Friday, June 04, 2010

My Two-State Solution

I'm not going to comment on this recent Israeli military kerfuffle involving the flotilla raid off the coast of the Gaza Strip. As far as I'm concerned, the leaders of both Israel and the Palestinian Authority long ago exhausted their moral capital. The powers that be on both sides have been and continue to be stubborn and hawkish, and they act like children—children with access to bombs and rockets. Obviously, these leaders don't rise to power in a vacuum. Hundreds of thousands of Israelis are responsible for electing and re-electing these stubborn, hawkish leaders; and hundreds of thousands of Palestinians are responsible for deciding that they would like Hamas to govern them. I must conclude that most of the people living within Israel's borders (including the Occupied Territories) are not interested in a peaceful resolution to this conflict so long as such a resolution requires their side to make any significant concessions. Thus dividing the land into two autonomous nations isn't really a viable option.

My solution involves creating a second state in some other part of the world. The purpose of the second state would not be to have separate Jewish and Arab countries but to have one country for stubborn, hawkish Israelis and Palestinians and one state for Israelis and Palestinians who want to live peaceful and productive lives without first eliminating or severely crippling the other side. Ideally, the mature, peace-loving people would get to keep the homeland, but asking the militants to move will only cause bigger problems. So the soldiers, settlers, and suicide bombers can duke it out on the banks of the Jordan while their brothers and sisters enjoy a peaceful life elsewhere.

Of course, there's still the question of the location of the second state. It would need to be an area that is sparsely populated and whose few residents would be on board with this plan or willing to relocate if they were properly compensated for their trouble. (We wouldn't want another situation where two groups of people feel as though they have a legitimate claim to the same land.) An area with a Mediterranean climate would be preferable, but those areas tend to be densely populated. I would suggest using land currently shared by Montana, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. That area is safe, sparsely populated, (somewhat) arable, and rich in natural resources; and the new state would border two stable, peaceful, and sympathetic nations.

But let me know if you have a better idea.

Image from the New York Times.


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