Friday, October 8, 2010

Viable Path To Peace.

The points of contention between the Israelis and Palestinians can be boiled down to a clash between the diametrically opposed needs of Israel to maximize its security and the Palestinians to maximize their territorial integrity.For example, the Palestinians desire what every sovereign state enjoys - the right to an unimpeded movement of individuals and commerce to and from their territory. But, given the Palestinian Authority's inability or unwillingness to prevent terrorist groups from launching rockets and mortars into Israel, Israel is unwilling to relinquish control of the land, sea and air routes into Gaza and to a lesser extent the West Bank. And without a cessation of attacks, the Israelis left wing will not be able to sell painful sacrifices to the public, such as the dismantlement of West Bank settlements and the partition of Jerusalem. And clearly the Palestinian Authority will not be able to placate its radicals or even moderates with a Palestinian State that is neither territorially nor economically viable.

So, we are inevitably led to the question: does Israel's minimum security needs exceed the Palestinians' maximum capacity for territorial compromise (and vice versa)? Clearly, the answer is "yes," which means that the present peace plan has no hope of succeeding. But, since the status quo is politically, economically and socially unsustainable for all parties, an alternative path to peace must be formulated. Since a territorial viable Palestinian state is (for the time being) impossible, the only solution is:

1. For Israel to first annex territory that meets its minimum security needs. This would encompass the major clusters of settlements by Jerusalem, as well as those within the strategic Jordan Valley. It would be a torturous task to determine the new boundaries, but conceivably it could be accomplished by annexing under 25% of the territories.

2. Next Israel would dismantle all settlements that fell outside of its new boundaries.

3. Palestinians would be compensated with territory from Israel proper, specifically the Galilean Triangle and parts of the Negev, which includes the major Arab population centers of Umm Al-Fahm and Baqa al-Gharbiyye. This would serve to minimize the risk for future conflicts within Israel. These measures were first put forth in the Lieberman Plan (see below).

4. The remainder of the West Bank, along with the Galilean Triangle would be annexed to Jordan and remain an autonomous and permanently demilitarized province.

5. Gaza would become an autonomous and permanently demilitarized province of Egypt.

6. The high population density and limited economic opportunities within the territories have contributed to radicalism among the Palestinians. In order to address these serious issues, the
Palestinians would be free to migrate to other provinces of Jordan and Egypt. In addition, neighboring Arab and Islamic nations, like Saudi Arabia and Iran would be encouraged to welcome their "Palestinian Brothers."

7. Palestinians would continue to enjoy civil control over religious sites, but no political control over East Jerusalem. No nation on the face of the earth would consider dividing its capital, so Israel should not be expected to do so.

I do not expect the Arab-Islamic world to accept this plan, because it would work, which would means an end to the Arab-Israeli Conflict and the recognition of the State of Israel.


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