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How many states?

11/27/2003

From time to time, we hear about final settlement plans for Israel and the Palestinians that do not involve a two state solution. These plans are not new. The same plans have been around at least since 1948, and the same types of people are championing them, though they often pretend that their "solution" is suggested by the difficulties of the peace process or demographic considerations or considerations of justice.

In the last few weeks, we were offered three such solutions. One solution, by the Iranian Foreign minister Kamal Kharazzi, called for a single democratic state in all of Palestine. Another, proposal by the Israeli settlers' Yesha council, also called for a single democratic state. Tony Judt, a New York history professor, calls for a binational state. So after all, there is no problem, and it is not clear why there is fighting here. Everyone wants a nice democratic state it seems, so let's see if we can solve the problem that way.

Can Jews and Palestinians agree on a single democratic state? The devil is in the details. Will the Jews agree to give up the Law of Return, that gives Jews everywhere the right to emmigrate to Israel? I doubt it. Will the Palestinians agree to this Law of Return? I doubt it. Will the Palestinians give up the idea of basing their laws on Islamic law? I doubt it. Over 50% of Palestinians want an Islamic government of some sort. Who would serve in the army of this one state? Who would decide if Israel goes to war? Who would decide immigration policies? Will the Palestinians agree to a Jewish star in their flag or will the Jews agree to a green and black and red flag? How long will it be before one side or the other tries to get more power for itself, and shut out the other side? Or, more probably, won't the existence of any such state that is founded on mutual loathing be a perpetual power struggle between sides that are perpetually trying to get the best of each other?

The two state solution is difficult to implement, but the one-state solution is impossible in principle to implement and is inherently unjust. The conflict is about two peoples who both want and deserve the right to self determination, and no plan that ignores the main problem can be called a peace plan.

The settlers' "democracy" would clearly be an apartheid state in which Palestinians were supposed to be doomed to minority representation. A paradise for the settlers. But it is a fool's paradise of course. As history showed us in Lebanon, when demographic facts no longer fit the constitution, the constitution will be changed. The constitution of Lebanon was supposed to grant Christians control of Lebanon, but in fact they no longer control it. Actually, the Syrians control Lebanon, and there is nothing to say that they would not, in the fullness of time, come to control an Israel wracked by civil strife. The Kharazzi 'democracy,' like the secular democratic state advocated by the PLO in seventies, and the single state solution advocated by the Grand Mufti, Haj amin El-Husseini before 1948, would in fact be a travesty that violates the rights of the Jews of Israel. A one state solution is inherently undemocratic, because it must deny either to the Jews, or to the Palestinian Arabs, or to both, the fundamental right of self-determination.

In May of 1947, Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko observed in the UN General Assembly that the best solution for Palestine was a single democratic state, but if the sides could not be reconciled, then only a two-state partition solution would be possible. As history has shown, the sides could not be reconciled.

There is no logic to the proposition that if the sides cannot agree to a two state solution, they must have a one-state solution. If the sides do not agree, then a one state solution will turn into a nightmare of repression and perhaps genocide.

Jews came to Israel to build a homeland for our people. The fathers of Zionism foresaw that in a world of nation-states, a people without a home at best, would live a threatened existence in which it could never develop its own national life, and at worst was doomed to disaster. Zionism did not arise because of the Holocaust. Israel was not created because of the Holocaust, but in spite of the Holocaust, for the Holocaust robbed us of most of the European Jews that Herzl and others thought would constitute the major populace of our state. The Holocaust however, vindicated in a most tragic way the vision of the founders of Zionism. Without a national home, the Jews of Europe found that the gates of the world, including the USA, were closed to them. They were trapped in a death camp. The Jewish Yishuv (community) in this country could do nothing to help them, for the British held the keys to our country, and the British had locked the doors. The supposedly all-powerful American Jewish community could do nothing at all as well. The doors of the USA were locked as well; immigration visas were refused and boatloads of expelled Jews were turned back to Europe. Now we have established a homeland where we hold the keys to our own national shelter and our own destiny. Does anyone believe we will give it up? Does anyone believe that Jews will want to live in this country under majority Arab rule? Equally, having learned the lessons of the Holocaust, how can we deny to another people the same right to self-determination?

Each side continues to offer one state "democratic" plans or federal solutions that would not be democratic, because they would deny or abridge the rights of either the Jews or the Arabs. To Israeli Jews, it is obvious that the "single democratic state" solution of Kharrazi is not democratic and is not a solution. To Palestinians, it is obvious that the settlers' plan is not democratic and is not a solution. But in reality, if we abandon the two state solution, then we will eventually implement either the settlers' plan or Kharrazi's plan or Judt's binational plan. The states would not be democratic and they would not be workable, for the legislators would refuse to sit together, as happened under the British mandate, and young men of different communities would refuse to fight in the same army to defend their "homeland." The same people who could readily see that the settlers' solution is racist, because it denies self-determination to the Palestinians, are often ready to offer us an equally racist "democratic state" that denies self-determination to the Jews.

Those who insist that Israeli development and settlement in the West Bank are creating irreversible facts on the ground are creating difficulties where none exist. Two hundred thousand settlers should not stand in the way of peace even if every one of them has to be moved. The creation of Israel was attended by the flight of many more refugees, and the creation of India and Pakistan necessitated population exchanges of millions of people. The Geneva Accord solution and others show that in fact, it is possible to reach a solution without transferring all those settlers.

Those who insist that a two state solution is not possible because of the limited resources of the land, forget that the land will not be larger or richer if there is a single state. Economic cooperation between the two countries can overcome many of the difficulties. If no such cooperation is possible, then a single state or a binational state will certainly not work. It will not work politically or economically or socially. It will degenerate into the chaos and horror of civil war that fell upon Lebanon, Yugoslavia and Cyprus.

Those people who insist that we are running out of water or land should be reminded that in 1931 the experts of the British government declared that the land would possibly support an additional 20,000 families, but not more, with further development, while in 1945 the British and American experts believed it might be possible to settle another million people in Palestine. Since then, the population between the river and the sea has grown from less than two million to about ten million.

Peace between Israelis and Palestinians does not require more maps and cannot be realized by any trick "democracies" that rob people of their rights. Peace requires a resolution of both peoples to make peace, and to each respect the rights of the other. Without that one ingredient no peace is possible, and any constitution will be wrecked by those who feel that they are disenfranchised and those who insist that the entire land belongs only to them. With the resolution for peace comes the desire to provide a solution that realizes the desires of each people to determine its own future, to be " free peoples in our own lands." If you will, it is no legend.

Ami Isseroff



Who's in favor of annihilating Israel?
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/366106.html
By Yoel Esteron

The most venomous and dangerous attack on the State
of Israel's right to exist hails from New York, of
all places. Tony Judt, a New York University
history professor, has published an article in the
prestigious New York Review of Books (October 23)
in which he makes a seemingly well-defended case
in favor of establishing a binational state on the
ruins of the State of Israel.

In Judt's eyes, Israel is an
anachronism from the late
19th century. In his brave
new world, there is no longer
room for such a thing as a
nation-state. Germany,
France, Italy, Japan and all
the rest - none of these
disturb his peace of mind.
Only Israel.

Sixty years after the attempt to wipe out the
Jewish people in Europe, after which the
countries of the world were kind enough to
allow Holocaust survivors to build a national
home for themselves, along comes a historian
who specializes in Europe and proposes that the
Jews commit suicide. That they once again
become a minority, only this time a minority in
a Palestinian nation-state wedged between the
Jordan and the Mediterranean.

Can an idea be ludicrous and dangerous at the
same time? Judt proves that the answer is yes.
His article, which tries to conceal his hatred
of Israel within the folds of scholarly
analysis, does not explain how two peoples who
have not been able to talk to one another for
generations, except through bombs, will
suddenly be filled with love and establish a
warm and courteous neighborly relationship.
Sheikh Yassin is probably laughing his head
off.

And yet the idea is also a dangerous one,
because it is chalking up supporters in high
places. The article is being talked about in
intellectual circles in the United States as if
it were some kind of bold attempt to defy
convention. People who have despaired of any
breakthrough in the Middle East stalemate are
naively saying: Wait a minute, maybe there's
something here. And they are being joined, of
course, by certified anti-Semites, haters of
Israel and other garden-variety Israel bashers.
Even Amos Elon, the author of "Herzl" and "The
Israelis," wrote a letter to the editor
brimming with praise from his home in Buggiano,
Italy. Judt "should be lauded for cutting
through a forest of cliches," as Elon put it.

Of course, not everyone is in awe of this
pseudo-erudite theory. Leon Wieseltier, one of
America's leading intellectuals, has rescued
the honor of those Americans who understand a
thing or two about Middle Eastern affairs,
easily crushing Judt's argument (The New
Republic, October 27). But this idea, as often
happens with ideas, is already living a life of
its own. Some are for and some are against. The
debate is raging. There are people who think
that the State of Israel has to go, and others
who believe in its continued existence. Not in
the amnesia-struck cultural salons of Europe.
In America.

The idea of a binational state is not new, of
course. In the 1920s and 1930s, it was proposed
in one form or another by intellectuals from
across the spectrum, from Martin Buber to Ze'ev
Jabotinsky (although scholars are divided over
what he really meant). It reared its head again
toward the end of the 20th century: Edward Said
dreamed about it in New York and Azmi Bishara
is still dreaming about it here. Meron
Benvenisti has written about it on these pages.
Maybe he is desperate, too.

There is no need for surveys to know that the
overwhelming majority of Israelis and
Palestinians reject the idea of a binational
state. It is an amazingly bad idea for the Jews
to become a minority under the wing of Hamas.
As everyone knows, the Palestinians also want a
state of their own - now, as soon as possible,
not years from now when demography is
victorious over the Apache helicopter gunship,
as promised. But do we have a right to gamble
with the future? Is it not better to snuff out
the idea of a binational state before it
flourishes?

At the moment, it is thriving not because of
intellectuals and historians. Those responsible
for making it bloom again are people who are
actually appalled at the very thought. Ariel
Sharon and Avigdor Lieberman and Effie Eitam
and Yosef Lapid - they are the ones who are
watering the idea of a binational state and
bringing it back to life, by doing nothing to
advance the one solution that could stand in
its way: two states for two peoples.

The Israeli right and its government, along with
tens of thousands of extremists who have put
down stakes in the heart of Palestinian
population centers, are responsible for the
despair and hatred that have revived the debate
over Israel's right to exist. The tanks of
occupation have armed old-new anti-Semitism.

It is easy to say to Judt and his ilk that they
should experiment with binational states
elsewhere - in Germany and France, for example
- before they start forcing it on Israel and
the Palestinians. But what will we say to
ourselves when one day historians ask what we
did to avoid waking up in a nightmare? Unless
we go back to where we were in 1967, we may
find ourselves back where we were before 1948.



Kharrazi says formation of democratic state in Palestine only way
http://www.irna.ir/#2003_11_2111_17_025

towards peace in Middle East
Tehran, Nov 21, IRNA -- Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi reasserted
here Thursday that the only way towards peace in the Middle East was
the establishment of an independent and democratic state in Palestine
based on the votes of Palestinians.
Making the remarks in a ceremony on the occasion of the holy month
of Ramadan for the representatives of foreign political missions in
Tehran, he referred to international community`s heeding to the issue
of Palestine, America`s stopping support for the occupier Israel and
treating the issue fairly as the pre-requisites for the establishment
of an independent state in Palestine.
Pointing out that there was a growing support by the thinkers and
intellectuals for the idea of establishment of an independent state in
Palestine nowadays, he believed that today the issue of Palestine no
longer belonged to Palestinians alone but that every Muslim believes
in this ideal and so celebrates the Qods Day.
Referring to the "roadmap scheme", he said this plan, too, like
any other plan proposed in past years, was doomed to failure and this
was quite obvious from the very beginning.
1424/210
End


Rightists preparing plan to counter road map, peace bids
http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/spages/364883.html

By Haaretz Service

The settlement movement's Yesha Council said
Tuesday that rightists within Prime Minister Ariel
Sharon's own Likud party would create a political
"iron wall" to block mount any attempt by Sharon
to unilaterally dismantle settlements in the West
Bank and Gaza Strip.

The council has announced a
campaign to fight evacuation
of settlements, titled "In
Netzarim, Israel will be
victorious," referring to the
isolated, embattled Gaza
Strip settlement that has
been a focus of bloodshed for
years, and the subject of
increasing calls for evacuation.

Israel Radio reported Tuesday that Likud
legislators have joined with the Yesha Council
in secretly preparing a diplomatic initiative
aimed at countering the U.S.-United
Nations-European Union-Russian-backed road map,
as well as the Geneva Accord alternate peace
proposal and possible efforts by Sharon to
unilaterally dismantle settlements.

Sharon came under heavy fire at a Likud faction
meeting Monday over his declared intention to
take unilateral steps vis-a-vis the
Palestinians.

Several faction members harshly criticized
Sharon, who reiterated his pre-election
statement about the need for painful
concessions to promote the peace process,
adding "it is obvious that ultimately we shall
not be in all the places we're in now."

Yesha Council officials said that they would
also battle agreement by Trade and Industry
Minister Ehud Olmert to labeling of export
products such that EU customs officials could
determine if they were produced in the
territories captured by Israel in the 1967 Six
Day War - a move that could cancel customs
breaks for such goods.

"We are very worried by the statements
attributed to the prime minister, and which he
has not bothered to deny," said Yesha Council
head Adi Mintz.

"If he does not intend to carry out the
evacuation of the settlements or these
'unilateral steps,' statements by the leader of
the Likud over banishing Jews from their homes
or carrying out the transfer of Jews, does harm
by itself.

"Even worse, if he does intend to take this
action, apart from the injustice and immorality
of the deep itself, he is granting a prize to
terror."

The Yesha anti-evacuation campaign will center
on quotations by Sharon himself, who said in
April 2002, "The fate of Netzarim is as the
fate of Negba and Tel Aviv. Evacuation of
Netzarim will only encourage terrorism and
increase the pressure on us."

The council said that the same day that a
government agrees to uproot settlements, it
will lose its right to rule.

Yesha spokesman Yehoshua Mor-Yossef said Tuesday
that, "This is the time to act, and therefore
we are starting this campaign which says, 'Tel
Hai, Negba and Netzarim - one path, one
spirit'," linking the Gaza settlement with
other small settlememnts within Israel which
were in danger of being evacuated and overrun
in past Arab-Israeli wars.

"There has always been one settlement that the
Arabs sought to strike, and which the public in
Israel promised to stand behind, and did stand
behind."

Israel Radio said the heart of the rightists'
alternative proposal was the concept of
granting Israeli citizenship and equal rights
to all Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza
who are interested in accepting such status, as
well as the partition of Israel into districts
or "cantons" to skirt questions of Arab-Jewish
demographics.

The proposed program opposes any establishment
of a Palestinian state, and is opposed to
removal of any settlements.

Based to some degree on the American Electoral
College model, the cantons would receive
representation based on factors other than
population, assuring Jewish rule in Israel, the
radio said.

According to the plan, only Jews could serve as
Israel's prime minister. His deputy could be an
Arab, in a clause that recalled a proposal by
the founder of Revisionist Zionism, Ze'ev
Jabotinsky.

The radio said that the proposal has been being
drafted in recent weeks by 14 right-wing MKs
along with the Yesha Council.

But Yesha Council leader Adi Mintz, refraining
from divulging details of the alternative
initiative, said that the citizenship proposal
- widely criticized by many West Bank rabbis -
would not be a part of the plan. Mintz also
said the canton concept was not an "inherent
part" of the proposal, which he said would be
released within weeks.

Mintz said that the program would include, in
its intial stage, "a decisive dismantlement of
the Palestinian Authority." This would be
followed a phase of "self-administration," with
a third stage characterized by a "permanent
regional plan."



Which kind of binational state?
By Meron Benvenisti

In the rush of refreshing statements heard lately, the warnings have come
from the length of the political spectrum - from Ami Ayalon to Ehud Olmert
and the Geneva accord initiators and Jewish intellectuals in America -
Israel faces "a threat that could spell the end of the Jewish state,"
meaning the danger of the binational state. Within a few years, there will
be a Palestinian majority between the Jordan and the Mediterranean and
according to Olmert "more and more Palestinians are no longer interested
in a solution of two states for two peoples." The result is "a disaster -
one state for two people."

The vast majority of public opinion rejects that option and the academic
sector is revolted by the binational concept, "which hasn't solved any
conflict in the world and does not work anywhere except in Switzerland."
The opposition is so strong and emotional that seemingly there's no need
to even define what kind of regime it would be and what the term "one
state for two peoples" might mean. Examining various regimes included in
the binational model might show perhaps that one or more of the options
could actually please some of those who meanwhile so vehemently denounce
the binational approach as a disaster.

The connection between losing the Jewish demographic majority and the fear
of the demand for equal voting rights for everyone - one man, one vote -
that would bring an end to the Jewish state shows that the type of regime
identified with binationalism is a classic liberal regime of individual
rights in a unitary, centralized state, without any regard for
ethnic-collective rights.

That's the kind of regime that replaced the apartheid government in South
Africa and it works with relative success. If the Palestinians do indeed
force the Israelis to impose such a model, as the blacks did in South
Africa, it would indeed spell the end of the Jewish state in the sense of
its ethnic dominance and other national privileges.

However, it is difficult to assume that such a situation would evolve in
reality because the State of Israel today without the territories
seemingly has a liberal democracy, but the Jewish community in it made
sure to impose an "ethnic democracy" that gave the Arabs second class
citizenship.

The fear of the loss of the majority has already yielded plans for
campaigns against the danger, such as the projects for increasing the
Jewish birth rate, granting voting rights to expatriates or even to Jews
wherever they may be. The chance of fulfilling the unitary model is nil.
But the effort to identify binationalism only with that model is
deliberate, meant to prevent any debate about other, more attractive
alternatives.

One such alternative is a system that recognizes collective
ethnic-national rights and maintains power sharing on the national-central
level, with defined political rights for the minority and sometimes
territorial-cantonal divisions. That model, called "consociational
democracy" has not succeeded in many places, but lately has been applied
successfully to reach agreements in ancient ethnic-national conflicts such
as Bosnia, through the Dayton agreement, and Northern Ireland, with the
Good Friday agreement. That should be food for thought for the experts who
contemptuously wave off the binational option.

Why did arrangements based on one state for two peoples work in various
methods and places - South Africa, Bosnia, and Northern Ireland - while
the Oslo accords, based on territorial division, achieved at the same
time, collapsed?

The option of power sharing and division into federated cantons is closer
to the model of the territorial division of two states but it avoids the
surgery, so it allows the existence of soft borders, and creates a
deliberate blurring that eases dealing with symbolic issues, the status of
Jerusalem or the questions of refugees and the settlers. The mutual
recognition allows preservation of the national-cultural character on the
national level and preservation of the ethnically homogenous regions.
Everything depends, of course, on recognition being mutual and symmetric.

Those who don't recognize and accept intercommunal equality propose a
third model of binationalism - even though they rise up against the very
idea. They suggest cultural and civic local autonomy, but without voting
in the Knesset, or alternatively, voting in Jordan, the "real Palestinian
state." That is Menachem Begin's original autonomy plan, or the
"functional partition" proposed by Moshe Dayan and Shimon Peres, a plan
being implemented nowadays through the Palestinian Authority. That model
has another version in the form of the "Palestinian state" defined by the
separation fence: four cantons under Israel's indirect control. That's
also a model for binationalism camouflaged by the division into "two
states."

And there's a fourth model, which can be called "undeclared
binationalism." It's a unitary state controlled by one dominant national
group, which leaves the other national group disenfranchised and subject
to laws "for natives only," which for the purposes of respectability and
international law are known as laws of "belligerent occupation." The
convenience of this model of binationalism is that it can be applied over
a long period of time, meanwhile debating the threat of the "one state"
and the advantages of the "two states," without doing a thing. That's the
situation nowadays. But the process is apparently inevitable. Israel and
the Palestinians are sinking together into the mud of the "one state." The
question is no longer whether it will be binational, but which model to
choose.

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Replies: 4 comments

There Is No Two-state Solution - Just A Dangerous Illusion

The choice between One-state and Two-states "solutions" is imaginary. Both options are not open in the present reality.
They that speak about two-states mean a PLO "state" beside Israel. Everyone with open eyes, Israeli or Palestinian, can predict based on the PNA conduct what will be the character of the Palestinian Regime. If before Oslo, people (Jews and Arabs) could justify the vision of "Brave Peace" - it should be over now.
Actually, Oslo accords, by their very essence, were doomed to be disastrous, because the Israeli party entered it with a criminal spirit. The late PM Rabin justified bestowing power on the PLO saying that they have "no High Court of Justice and no B'tzelem (human rights watch)" and thus be more efficient in suppressing Israel's enemies. This approach directly backfired on Israel's security and economy, because you cannot be sure that the thug you hired will not turn on you if you have miscalculated his motives. Much worse is the disaster that came over the Palestinian population, which is now a victim of corruption and robbery, human rights abuse, being devoid of free speech, having a misleading inciting media, with free hand to violent groups and perverse education toward hatred and demonizing of fellow humans. Their trouble reached a climax when the people in charge launched the Intifada, which aimed not only to put pressure on Israel but also to stop the Palestinian "normality" and affluence that had started to develop and "threatened" to lower the anti-Israeli motivation. Families lost their livelihood and had to see their desperate youngsters misled to give their lives in criminal assaults on Israel. One can easily conclude that the very "Palestinian suffering" was planned and ensured in order to promote such a powerful propaganda tool.
The "two state solution", negotiated with the same regime will perpetuate both the Palestinian ordeal and the threat on Israel. I, for one, will not believe in the peaceful intentions of a regime that suffers - if not encourages - the "education" of kindergarten toddlers to hate and kill me.
So far for the 2-s "solution" - be it "Roadmap" or "Ayalon-Nusseiba" or "Geneva". I do hope that this outrageous "vision" will not be put to practice.

Does this imply that we should now unify the populations and declare the one-state Israel-Palestine? Of course not! And Ami Issaroff gave many good arguments against this. I am willing to endorse his words in previous correspondence: "Until there is peace in the hearts of both sides, there can be no solution, and once there is peace, then it will not matter so much what is the solution". Indeed, many people gave up on reconciliation, because the previous lame attempts by unworthy politicians brought us to the present situation.
Now is not the time to negotiate a practical arrangement and compare various plans of one or two states, cantons or federations or whatever.
It is evident that the present type of politicians will not bring peace. This is a matter to be discussed among people - Israeli, Palestinian - at grassroots.
For sure, part of the people in both communities do not care about peace. I think that many more would care if they were not in despair. We need now people - with no authority to negotiate - that are ready to give a chance to an authentic, respectful, compassionate dialog process, where real needs will be presented, values discussed, feelings aired, narratives cleared - with the aim of widening the common ground. Success is not ensured - but there is still no reason for despair - as there is much to gain and much to lose.
Israelis need only conviction, care, faith, to make them participate. You cannot shut up an Israeli who has decided to be publicly active for any cause. The difficulty is to find the Palestinians, the Arabs, which will feel safe enough to enter a genuine sincere reconciliation process. I am impressed that even "Israeli Arabs" do not feel free enough.
A way must be found to liberate the potential grassroots counterparts, because otherwise, if the Jews will doubt the authenticity of their partners, failure is imminent.

Asher Shla'in

Posted by Asher Shla'in @ 12/02/2003 02:04 AM CST

What about a Holy Land Confederation? One Confederation with 2 component States.

A Citizen of one component State will have the right to live and work and own property in any part of the Confederation. There will be no travel restrictions. There will be no security wall.

A Citizen of Israel will be subject to Israeli laws and Confederation laws, while a Citizen of Palestine would be subjection to Palestinian laws and Confederation laws.

The problem is deciding which territory within the Confederation would be Israeli and which would be Palestinian. This can only be resolved through negotiation.

There will be national elections for each State. There will be an Assembly for the Confederation. There could also be a Court for the Confederation to reconcile laws of the Confederation and laws of the component states.

There could also be a President for the Confederation: For 2 years it could be an Israeli and for 2 years it could be a Palestian. When there is an Israeli as Confederation President, the Vice-President for the Confederation has to be Palestian, and vice versa.

Importantly, there should be only one confederation army. There would be no 'Israeli' nor a 'Palestian' army.

There should also be a Confederation police force, but no 'national' police force: only cantonal or municipal police.

There will be a tri-lingual education policy where students throughout the Confederation must learn Arabic, Hebrew and English.

There could be an Israeli flag, a Palestinian flag and a Holy Land Confederation flag.

Posted by Lim @ 12/02/2003 04:22 PM CST

Some further suggestions to the Holy Land Confederation idea. Jerusalem can be the capital of the Confederation, but the capital of Isreal should be Tel Aviv and the capital of Palestine should be Ramallah.

Foreign countries should send their ambassadors to the Confederation rather than to Israel or Palestine.

There will be no Israel nor Palestiniam Embassies and Tourism Offices in other countries - only Embassies and Tourism Offices of the Holy Land Confederation.

There would be a Confederation dollar to replace the current Isreali currency and plans for a Palestinian currency.

However each component State can determine their own immigration policy, meaning that Israel could still have its Law of Return and Palestine could welcome any refugee it wishes to admit.

Importantly, there should be no expulsion of Palestians from Isreal to Palestine, nor eviction of Israeli settlers out of Palestine.

It would be ideal if there would be no internal border within the Confederation, but that's not possible, so there will still have to be a distinction between Israeli territory and Palestian territory within the Confederation.

Due to the lack of ports and airports and roads in Palestian, Israel should give Ramallah's Transport Ministry appropriate access to ports and airports and road, so that Ramallah need not incur the cost in developing these.

Posted by LIM @ 12/03/2003 02:33 AM CST

There has been a comment 'This is not the time to talk about a single (federal) state'. I would think that with 2 states and no confederation, the 2 states will constantly be at odds with each other. Particularly so since they are so tied to each other, e.g. Palestinians working in Israel, Israelis living in Palestine.

So Confederation should be seen as a solution and the forum to work out differences. It could also provide the legal framework for a more equal relationship between Israelis and Palestians in daily life.

Posted by LIM @ 12/03/2003 02:44 AM CST


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