Thursday, May 22, 2014

Binational states?

There are few bi-national states in the world that have successfully avoided conflict. Take for example: Ukraine, the large Russian minority is now manifesting its desire for secession; Cyprus, the Greek and Turkish inhabitants could not co-exist and so the island is divided; Yugoslavia, the Roman Catholic Croats, the Russian Orthodox Serbs and the Muslim Bosnians fought several wars until each became separate nations.  But, by contrast Czechoslovaks divided peacefully into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Very few countries are in fact homogeneous, perhaps Japan and Norway are examples.  But co-existence is possible, for example Canada, where the Anglos and the French Quebecois have managed to stay in one country, so far.   And the Brits have the Welsh, Irish and Scots all in one United Kingdom, until now.  Even the French have the Bretons and the Normans, the Spanish have the Catalans and the Basques, and the Swiss have the German, French and ltalien Cantons.  So it is for this reason that I argue that the "one-state" solution, as opposed to the widely supported "two-state" solution is possible, that Israel can be a Jewish State, but as a democracy have a significant minority of Muslim and Christian Arabs, as it does.

There is a move recently under the influence of Father Gabriel Nadaf of Nazareth, spiritual head of the Israeli Christian Recruitment Forum, a body that encourages young Arabic-speaking Israelis (they prefer to not be labeled as “Arabs”) to join the Israeli army and fully integrate with Israeli Jewish society (Arabs citizens are not required to be drafted as Jews are).  Israel is the only country in the ME in which the number of Christians is growing, rather than decreasing as in Iraq, Syria and Egypt as a result of significant attacks, murders and Church burnings.  There have been "price tag" attacks on mosques, but these are relatively minor in comparison.  So, it is an advantage for Christian Arabs to be Israeli citizens. Druse Arab citizens and many Beduin serve in the IDF, so there is ample presendence, but the number of Muslim Arabs who volunteer is small. 

I am in favor of Israel annexing those areas of the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) where there are large Jewish communities, and this will increase the percentage of Jews in Israel proper, and with few Arabs in these areas, will decrease the percentage of Arabs.  Then the Arabs there should be given the choice to become Israeli citizens.  If they don't want to then they can move to the nearby Palestinian areas. This seems the most pragmatic and simple step to take to ease the current situation.  


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