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Notes on the Israel-Palestine peace plan Notes on the Israel-Palestine peace plan
by Joseph Gatt
2019-01-31 10:22:33
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I will discuss the difficulties surrounding the establishment of a viable peace plan between Israel and the Palestinians. I will then discuss what the peace plan should contain, in my opinion.

Difficulties establishing a peace plan

-Israel and Palestine are bordering states. Imagine Algeria and France were bordering states. The war would not have ended the way it ended, and the conflict probably still would have endured. The problem with the Palestinians sharing borders with Israel is that there is always a possibility of an attack from the Palestinians, along with the possibility of a migrant influx of refugee crisis if a Palestinian state were to be established and fail at governance.

isra001_400-Muslims believe one should take part in holy war at least once in your lifetime. What better place than to take part in a holy war than near Jerusalem.

-Unlike Latin Americans who have conservative and liberal parties, the Palestinians essentially have three political formations: the ultra-nationalists, the ultra-religious and the nihilists. Since the Soviet Union got dissolved there are no more socialist or communist factions, nor is there a social-democratic representation among the Palestinians.

-Palestinians still claim that their territory includes all of Israel. The counter-balance such claims, Israel vaguely claims that Judea and Samaria is Israeli territory.

-Palestinians regard Jews as a secret society that has no place in “Palestine.” Palestinians believe Israelis are plotting to drive Muslims out of their territory, starting with Palestine and gradually moving to the rest of the Arab world. Ironically, this conqueror spirit exists in Islamic literature, but is not part of the Jewish tradition.

-Finally, the geography of the area surrounding Israel and Palestinian territories does not help. It is a mixture of barely inhabitable hills separated by uninhabitable deserts. So any territorial partition plan or land swap would have to include parts of the desert connecting inhabitable hills.

What the peace plan should include

-Real estate and land considerations. Given the geographical nature of Israel, only a long-term deal can be considered towards the creation of a Palestinian state. The deal should considered dual factors. First, Israeli administered territories in Judea-Samaria should be leased for 50 years or so in exchange for money of course. After 50 or so years the Palestinians can have them back. Israeli military outposts can remain for as long as necessary. However, the other side of the deal is Jewish Israelis should be allowed to purchase land, real estate or business real estate in any Palestinian state. There is no true peace if the Jews are not allowed to live in Palestine. The opposite is true of course, as has always been the case. Palestinians can buy property in Israel if they can afford to.

-Trade and migration. I would stay away from any agreement that does not include a bilateral agreement on trade and migration. Malaysia and Singapore have a similar agreement, where there is a free movement of people, where tax arrangements are made along with legal arrangements and a special migrant status for people on both sides.

-Jerusalem: I once had an Arab roommate who never did the dishes, didn't offer the help clean the room, never left the room, stayed up all night glued to his computer. I'm not saying all Arab roommates are like that. But the cohabitation was impossible. I cooked for him, cleaned up after him but after a couple of months I also kicked him out of the house. When it comes to Jerusalem, we're talking about one city that would be administered by two governments. Imagine Northern Manhattan controlled by one government and Southern Manhattan controlled by another. Or Paris rive Nord controlled by the French government and rive Sud controlled by the Algerian government. Who would pay the bills? Who would make sure the city remains clean? How would border control and customs arrangements be made? Where the airports would be built? What roads would connect one part of the city or the other? Who would take care of road maintenance? That, and add security concerns to the mix. In my opinion, there should be a fifty-year lease on East Jerusalem by Israel that could be extended several times if necessary. The Palestinians could have their government in Jerusalem, but maintenance and security should be Israel's business.

-Security concerns: I wouldn't sign any agreement that does not contain the following clause, that Palestine will renounce the all forms of organized violence and crime, calls for violence and crime, and all forms of military organizations and para-military organizations. Palestine should strive to establish an education system that favours co-existence, should ban calls for violence in the media, should stop paying pensions to convicted murderers and terrorists and should ban any reference to war with the Israelis. 

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