funds are needed to raise up all Palestinians, not just to repay legal injuries
- No "Right of Return" to Israeli land. This property was lost with the Arab Nationalist efforts at invasion during 1948 war. [Even if return was doable, the "Returnee" would have to remove the person living there now. See "Revenge" aphorism below.]
- Both sides explicitly address hatred as the primary issue
- Both sides accept the others’ religion as valid
- This is much better than what happens if the PLO/PA stays under budgetary control of Iran, Iraq, Saudi
- Palestinians get democracy and prosperity with strong controls limiting their risks from violence
- Twenty Year Plan: Establish a national identity similar to the Chinese and Swiss that supersedes religion as the overall public commonality
Why do it ? Because there may well be no other political structure that works.
Undoing 1948 mistakes is essential. Undoing problems with Oslo is also essential: "Two Country" solutions fail, because resources for change will not be available. The pro-everyone, "One Country" solution slams the door on anti-everyone, hate-based propaganda and violence.
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 is pleased.
The proposal in this posting is NOT on the table. But perhaps it should be. Action is necessary. Where else can come deliverance, but from the East ?
Also: forgive everything. The human heart is the same over the whole Earth.
**** IMPROVEMENTS WELCOMED ****
[ P.S. May, 2002. Source ethnicity: Scotland. Presented with apologies to both sides for shortcomings rooted in ignorance. ]