21 November 2011
Bad TWO or worse ONE are not the only solutions
Generally Dry Bones iconic comics have pride of place in the right column on Five Minutes for Israel. When I’m short of ideas the changing comic (it’s not loaded automatically) are a sign the site is active. Try again some other day. Today I feature it because whether you accept Kirschen’s idea it shows that the solution being forced on us of either accepting the immediate suicide of the one state solution or the slow suicide of the two state solution are not the only possible options. There are many options.
This is not the space to list them all but consider these: Modern Federation, Confederation, Federacy, Consociation, Unions, Unitary States with Federal Arrangements, and Leagues and Partial Unions. I can’t even define them all. They are listed to confront those who say (and that includes some prominent Israelis) if Israel doesn’t accept the solution forced by the Quartet it will have to accept the solution forced on it by HAMAS because there are no other options.
Useful reading for more details:
- Federal/Confederal Solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian-Jordanian Conflict: Concepts and Feasibility, Daniel J. Elazar, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
- Israeli-Palestinian Peace Plans, Dr. Shmuel Bar et al, Herzliya Papers, December 2004
Opposing the Two State non Solution
Having made a broad statement against the Two State Solution I feel obliged to explain why:
- Bitter experience. Far from bringing peace Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000 and Gaza in 2005 led inevitably to war – a far more brutal war than if we had stayed.
- The Hamas position is simple, consistent, unambiguous and open. Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement. Abusing any part of Palestine is abuse directed against part of religion. Removing the IDF led to a short, brutal civil war in Gaza and there is no reason to assumer the West Bank would be any different. The future isn’t black. It’s green.
- The Moderate Palestinian position as represented by Mahmud Abbas as President, more or less, of the Palestinian Authority. Non negotiable demands: a fully independent state on the ceasefire lines of 1948 without exceptions; capital in Jerusalem including parts of Jerusalem that have never been Arab; right of return by any who can claim refugee status and all their descendants now claimed to be about 7.2 million or compensation, thus either swamping or bankrupting Israel; no refugees outside the Palestinian State to be absorbed by the state; expulsion of all Jews and complete freedom of movement over Israel between Gaza and the West Bank. In return? No recognition of Israel as the Jewish State or end of hostilies.
- The Less Moderate Palestinian position: as represented by Mahmud Abbas as Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and leader of Fatah.
In 2009 Fatah reaffirmed its option for “armed resistance” against Israel. Israel’s destruction is said to be both inevitable and a Palestinian obligation. Statements predicting the demise of Israel are a staple of Palestinian media, educational materials and political life. See: Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority & Fatah ‘No Peace, No Israel’
- The financial position: The current buoyant state of the Palestinian economy comes almost entirely from floating on foreign donations. It also depends on Israel’s continuing good will. Given the shaky state of both Euro and Greenback and the way Israel is likely to respond Palestinian Statehood would come at a time when few major powers are willing to foot the bill, leading to economic collapse and encouraging war on Israel as a scapegoat.
- The military position: The late unlamented PA president Arafat deliberately set up a labyrinthine system to pit the security units against each other, ensure the military would never grow strong enough to depose him, and make himself the sole official in control of the various forces. See: Reorganizing the Palestinian Security Forces Another reason less obvious was to use the security forces to soak up youth unemployment. That’s an estimated 21,000 active personnel, armed, frustrated, not necessarily paid, not necessarily disciplined and indoctrinated from birth to regard their role as killing Israelis. The may not be able to stand up to Hamas without Israel’s direct intervention but it doesn’t require much to start a war.