Monday, July 01, 2013

Alternative solutions

The "two-state solution" to the Israel-Palestine conflict has been touted around for so many years that it has become the "received wisdom."  US Secty of State Kerry is trying hard to persuade the Palestinians to join the Israelis in talks towards a "two state solution."  But, there are many other alternative solutions that are either ignored or given short shrift by the powers that be.  Every Friday morning a group of us meet to decide the fate of the world and of Israel.  Here are some alternative solutions we came up with:
One state solution:  Israel should become the nation-state of all the people living within what was Palestine under the British Mandate (including what is now Jordan that was severed off illegally by Britain in 1922) and all the Arabs should be given local citizenship.
Federated States: Israel should remain as is (including the West Bank) but should be federated with Jordan as the Arab State for all the Arabs in the area.
Mass Conversion: Since most of the Palestinian Arabs living in the area are descended from Jews who were forcibly converted to Islam and before that forcibly converted to Christianity, they should all be reconverted to Judaism and then they can fully share in the benefits of Israeli citizenship and culture.
Paid repatriation:  Since most of the Arabs living in the area consider themselves Arabs, they should be paid to be repatriated to their original homeland in Arabia, or elsewhere if they so choose (who would have them?)
Forced repatriation:  If they won't accept payment to go, then they may have to be forced, either convert to Judaism or leave, as they did to the Jews in reverse.
Exchange: It has been suggested that an exchange of populations be organized with the Copts of Egypt, who are Christian and are persecuted by the Muslims in Egypt.  Let the Copts be resettled in the West Bank and become part of Israel and the Palestinian Arabs be transferred to Egypt in their place.  Problem, there are 18 million Copts and only 2.5 million Palestinians on the West Bank.
Three State solution: Give the Palestinians of the PA a state on the West Bank and eventually allow the Gazans to form their own mini-state in Gaza controlled by Hamas.
Four State solution: This involves the Palestinians taking over Jordan from the Hashemites and their Beduin supporters and affiliating in some way with the Palestinians on the West Bank and Gaza.
Five State solution: Since the right wing Jewish settlers do not agree to sharing their land with the Palestinians, the West Bank could be divided into a Jewish State known as Judea and an Arab State of Palestine.  This would give 5 states in the original Palestine Mandate: Israel, Jordan, Palestine, Gaza and Judea.  Any advance on 5?
So we come to the final solution, the United States of the Middle East.  While we're doing it why not throw in Lebanon too, and Syria?  Everyone has his or her favorite solution.  If you think this is a less than serious approach, you may be right, but I don't think the current approach is any more serious.


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