Sunday, May 11, 2008

A New and Revised One-State Solution to Peace in the Middle East

Toward an Evenhanded Policy for Peace in the Holy Land, Part 1:

A New and Revised One-State Solution to Peace in the Middle East

By Professor Alan Friedlander

When seeking an end to belligerence the goal is to remove as many current and as many potential causes for feelings of outrage by either side of the conflict. Yet previous peace plans either favored one side or the other.

Previous one-state solutions ended in selecting a segregated victor and a losing side which then becomes a rejected, exiled nation; as if a Wandering Jew syndrome must be perpetuated with either Jewish settlers or Arab settlers of the West Bank and Gaza being arbitrarily chosen as the collective scapegoat for some ancient sin that has long been erased from Israel. I find other one-state solutions only politically reasonable, whether or not morally so, immediately following the massive war in which the refugee issue first arose, such as in this case, back in 1967. Thus the other one-state solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are inherently archaic. To wait for some kind of a messianic war to legitimize such a one-state solution to end violence while innocent people are in danger would be to ignore the Lord’s command: “Do not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor” (Leviticus 19.16)

Whereas two state solutions are all based on the assumption that two groups of married couples should share a single bed at the same time, and each time one man rolls over in his sleep, the second man thinks that the first man is making a play for his wife. Only the bed in this parable is merely a twin-size bed, and physically unable to contain two married couples peacefully. Such a commune-esque concept cannot work spiritually in a Holy Land, nor physically succeed whether we talk of a tiny proverbial bed or we speak of the political division of a small but cherished land.

I find two-state solutions bubbles of false hope and an invitation for bloodshed on more than one level. As we have seen in Northern Ireland, only once the very thing that the IRA rejected that England should be accepted as the dominant power occurred did peace break out. Peace came to Northern Ireland only through a one-state solution. Thus two state solutions are a codependency to terror. You take away the two-state solution and then when you begin a real peace process, it will stand a chance to succeed. Only then do we find that terrorists are no longer viewed falsely as freedom fighters but are seen correctly as the murdering terrorists that they are.

Though the comparison of England and Israel ends there, as Israel was not a colonial power taking away another nation’s rights, as happened between England and Ireland, the Palestinians are former Jordanians and Egyptians who were abandoned by their former governments, and have yet to be taken in by Israel.

With hindsight we can see clearly how all two state solutions, including the current Roadmap, are guaranteed to fail in the real world. Had they succeeded in signing a paper piece of paper and called it a treaty, it would never have worked long term “on the ground”.

The Friedlander Peace Plan changes all that. Under this new and revised one-state solution as the peace plan of choice, Jews and Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza must be allowed to become one people with the Israelis. It may not be an easy transition to becoming one state, but however dysfunctional it may or may not be at first, that’s the small price of democracy for you. A smaller price than the seemingly endless years of bloodshed have been until now.

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