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Yesterday, I watched David Gregory’s Meet The Press interview with His Majesty, King Abdullah II of Jordan. (I’m obviouslly not Jordanian, but I strive to be polite, hence the use of his title.)

Two things stood out about him, compared with other mideast leaders:
1–His intelligence and calm. In stark contrast to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who denies the holocaust and waxes borderline orgasmic when discussing possible attacks on Israel, King Abdullah II is cordial, fairly soft spoken and projects an air mental stability. There were no rants of ‘death to Israel’.

2–King Abdullah explictly endorsed the so-called ‘two-state’ solution. At the same moment, on ABC’s This Week, Ahmadinejad was the very definition of disingenuity, wriggling like a worm on a hook whenever George Stephanopoulos questioned him about the same strategy for mideast peace.

For those who don’t know, the term ‘two-state solution’ refers to a proposed Palestinian state, independent and equal to Israel.

Close, but no cigar!

I propose a ‘three-state’ solution, in the form of either an Israeli-Palestinian Federation or Israeli Federation

It would take the following form:
1–The State of Israel. Israel without the Palestinian Territories and Tel Aviv as its state capital.
2–The State of Palestine. This Palestine would be different than the present Palestinian Territories.
The map below shows the way things are today, with–in essence–‘West Palestine’ and ‘East Palestine’.

This really untenable. You can’t have a nation divided by another nation between its halves. This situation is what led to the present situation, where ‘Gaza’ Palestine is Hamas controlled, but ‘West Bank’ Palestine is Fatah controlled. They’re essentially two different nations.
In the interest of stability, the following land-swap should occur.

Israel would absorb ‘Gaza’ Palestine, which is only twice the area of Central Park, ceding the blue areas to a unified Palestine with its capital as either Ramallah or Nablus.
In the State of Palestine, all territory–including the settlements, most of which violate international law–would be under Palestinian control.

3–The third state would be the City-State of Jerusalem. In addition to being a self-governing entity along the lines of Singapore, it would also be the Federal capital.
Jerusalem is the third rail of religion, politics and culture. Any attempt to divide it is doomed to failure, just as the Berlin Wall didn’t work.
Jerusalem is indivisible. The only solution is that it revert to its original status as a city-state.

The Federation–Israeli-Palestinian, Palestinian-Israeli or whatever–would have a representative government, those representatives to be determined by periodic census. (Sound familiar?)

The flag of this federation would look nothing like either the Israeli or Palestinian flags. Those flags would belong to the states. The federation would need a completely new flag as part of a completely new beginning.

Before you shoot the idea down, give it some thought. I’m proposing a true compromise…nobody gets exactly what they want, but everyone gets what they need to survive.

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2 Comments

  1. I believe you are an outsider from this conflict and you have no personal feelings about the land of Israel not having ever been a land of any people except the Hebrews and it belonged to other rulers of Arab nations for a long time but never was an independent country on it’s own with people who were nationalistic until Israel was established again.

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    • Michael, I actually sympathise with you. I believe that the Israelis–all Jews, in fact–are God’s chosen people. I truly believe that converting to a federation would help safeguard Israel’s future.

      The most important part of that federation is establishing Jerusalem as a city-state. It is holy to all three Abrahamic religions, and as long as any of those religions tries to keep it as its own, there will be war.

      Israel is holy. Jerusalem is even holier. It deserves a special status.

      As for any objection regarding the annexation of Gaza in exchange for yielding more of the West Bank, I can only point to pre-1971 Pakistan.

      Prior to 1971, Pakistan was comprised of West Pakistan and East Pakistan, with India in between. This didn’t work, and eventually led to a war on the Indian subcontinent which saw East Pakistan become Bangladesh.

      If you insist on maintaining a dismembered Palestine, Israel will continue to suffer for decades.

      Look what’s already happening; materiel smuggled through tunnels from Egypt, rocket attacks from the Hamas-led portion, the marginalisation of the Fatah-led West Bank.

      It was nice that the Israeli PM and Mahmoud Abbas prayed with the Pope, but they haven’t a hope in hell, when the other half of that dismembered state is governed by Hamas!

      Gaza is a festering abscess which will continue to kill Israelis until it is boiled clean and allowed to heal as part of Israel.

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