In my last post (for now) on the Israeli – Palestinian conflict, I would like to propose a resolution. I know that many have offered those before, but I believe that my resolution is the best given the circumstances and the desires of the people.
Before I start I would like to point out to a few assumptions.
- Israel would like to keep its characteristic as the Jewish State. It is the belief of most Israelis that while Israel should be a secular state, it is the only place in the world where the vast majority is Jewish.
- The Palestinians want (and deserve) to be recognized as a nation.
- There are some areas where there is not and never will be an agreement as to who they belong to. Chief of these is Jerusalem.
- A Palestinian state cannot be economically independent. They just do not have the infrastructure for it. Building infrastructure can take many years. It definitely takes plenty of money.
Because of the above points the idea of “two countries for two people” just could not work. The socio-economic inequities will create resentment and animosity between the two people. This may well end with renewal of hostilities. At best, the two countries will remain at hostile-neutrality for many years to come.
When we look at similar situation in the history of man, we find out that it is not a rare occurrence. Switzerland is not a single nation, but a combination of four. Germany is a combination of many little countries. So is are the UK, and of course the United States, and Canada.
A solution that always worked for other people was to create a Federation of States. Two states to two people, but one country. In fact looking at the real political – social – economical map, I would say three states are called for.
Here is what I propose:
- The Israelis and the Palestinians start by recognizing each other, and acknowledging each other’s right to exist as nations.
- Form a federation of three states: Israel, Gazza, and West Bank.
- I even have a suggestion for a name; call K’naan that is the oldest name for the country. No dispute there.
- The capital of the federation will be Jerusalem. It will not belong to any of the states.
- The Federation will have a common currency, a common army, and some common ministries (State, Treasury, etc.)
- The Federation will have a common parliament, and supreme court. Election to the parliament will be half regional and half federal. In other words, you will vote for your local parliament member, but also for your party.
- Each state will be autonomous in its education, taxation, and criminal law. This will be monitored against federal standards.
- There will be a constitution that will define civil rights, minority rights, etc.
- Citizens will be allowed to move freely between states and to live in any state they desire.
I am not naive. I know that when two nations are at war, it is hard to envision the two becoming one. However, I have observed and experienced that on the personal level, Israelis and Palestinians can co-exist, do business, and become friends. I see no reason why this solution cannot work. Of course, it has to be implemented in phases. Trust is not regained in one day, but trust could be there.
Let there be peace.