Toward an Evenhanded Policy for Peace in the Holy Land, Part 3
By Professor Alan Friedlander
In the creation of the Friedlander Peace Plan, an effort has been made to try to form a peace plan for an electorate that currently votes for terrorists, the Palestinians, and for a nation that is adamant about keeping its current ethnic mix, the Israelis. There is a general lack of trust because Palestinians and Israelis are fighting over the same territory. If seen from a perspective of victor and loser, which is the natural baggage that comes as an intrinsic aspect of territorial disputes, then only one side can truly win and the other side therefore must lose. This makes compromise politically impossible without creating a loser, or two vaguely confused combatants with so many minor wins and losses along the way that the meaning of the victory is run away in the downpour of endless compromise, leaving only the taste of defeat in the mouths of both sides. In other words, any two-state solution based peace deal is guaranteed to dissatisfy at least one side and probably both. In other words, any two-state solution peace initiative is guaranteed to be a temporary solution until the next conflict arises.
Meanwhile, all other one state solutions believe in shipping one nation or the other to another country, tearing asunder civil rights such as the right to reside in one's own property and the right to vote, thus also creating dissatisfaction on both a societal as well as a national scale. Therefore any true peace deal must minimize feelings of dissatisfaction that are caused by any one side "losing" the negotiations, and also any peace deal must be able to create a permanent solution, otherwise all gains will eventually be lost and the cycle of violence would not cease, God forbid.
By naturalizing West Bank and Gaza Arabs, but in a corresponding ratio based system to Jewish immigration, both key individual national desires of full political rights for Palestinians in the territories and an end to security risks for Israelis will be met. Both sides would also benefit from peace without withdrawal, which makes no political losers on a national scale, plus the right in many cases to keep a family homestead that has existed for dozens and dozens of years, no losers on a societal scale. The newly united State of Israel would experience a massive investment surge from overseas companies and industries, the likes of which have never been seen in the country before.
Anticipating and tracking any change in the status quo of the rate of immigration is crucial to keep this peace deal fair. First the electorate must set the ratio. If currently there are more than 5 Jews for every Arab. So would 2 Arabs admitted to the State of Israel for every 10 Jews admitted be what the electorate would choose? Whatever the numbers, and I am not in a position right now to make any solid suggestions on what the will of the people should be or is in this regard, nevertheless I feel that the ratio should not necessarily be considered written in stone. Through the wise fluctuation of the ratio rate of immigration and naturalization on a sliding scale in favor of the "disadvantaged" population it is possible to avoid major potential causes for flare ups in the future. It is certain that a ratio too extreme in either direction would be a costly mistake for which there is no need to extrapolate.
If I am ever quoted on this, allow me to point out that I never said terrorists should be granted citizenship. No country would make a citizen out of wanton felons, let alone murderers. But also that Palestinians have clearly been reacting to a series of Israeli and Western leaders supporting terrorists in diplomatic clothing such as Abbas. Such Palestinian leaders are PLO terrorists, not true moderates. Therefore peace negotiations in the past have taken unfair turns. All because the stand President Bush took against Hamas' take over in Gaza, was how pseudo moderates like Abbas should have been dealt with as well. It was the Western support of Arafat and Abbas that created the group psychological phenomena that propelled terror into the sphere of political option in the minds of Palestinian voters. Only by having zero tolerance toward fake diplomats such as Abbas can then the rise of true moderate, third way candidates be seen amongst the Palestinians and become widely acceptable to the public. This is an essential step in the local self governance that is necessary in primarily Palestinian Arab populated regions in the West Bank and Gaza, in order to allow Palestinian towns to be added one by one to the body of the State of Israel.
It should be clearly understood that all other peace deals have been begun by taking the first step with the wrong foot. The beginning of peace does not come by the placation of terror; that is its anathema. If your goal is trying to keep people from dying or losing their homes, then please let these words that I have told you take on meaning in your heart.
What do I answer to those who say, well what if in the end it turns out that most Palestinians utterly and eternally reject peace in support of terror. Will all this effort have all been in vain? To them I say: What of the flowers among the thorns? What of the innocent ones among them? Abraham, the forefather of Jews and Arabs prayed for those innocent trapped among the guilty. It's time that Abraham's descendants on both sides showed more respect for his legacy, and this most sacred family tradition.