Palestinians and Israelis have disputed their land for more than half a century. Some even claim its a biblical dilemma dating back to the Philistines and ancient Israel. Many have tried to promote peace around the region but some have employed violence to stimulate more problems that escalated on the death of many innocent people. Its a region where religion seems to play a bigger role than politics, and no matter how many peace treaties foreign countries try to come up with, it never seems to work or last long.
It seemed in the past that many European countries and Asian countries supported the Palestinian cause to the point of massively protesting inside major plazas, as in their view Palestinians were brutally oppressed by the Israeli Army. But indirectly in about a decade or so, after 9/11 and the threat of radical Islam spreading rapidly to the west, it literally reverted the choice of preference back to the Israeli cause. From Denmark’s controversial cartoons, to Germany, France…Uyghurs in China, Chechnya and Russia, Kosovo and Serbia, England and Spain subway bombings, Bombay shootings, Nigeria embassy, recently Al-Shabab’s tragedy in Kenya… And it has reached a point where many would rather cheer for tyrannical regimes like Al Assad’s, or Sisi’s (Egypt), rather than the threat of the FSA supported by Al-Qaeda or even the Islamic Brotherhood who technically won via-democracy in Egypt. Now people cheer for Israel because many now dislike radical Islam.
Many critics observe Israel as an oppressor country that should have never been there to begin with, via powered by British-American agenda before its foundation, specially amongst activist, communist and Anti-Imperialist countries besides Muslims supporters worldwide. But many more now consider Hamas as a real threat for global security as its backed by the Islamic Brotherhood, Hezbollah and other worrisome organizations that also threaten westernized countries in shocks of horror. And as a result terrorism and radical Islamization has diminish the Palestinian cause, that it once enjoyed.
But examining the Middle East during these past few years during the recent turmoils other thoughts come to mind. If you compare how Israel has treated the Palestinians over decades, considering the rapid amount of violence experienced in neighboring countries recently, its fair to say that Palestinians are not really struggling that bad under Israel as of today, especially compared with how in a short period of time many Iron-fisted Regimes during the Arab Spring have brutally treated their own population. Despite Israel’s military capacity, they actually never used full force against Palestinians, even when 200 rockets were launched across the border. Historically many countries would have severely retaliated and killed thousands as a response which raises the question of Israel’s brutal policy in the Middle East.
What is the best solution to find common ground between Israelis and Palestinians? Is the rise of Hamas negatively affected the Palestinian image including the rise of radical Islam globally? Has Israel dealt with the Palestinians as brutally as many have claimed over the years? In the end of the day, considering the Arab Spring, is it really fair to say after the brutal Arab Spring, that Palestine is better under Israel’s authority, than under the control of neighboring countries who seem to always have dictators in their rule ship that accuse Israel of doing the same?
Fadi F. Elhusseini.
“Your piece looked balanced except for the last two paragraphs.
For instance, you say: “If you compare how Israel has treated the Palestinians over decades, considering the rapid amount of violence experienced in neighboring countries recently, its fair to say that Palestinians are not really struggling that bad under Israel as of today, especially compared with how in a short period of time many Iron-fisted Regimes during the Arab Spring have brutally treated their own population.”
This is absolutely erroneous. A long-term gradual pain is much harder than a sudden death. Palestinians have been suffering for more than sixty years now. Many of the suffering and massacres are not amply covered by media and the disastrous living conditions they experience are way beyond description.
Thus, it is true that the brutality we have seen from many of the neighboring countries surpassed what was published or people learned about, concerning Israeli practices, but still a crime is a crime and in 2008/2009, in less than a month Israel killed more than 1500 Palestinians. This was Israel “moderate” retaliation of few home-made rockets launched from Gaza.
In the last paragraph you say: “In the end of the day, considering the Arab Spring, is it really fair to say after the brutal Arab Spring, that Palestine is better under Israel’s authority, than under the control of neighboring countries?” This sentence is extremely absurd and discriminatory as you are suggesting that either:
1- Palestinians are just “objects” who have always to live under occupation,
2- Or Palestinians should thank God for living under Israeli occupation, and hence you seek a justification for the existence of this occupation.
Being under occupation is not a choice and you are suggesting that living under “Israeli” occupation can be better than any other occupation!!! What a point!!! Occupation is occupation; ugly, unfair, wrong and justice must prevail after all.”
“It has been very complicated and complex phenomena for so many years. Unfinished agenda of Palestine freedom is still as far cry. Innocent people from both sides have been easy prey of vested socio-economic, Geo-politics and Geo-strategic politics.
Islam has nothing do with the widespread of radicalism around the globe. International movers and shakers have been using religion as motivation force to eliminate their enemy. It was used to dismantle former USSR with the help of Afghan Fighters which afterwards, labeled fugitive, terrorists and enemies of democracy, human rights or humanity. What is true that is still debatable?
The government of Pakistan has revealed the closed connection between CIA and other renowned agencies with the Taliban. Destruction, conspiracy and sabotage activities have been played on the soil of Pakistan in disguised character of strategic ally. The ancient philosophy of enemy’s enemy is my best friend is still relevant and functional.
Israel being the elder brother must show spirits of accommodation to settle the burning issue of Palestine, one of the main causes of martial struggle of so many radical Islam followers in the world and especially in the Middle East and MENA.
The division of Sunni and Shia ethnicity has been one of the favorite tools in the hands of imperialists. Proxy wars in foreign countries have been one of the most wanted games on the chessboard of regional and international politics. China has heavily invested in Africa, Latin America and MENA and so called highly projected Arab Spring was planned to kick-out China from these region by the Imperialists dying for hegemony, possession of oil and gas reservoirs.
Civil unrest in Brazil, Argentine and even Turkey were designed to weaken Chinese Connection in these emerging economies. Massacre in Myanmar, Philippine, and some extend Sri Lanka against weaker Muslims are being carried out because of Chinese strategic depth. Monks are new icon of communal hatred with permit to kill by so called completely nonviolent people on our earth.
Religion is asset not liability everywhere in the world. Every religion does not permit killing of innocent people. Economic dynamic, political supremacy and the last but not the least, dream of ultimate victor is now the main actors of destruction and denial of social development. We are all human being dreaming having qualitative life, better future, a world free from all kinds of hatred and inequalities which is still far away.
Freedom of speech does not mean that someone has the license to kill the religious feelings and emotions of other people living in the world. It cannot be used for vested interests. Main thing is system of governance which must be free from stigma, corruption and abuse. Vested interests of USA, Israel and to some extend MENA stand in the peaceful settlement of Israel-Palestine dispute.”
“Israel should never have been made into a country. Since it’s inception and inclusion under British protection and then under American protection it has flourished however it should never be as powerful as it seems to be now. I think this American shut down may prove to be quite an interesting dilemma for this country as well as all Arab run countries. America has now stopped giving Egyptian countries money – thankfully they don’t deserve a dime of our taxpayer money while our own citizens are poor, homeless and some working five jobs and living in shelters.
Israel and Palestinians are brothers yet they are both the biggest anti-Semites and it’s laughable when they use that word on others to denote “racism” against Jews. I hope they blow each other up and Israel becomes a place where the old city can expand. In the old city there are 4 quarters: Christian/Jewish/Muslim/Armenian. How the Armenians got there is a long story but these 4 cultural groups are able to live in harmony most times in the old city. May they forever be together in peace. The rest of Israel is going to hell and the Palestinians lost their cause the second they tried to Goliath their opposition.”
“The creation of an artificial Palestinian state requiring the uprooting of Jewish families where no Arab population currently exists would lead to indefensible borders for the Jewish homeland. The more moderate PA and Fatah want a Palestinian state as a precursor for the ultimate demise of Israel.
Hamas remains opposed to any agreement which establishes a border recognizing the Israeli state. Any proposed re-unification between Hamas and Fatah is an obvious ploy that further threatens the survival of Israel and the Jewish people. The recent attacks against Israel by Hamas are now coordinated with the militant pro-Syrian, Iran-backed Islamic Jihad. Plus the Popular Resistance Committee is yet another terrorist group operating from Gaza.
The Arab Spring has brought about a much less stable region. Israel can no longer allow the rest of the world to dictate policy that makes it more difficult for the Jewish nation to survive. Israel must declare it’s own independent solution with regards to the so-called Palestinian movement and militant jihadism that appears to be on the accendancy. Doing nothing only invites intervention from abroad.
Prior to statehood in 1948 the larger territory was known as the British Mandate of Palestine. The Jewish people, who have been on this land continuously for 3,286 years, were often referred to as the Palestinians from the early 1920′s until statehood in 1948. Here are just two examples that prove this important distinction. The Palestine Post was founded by an American Jew in December 1932 in the Mandate of Palestine and supported the struggle for a Jewish Homeland. In 1950, two years after the State of Israel was declared, the paper was renamed The Jerusalem Post. And what started as the Palestine Symphony Orchestra is known today as the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.
The Arabs who emigrated to the territory in the late 1800′s and early 1900′s to live and prosper among the Jews never wanted to be recognized as the Palestinians until it became a convenient tool in their opposition to the Jewish Homeland. In 1964 the PLO was formed which finally transformed the mantle of Palestinian from the pre-statehood Jews to the post-statehood Arabs.
Historically there never existed an Arab or Islamic state of Palestine with a capital in Jerusalem. The capital of “Jund Falastin” (“The District of Palestine”) under the Islamic 7th century occupation was the city of Ramle, 30 kilometers to the west of Jerusalem. It is very important that this historical truth be recognized as a basis for peace.
There is no Occupied territory west of the Jordan River. There is Disputed territory as a result of wars thrust upon Israel by jealous Arab neighbors. Today Arabs live within the State of Israel and in Gaza, Judea and Samaria. These Arab population centers are not going away and neither is the State of Israel.
Gaza is already a state-like entity, since Hamas took it over by force from the PLO in June 2007, thus breaking the Palestinian Authority into two separate entities. If Israel is forced to leave Judea and Samaria as part of a peace agreement, it becomes very possible that the more militant Hamas would eventually take over from the current PA/Fatah regime just as they did in Gaza, either by elections or by force. No one can guarantee otherwise.
Due to tribal rifts and local patriotism there will never be a successful unity government among the Palestinian Arab population centers in Judea and Samaria or Gaza. Like the PLO in the past, the PA/Fatah and Hamas do not represent the true ambitions of the majority of peaceful Arabs who just want a better future for their children within a traditional framework and local governance. The failed Two State Solution is rapidly heading to the dustbin of history where it belongs.
Successful Arab leadership must be independent, local and firmly rooted with a traditional and homogenous sociological foundation. Israel and the world should recognize and support local leadership in the Arab Palestinian population centers that desire lasting peaceful relations as independent city-states. Because of ongoing corruption and an overt anti-Israel agenda, the leaders of the PLO, PA/Fatah and Hamas have devoted almost a half century in a futile attempt to eliminate Israel and destroy all that her citizens have accomplished.
The eight city-states would comprise the areas of Jenin, Nablus, Ramallah, Jericho, Tul-Karm, Kalkilya, the Arab part of Hebron and the Gaza strip. Local residents would become citizens of these eight independent countries. Any Arab leadership that attempts to circumvent or dominate the development of these Palestinian Emirates would inhibit a future of security and economic opportunity for the citizens of these eight independent countries.
The Arab refugee situation can only be solved if there is lasting stability in the region. In 1948 approximately 500,000 Arabs were uprooted in advance of an Arab attack on Israel. At the same time about 850,000 Jews were thrown out of neighboring Arab countries, and most of the Jewish refugees successfully resettled in Israel. The Arab refugees have since been discriminated against by the Arab countries in the region in conjunction with the biased policies of UNRWA, so not a single Arab refugee has ever been resettled. The former director of the refugee agency in Jordan, Sir Alexander Galloway, actually stated, “The Arab nations do not want to solve the Arab refugee problem. They want to keep it as an open sore… as a weapon against Israel.” The obvious failure of the peace initiatives, which have been based on false assumptions for so many decades, has only perpetuated the Arab refugee problem and human suffering.
Complex problems require simple, workable solutions. The development of the Palestinian Emirates is a viable alternative based on the sociology of the different clans and tribes in Gaza, Judea and Samaria. This initiative will bring about a stable peace to the region and added security for Israel.”
“It is difficult to isolate the exact question [s] being posed in this question. Having said that it seems to me that the questions posed make certain assumptions and conflate the occupation of Palestine and continued building of settlements with acts of terror and what has become to be known as ‘radical Islam’.
It also makes spurious connections between dictatorships in Syria and Iran assuming that these are somehow ‘bad’ as opposed to so called democracy which engage in the murder of civilians via drones on a daily basis [FACT]. Even the late Palestinian academic and activist Edward Said never denied the right of an Israeli state. That is not the point. First we can compare the increasing forced acquisition of Palestinian lands by Israel over the past 50 years -[try a simple google search].
Secondly comparing the ‘treatment of Palestinians by Israelis’ to that of say Saddam Hussein to Iraqis is disingenuous. You cannot compare the lives of people who live under daily occupation, and violence by occupiers including the need to carry passes, restricted movement, never knowing when their homes will be blasted and or invaded by the IDF, the inability to farm their lands and basically reach their potential to that of Syria or any other dictatorship – or is it that the Syrian rebels would prefer to live under Israeli occupation that under Assad? I doubt very much.
How one can even begin to imagine that living under occupation is ‘not that bad’. This completely ignores the reality of the daily lives of Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem and the constant acts of violence committed by far right Zionist settlers. IT also ignores the fact of thousands of Palestinians who have died during the 1st and 2nd Intifadas and everything in-between. It is also important to note that Palestinians do not have freedom of movement in the occupied territory and their lands are continuously being appropriated by settlers.
On another issue lets take a look at the silent response of the Israeli government to it’s own citizens disgusting racism towards African immigrants i.e. the mass incarceration of African immigrants which fortunately a high court has ruled unconstitutional and other recent reports of rampant racism – see here and here
As for solutions – I think only a fantasy expert would imagine a solution under the present Zionist government of Benjamin Netanyahu and a US leadership that has never had the intention of objectivity since neither have continued to ignore all UN resolutions in favour of Palestine.”
“What is the best solution to find common ground between Israelis and Palestinians?
I do not believe the two-state solution is the best one, Because I believe the region is not geographically suitable for both sides can live in peace.
I believe that a secular government including all citizens from Palestine and Israel can be a solution but it will take a time maybe next next generation.
Is the rise of Hamas negatively affected the Palestinian image including the rise of radical Islam globally?
I don’t think so.
An Occupied land needs political and military forces for negotiation and bargaining. Hamas does its own function as s a militia group and also as an bargaining chip.
Has Israel dealt with the Palestinians as brutally as many have claimed over the years?
No, More of them are media propaganda. But I think Israel should be a little softer.
In the end of the day, considering the Arab Spring, is it really fair to say after the brutal Arab Spring, that Palestine is better under Israel’s authority, than under the control of neighboring countries who seem to always have dictators in their rule ship that accuse Israel of doing the same?
Yes Arab Dictators to me are worse than Israeli Racism. because Israel kills Muslims who are not Israeli citizens and are not Jews but Arab dictators kill their own people, who were under their authority for many years.
I don’t think Israel will accept Arabs under its authority because it will lead to a demographic problem for Israel which will be a catastrophe. ”
“I don’t think that the flaw should be attributed to just one side. Both Israel and Palestine are equally responsible for the wall of mistrust that exists between them. One side hates negotiating while the other continues to build settlements.
The situation forces me to draw an analogy with the existing tensions between India and Pakistan over Kashmir issue. Pak-sponsored terrorists have tried to unsettle the calmness displayed by India towards resolving the dispute by carrying out bombing activities. But the stance taken by India has been commendable.
Many dubbed India as a soft state. But I think India’s decision was wise enough. Likewise, Israel should understand that, by indulging in this everlasting war with Palestine, it risks diminishing the potential of its economy.
From what I have gathered from my understanding of post-partition India and Pak, the reason behind the contrasting political situations in both countries is due to the vision that the country’s leaders had for their country at the beginning. Their ideals got imprinted on the political fabric of the both countries and still continue to affect new generations.
Similarly, howsoever averse the conditions might be, a good leader can always step back rather than risking a foot ahead to fall into the ditch. But, it seems Israel doesn’t want to step back even slightly. Every missile landing onto other side of the fence leaves behind a child who has lost his mother, a student who wished to study but has lost his mentor and people who are left with nothing than to avenge their loss.
So, the situation is going to worsen if Israel doesn’t heed the implications of its’ actions and Palestine fails to appear for talks. Two state solution could have been a panacea, but that risks diverting the conflict from Israel’s borders to its inner core.”
“As a semi-retired UN Advisor of Global Education my philosophy is based on the framework ‘ Ask not what teachers can do for students. Ask what students can do for us. They are our future. Let them show us the way ‘. Students have the capability to create a better biosphere. For some time high school and college students have been involved in a process called the ‘ Model UN and most recently the ‘ Online Model UN. This process includes, but is not limited to the organizations within the UN. i.e ‘ The World Court ‘ and ‘ UNESCO ‘.
This process/framework enables/empowers students ( now called ‘ travelers ‘ on a journey of discovery and investigation in order to create methods and modalities to create a better world ) to solve problems/issues that we are now facing. What I feel is still missing from this process ( Model UN ) is that the results of their ‘ group think ‘ is not being transmitted to the proper/relative authorities. Results garnered/gleaned from these Model UN activities should be sent, as is, to the actual ambassador, head of country, government official, judge and etc. If ‘ travelers ‘ are our future, why not listen ? I don’t mean ‘ hear ‘. I mean ‘ listen ‘.
In that light I have been having an electronic conversation with the ex Director of Teacher Training, under the Minister of Education/Higher Education of Palestine, who has not only agreed with my philosophies on LinkedIn but has inculcated these philosophies into teacher training academies in Palestine. As a professor of a proposed judicial academy located in Canada who has studied various issues/topics of judicial craft, I feel one way to approach the problem in the Middle East is to have the parties concerned bring their case to the World Court.
Personally I feel that there is no ‘ one way to skin a cat ‘ as the saying goes. Due to the concept that the results of individual attempts by an organization or individual has not resulted in a better environment, we should attempt it multilaterally. In other words, we should try to cure the negative issues on all levels. We should approach the problems facing us through political, lega, religious, social, emotional and other disciplines and frameworks. We can even go as far as to say we should approach issues on a deeper level. We must understand the word ‘ understanding ‘ .
I have been brought up understanding that everyone is the summation of their experiences and the interpretation of those experiences. If society, as a whole, followed the frameworks of empathy, compassion and humanism from the time we are born, the world as we know it could be a more forward thinking biosphere.”
Israel and the Palestinian Authority have recently resumed peace negotiations. To erect peace, it is essential to have trust, good will and security. It would be far-fetched to hope at present for peace in the short term. We should have little illusions about peace, at least so long as Hamas is determined to wipe Israel off the map. Israel does not even appear on Hamas maps. Israel should aspire to enter a long-term interim agreement; to build trust; evacuate isolated settlements; consolidate economic conditions for Palestinians; bolster security on both sides; stop enlarging existing settlements; dismantle checkpoints to make the lives of Palestinian civilians easier; develop the nautilus Iron Dom against rockets and other anti-rocket mechanisms. Finally, international cooperation is required to lift the existential Iranian threat.
I believe that if there is a will, there is a way. Both sides should aspire to peace in order to reach peace. Both sides need to understand that peace is a precious commodity and therefore be prepared to pay high price for its achievement, reaching a solution that is agreeable to both. The peace deal should be attractive to both, equally. It cannot be one-sided, enforced or coerced. Of all the possible solutions presently on the table, a two state solution seems to be the most viable. I believe that good starting points are the Clinton parameters and the Geneva Accord. Both documents lay the foundations for resolving all contentious issues.
The Palestinians aspire to have an independent state in the 1967 borders, with Arab Jerusalem as its capital and a substantial return of refugees to Israel. The Israelis wish to retain the Jewish character of Israel, being the only Jewish state in the world, and they wish to enjoy life in security, free of violence and terror. Both parties should explicitly accept UN Security Council Resolutions 242, 338 and 1397 and then begin their full implementation. The endgame will be based on the following parameters:
Palestinian sovereignty – will be declared and respected.
Mutual recognition – Israel shall recognize the State of Palestine. Palestine shall recognize the State of Israel.
Mutual diplomatic relations – Israel and Palestine shall immediately establish full diplomatic relationships with each other, installing ambassadors in the capital of the respective partner.
Capital – each state is free to choose its own capital.
Borders – These should be reasonable and logical for both sides. Former military intelligence chief Amos Yadlin rightly claimed that having a border is the best security arrangement. Settling the conflict would give Israel greater international legitimacy to fight terrorism and enable it to deal with the more serious emerging threat from Iran.
Israel will withdraw to the Green Line, evacuating settlements and resettling the settlers in other parts of the country. The major settlement blocs — Ma’ale Adumim, Givat Ze’ev, Gush Etzion, Modi’in Illit and Ariel –- which account for approximately 70% of the Jewish population in the West Bank and for less than 2% of its size, may be annexed to Israel upon reaching an agreement with the PA of territory exchange that will be equal in size. Border adjustment must be kept to the necessary minimum and must be reciprocal. At the Taba talks, the Palestinians presented a map in which Israel would annex 3.1 percent of the West Bank and transfer to the PA other territory of the same size. Senior Israeli negotiator Yossi Beilin said that they were willing to concede Israeli annexation of three settlement blocs of at least 4 percent of the West Bank. Prime Minister Olmert offered Palestinian President Abbas a similar or even slightly better deal but Abbas did not reply positively.
Territorial contiguity – a corridor would connect the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to allow safe and free passage. The road will be permanently open and solely Palestinian. No Israeli checkpoints will be there. Palestinians will not be able to enter Israel from this corridor, nor shall Israelis enter Palestine from the corridor.
The Security Barrier creates a political reality. It should run roughly along the 1967 mutually agreed borders.
Security – Palestine and Israel shall base their security relations on cooperation, mutual trust, good neighborly relations, and the protection of their joint interests. The Palestinian sovereignty should be respected as much as possible. Checkpoints will be dismantled. Only the most necessary control and early-warning posts will remain, subject to review and necessity agreed upon by both sides. The Palestinian state will be non-militarized. This issue was agreed upon in 1995. Also agreed upon were joint Israeli-Palestinian patrols along the Jordan River, the installation of early warning posts, and the establishment of a permanent international observer force to ensure the implementation of the agreed security arrangements. The early warning posts will be periodically visited by Israeli security officers but they won’t be permanently present on Palestinian soil. If there is a need for a permanent presence, this would be trusted to an agreed-upon third party.
Safe passage – There will be a safe passage between the West Bank and Gaza, with no Israeli presence or checkpoints. The safe passage will be under Palestinian sovereignty and control. Palestine will ensure that this safe passage won’t be abused for violent purposes. Such abuse would undermine peace and trust between the two parties.
Jerusalem – What is Palestinian will come under the territory of the new capital Al Kuds. Al Kuds would include East Jerusalem and the adjacent Palestinian land and villages. Abu Dis, Al-Izarieh and Al-Sawahreh will be included in the Palestinian capital. The Israeli capital would include West Jerusalem and the adjacent Israeli settlements. To maintain Palestinian contiguity, Israel may be required to give up some of the settlements around Arab Jerusalem. The Old City will be granted a special status. Special arrangements and recognition will be made to honour the importance of the Western Wall and the Jewish Quarter for Jews, and similarly special arrangements and recognition will be made to honour the importance of the Islamic and Christian holy places. The Old City will be opened to all faiths under international custodianship. There will be Israeli-Palestinian cooperation in providing municipality services to both populations.
Haram al-Sharif – On March 31, 2013, a Jordan-Palestinian agreement was signed between the PA and Jordan, entrusting King Abdullah II with the defense of Muslim and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem. While Jordan may be a party to any agreement concerning the site, a broader arrangement is welcomed. As agreed by Abbas and Olmert, it will be under the control of a five-nation consortium: Palestine, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United States. The Waqf will continue its administration. Jews will enjoy right of access. Excavation for antiquities may be undertaken only with the full agreement of both sides. Similarly, alterations to the historical structures and foundations can be made only upon the consent of both sides.
Water – The UN secretary-general has said that Palestinians “have virtually no control” over the water resources in the West Bank, with 86 percent of the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea under the de facto jurisdiction of the settlement regional councils. Israel and Palestine should seek a fair solution that would not infringe the rights of any of the sides and will assure that the Palestinian people will have the required water supply for sustenance and growth.
Fishing – Israel and Palestine will enjoy fishing rights in their respective territorial waters.
Terrorism and violence – Israel should remain steadfast on its demand of the Palestinians to fight down terrorism. Zero tolerance in this sphere. Both sides will work together to curb violence. Both sides will see that their citizens on both sides of the border reside in peace and tranquility. Zealots and terrorists, Palestinian and Jews, will receive grave penalties for any violation of peace and tranquility. The Palestinians, apparently, fail to understand the gravity of terrorism and are willing to accept it as part of life. Senior Palestinian negotiator Nabil Shaath said that the option is not either armed struggle or negotiations. “We can fight and negotiate at the same time, just as the Algerians and the Vietnamese had done”. Democracies, however, see things differently. On this issue there should be no compromise.
Incitement – Both sides need to clean up the atmosphere, fight bigotry, racism, incitement and hate on both sides of the fence/wall. This includes a close study of the education curricula in both the PA and Israel. Both sides need to overhaul their school books, excluding incitement, racism, bigotry and hate against one another. The curricula should reflect a language of peace, tolerance and liberty. Both sides should utilize the media to promote peaceful messages of reconciliation and mutual recognition.
Education – Israel and Palestine will institute a shared curriculum on good neighborhood, understanding cultures and religions, respect for others and not harming others. This education program will commence at the kindergarten and continue at primary and high schools. In every age group vital concepts for understanding the other will be studied. This program is critical for establishing peaceful relationships and trust between the two parties.
Languages – Starting in primary schools, Arabic will be a mandatory language for pupils to study in Jewish schools. Similarly, Hebrew will be a mandatory language for pupils to study in Palestinian schools. Language is the most important bridge between different cultures and nations. Israeli will master Arabic to the same extent that they presently master English. Palestinians will master Hebrew as their second language.
Prisoners – As an act of good will, part of the trust-building process, Israel will release a number of agreed upon prisoners. With time, as trust will grow between the two sides, all security prisoners will return home.
Refugees and their right of return – This is a major concern for both Palestine and Israel. For Palestinians, this issue is about their history, justice and fairness. For Israelis, this is a debated issue, where many Israelis are unwilling to claim responsibility for the Palestinian tragedy and most Israelis object to the right of return as this would mean the end of Zionism. The issue is most difficult to resolve as the original refugee population of an estimated 700,000-750,000 has grown to 4,966,664 refugees registered with UNRWA at the end of November 2010. About 40% of the refugees live in Jordan, where they comprise about a third of the population; another 41% are in the West Bank and Gaza, 10% are in Syria, and 9% are in Lebanon. In the West Bank, refugees constitute about one-third of the population while in Gaza they comprise over 80% of the population.
Israel and the PA have been arguing endlessly about this issue as a matter of principle without examining by surveys how many of the refugees and their families actually are intended to return to Israel if this option were to be available to them. What needs to be done is to identify the population, establish the numbers, and after mapping the refugee population conduct a survey among them that would include the following options:
· Return to Israel;
· Return to the West Bank;
· Return to the Gaza Strip;
· Emigrate to third countries that would commit to absorbing a certain quota (appeal will be made to countries that receive immigration on a regular basis to participate in this settlement effort);
· Remain where they are.
The 1948 Palestinian refugees will be able to settle in Palestine. The rest of the world is legitimate to set quotas. Unification of families should be allowed in Israel on a limited quota annual scale. But massive refugee return to Israel will not be allowed. This dream should be abandoned. When President Abbas was asked whether he would wish Safed, where he was born he replied: “It’s my right to see it, but not to live there”. I suspect that President Abbas’s view reflects the view of many Palestinians who seek recognition, apology and compensation, not the right of return.
Thus Israel should recognize the Nakba, acknowledge Palestinian suffering, and compensate the 1948 refugees and their children (but not grandchildren) for the suffering inflicted on them. An international tribunal of reputable historians and international lawyers, including equal representatives of Israel and Palestine, will determine the level of compensation. If needed, Israel may establish an international relief fund to which humanitarian countries that wish to see the end of the conflict contribute. I believe that between Israel, Europe, the Moslem World, North America and other countries of good will (the Geneva Accord mentions Japan; I would add China, Australia and Brazil), the required funding can be secured. The United Nations and the World Bank may also be approached to offer assistance.
Economic Agreements - Israel and Palestine will consider opportunities for economic cooperation for the benefit of both societies, aiming to capitalize on the potential of both, to optimize resources and coordinate efforts. Israel would help Palestine develop independent economy and open doors for Palestine in the Western world and elsewhere. Palestine will pave the way for Israel’s integration into the Middle East as an equal member in the community of neighbouring countries. Palestine will help Israel develop economic, industrial, tourist and other relationships with the Arab and Muslim countries.
International Commerce – Israel and Palestine will be free to conduct international commerce as they see fit. In order to develop trust between the two parties, some level of transparency about logs of commerce will be agreed and memorandums of understanding will be signed by the two parties.
Tourism – Israel and Palestine will coordinate efforts in promoting tourism to the region, this via collaboration with the neighboring countries in order to facilitate cultural and religious experiences that are unique to this region.
Communication and Media – Mutual channels of communication will be opened on television, radio and the Internet. These media channels will transmit their broadcast in two or three languages: Arabic, Hebrew and possibly also English. Communication and language are important for the development of good neighborly relations.
Termination of the conflict – following the signing of a comprehensive agreement covering all issues and concerns, an official statement will be issued declaring the end of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
International Arbitration – Difficult issues that won’t be resolved by direct negotiations will be delegated to a special arbitration committee. This special committee will have an equal number of Israeli and Palestinian delegates plus an uneven number of international experts. The committee will include lawyers, economists, human rights experts and experts on the Middle East. Their resolutions would be final, without having the right of appeal. Both Israel and Palestine will commit to accept every decision of the arbitration committee. One model to follow might be the arbitration committee comprised to resolve the Taba dispute between Israel and Egypt.
“The Israeli-Palestinian conflict finds its roots in a situation created decades ago. Therefore, the solution is necessarily complex. I cannot claim to have the (right) solution to end this conflict; here are just a few elements to think about:
Ending the conflict means mutual hate must be erased or, at least, sidelined.
In a deadly spiral, violence calls for violence and revenge. So, a key requirement is to break the vicious circle. One side – whether it is the Israelis or the Palestinians – will have to reach a hand first. The Israelis, as the strongest economic and military power, would potentially be the best placed to do it…
Hindering the spreading of mutual hate requires action in the media, at political level and in education. So, leading politicians need be convinced of the necessity of a peaceful solution to the conflict. The international community can contribute to it, but a lot will also depend on bilateral ties.
Colonisation needs to stop. Moreover, in schools, children should be taught to respect the other side (which should be labeled as “adversary”, if necessary, rather than “enemy”). Exchanges between people of the two sides would also create mutual understanding and trust.
So, there must be a political commitment and, ideally, also a civil society commitment to a peaceful solution.
Creating a Palestinian State
I support a two-States solution. But we must be aware of many problems. Palestinian groups need to organise a full reconciliation; otherwise, there will be no Palestinian leadership capable of managing a State.
Moreover, I am not convinced that a State with two entities (Gaza and Westbank) is adequate for the stability of a young and, let’s face it, weak State. In addition, a lot of capacity-building and State-building should be done by the international community in support of the process.
The role of the Arab spring
With luck, Tunisia will show that the Arab Spring can result in a functioning democracy. This would encourage the Hamas in participating in democratic elections, despite the error committed years ago by the international community when it refused to admit the electoral victory of the Hamas.
A two-States solution would mean that Israel stops ruling in the Westbank, but all Palestinian parties need to understand that more autonomy means also more responsibility.
Many actors need to show good will to find a stable and peaceful solution to one of the longest lasting conflicts in the world. The current situation does not leave much hope, so we will probably have to wait for a window of opportunity to open in (a hopefully near) future!”
“The Israel- Palestine conflict is one of the most complicated “hot topics” of the Middle East that directly related to the regional balance of power. On the one hand the government of Israel tries to convince the international community that Palestinians, especially the Islamic movement Hamas, are terrorists.
On the other hand Palestinians characterizes Israel as an occupation force and criticizes Tel- Aviv for the brutal violations of their rights. However the two sides exaggerate in some cases the facts to promote their national interests and to win the support of international community.
The rise of radical Islam that poses an important threat for Israel and the West could be reducing by a peace deal between Israel and Palestine. One of the reasons for the rise of radical Islam is the Israel policy against Palestinians and the American support to Tel – Aviv. The settlement of Israel – Palestine could decrease the radical Islam voices, within the Palestinians territories and also in the Arab world and to weaken the aggressive politics of Hamas.
Palestinians have the basic state infrastructures and under the control of the international community could be a viable state. Palestinians fight for their freedoms for decades and they want desperately to become a free state. If not achieve their independence the situation will favor the rise of the radical Islam.
A significant problem that hammers the revival of the peace talks is the lack of domestic unity of the two sides, Israel and Palestinians. The political system of Israel favors the participation many political parties in Knesset. The winner party of the elections is extremely difficult to win the majority of the parliament.
The governmental coalition is hostage to the political interests of the parties that participate in the government. The sensitive balance of power within the coalition does not permit the exercise of a realistic foreign policy. Palestinians as well as have their own problems. The Palestinian Authority and the Islamic movement of Hamas antagonize for the power on the Palestinian territories. The Palestinian Authority dominates in West Bank and Hamas controls Gaza that is under siege from Israel.
A peaceful settlement of the Palestine conflict desperately needs the establishment of a “road map” that would be based on mutual compromise and confidence – security building measures. On this context the following steps should be adopted: Firstly, the declaration of an indisputable truce by the two sides (Israel – Palestinian Authority, Hamas) and the end of siege of Gaza . Secondly, the control of Palestinian extremists groups those operate in Gaza by the security of Hamas.
Thirdly, the creation of the common committee (Israel – Palestinians) in monthly base in order to prevent tension and to resolve problems. Finally the revival of the peace talks under the auspice of the United Nations, the US and the European Union. A draft of the two –state solution should be focused to the security of Israel and the economic and social development of Palestinian territories.
Moreover, the Israel-Palestinian settlement is influenced by the foreign policy of Iran and its conflict with Washington and West. Iran is a traditional enemy of Israel and a threat for the national security of the USA. However, the situation has started to change due to the new president of Iran Hassan Rouhani, a moderate personality. If Iran and West manage to resolve the Iranian nuclear problem, the possibilities for an agreement between Israel and Palestinians would be increased.”
Jaime Ortega Simo.
“Palestine gave a negative image to the world when they used democracy via-majority to elect Hamas as their government. That doomed and ruined their cause because it went from the understandable geopolitical struggle they suffered, to the religious extremism Egyptians secular’s encountered when Morsi became the president.
Hamas is identified, labeled and linked with extremist groups like Al-Qaeda, Al-Shabaab, Abu Sayyaf, Hezbollah, Al-Nusra, Jihadi Wahhabist, Islamic Brotherhood… and considering radical Islam in general has now become a headache in Western Europe; Its become an “old crusaders” battle for democracy supporters that avoid the thought of living under Sharia Law to give up basic rights, as no one wants to live the quality of life that Taliban enjoy in Afghanistan.
Little by little the image of Hamas started to drastically change the Palestinian cause, and gave leeway to Israel’s anti radical Islamic agenda which has literally shadowed the occupational cause many critics at one point protested against. Even Putin, is concerned about global jihad even though it seems hypocritical, as Russia secretly support Sudan’s government with China’s help providing them with weapons, who likewise condemns the Muslim Uygur’s for being fundamentalist in Northern China. (the world just doesn’t make sense anymore)
Is the Palestinian-Israeli problem solvable? Absolutely not! Because it goes way beyond the world of politics and diplomacy, it enters the word of beliefs, tradition and religious culture that biasedly undermines any democratic measure and sends all ‘peace treaties’ into oblivion.
The Palestine-Israeli problem is not just bounded by religious-anarchism and intolerance, but also between racial tension and rights, that affect their political and financial stability. In the end, it would finish how it started, a religious end without any chance for diplomacy. As far as I am aware of, is about the only situation that’s is historically unsolvable.
However politicians for the longest time have smoke screened the truth about that specific region blinding the press. As Its hard to be honest for well paid peace Counselor’s of Foreign Affairs, or the United Nations to say clearly and simple, “Ok that’s just beyond our authority, we can’t solve the problem!” They know its just not solvable.
Israel has been the newest occupier in the long list of contenders inside the Palestinian territory, and that is never good for a culture that has always struggled to preserve itself intact, specially for the Palestinian cause who has experience many occupations. But the truth is Palestinians should had molded into the newer system and integrated right away by accepting the Israeli state, rather than by fighting it and cause Israel to retaliate.
Another problem is that Palestinians never had a national cause because prior to Israel, what we call Palestine was also under British rule, and before England under Ottoman Rule for over 400 years and before that under Arabic rule, all the way to Rome. I personally feel bad for Palestinians as they never had a national identity and that alone became their downfall, which really explains why England treated Jews to come to the Palestinian territory. If Palestine would have been a country prior to WW2, Israel would have never existed. But without a former and official country, they were an empty fridge waiting for something to happen.
The truth is that Its a disputed land historically, and its become a landmark for occupation for different religions, especially considering th city of Jerusalem. And lets face it, Jews are not welcomed to establish their beliefs in those lands as opposed to the Ottoman Rule who shared similar beliefs with the Palestinians, yet both nations occupied the same region with different agendas. Religion again plays the biggest card. It was the fact that the new settlers were Jewish that stated the dog and cat tail chase.
Occupation is invasion of territory by an outside agent, and regardless where it happens its almost never good in the short run. Its something unstoppable, no one likes it, and every few hundred years (on average) a culture rises and the country invaded is forced to change their costumes and mold to newer ones. Some resist, but logically end up having more casualties.
Sometimes these occupations can be bad or good. As an example: In Mexico despite the drug cartel problems they currently experience, most Mexicans don’t regularly behead people in temples any longer when the moon crescent comes out! Spanish Imperialism ended the heart and brain sacrificial rituals to the Aztec gods (one could say that was good) despite the fact Spain occupied their lands and gave sexual transmitted diseases to the natives.
But occupations are not always the same, and not all play by the same rules, and one must be technical in military history to understand that outcome. Historically speaking, every conquering country has occupied and changed the sieged culture either for good or for bad.
And even though occupation is bad itself in some instances (not all), It has to be compared with other historical occupations to observe how injustice plays itself out, now that you taken someones land to serve your own strategic interest.
But lets look at history and compare the Israeli occupation with other great world powers:
Has Israel slaved Palestinians like the Portuguese did with the Haitians who were dying from cutting sugar canes and not been treated with Malaria? Well no not really. Palestinians earn a salary and have access to hospitals despite the racial profiling, so that can only be good. Or has Israel chosen the weak Palestinians over the healthy ones or their women over their men, for sex trade and slavery as observed in the Arab-African Slave Trade, Hitlers Germany, and the cotton slave production England authorized in North America’s deep South? Not really! Has Israel retaliated with the same brute force Europe colonizers showed with Native Americans once they took their land? Well no, not really except that Natives were racially profiled like Israelis do with Palestinians and that is something we still see today in many western countries who quote “ are supposed to be civilized.”
(Been Spanish as I am) Has Israel reacted with the Palestinians like the Spanish conquistadors did when they raped thousands of natives in what is now modern day Latin America (Mestizos) and gave deadly epidemics to the native Americans? Well no not really, Israel has not done so. Has Israel told Palestinians to convert to Judaism or die from torture, as the Roman Catholic Church imposed in the inquisition to moors and Jews in Medieval Europe? Well no, not really. Has Israel taxed Palestinians with the Muslim ‘Jizya tax’ because they’re from a different religion as that is clearly religious discrimination too, what makes one religion better than the other to be taxed? Well no not really. , Has Israel considered their relative strength against the Palestinian people, and ever invaded the region for the sole purpose of expanding their empire like the imperialist Japan did in the 1940’s when they invaded China, and Korea? Well no not really…And so long so goes.
Despite Israel’s occupation, when we compare their occupation with other nations above, it hasn’t proven that bad and that drastic. Palestinians have a certain level of democracy other Arab countries have not experienced. They have been thousands of deaths for decades from both fronts, and mostly Palestinian casualties. But Israel despite its military capabilities, if you look at their recent history, has only retaliated to threats, its rarely never voluntarily gone into war without at least some dimmable explanation not caused by the other side. The problem is, Israels retaliation inside Gaza and the West Bank has exceeded many times the limits of force that it should had, making question their strategy and their agenda.
But considering the brutal retaliation of the Arab Spring to its own people, Israel has never reacted like these tyrannical leaders did with their own population, considering they share the same religion that the Palestinians enjoy. And just by looking at other Arab nations and their reactions with their own populations it just seems worse. Which is absurd if you think about it, how can someone eat your heart, or behead you if you share the same culture, religion and ethnicity? Well it happened in Spain’s Civil War and the French Revolution, how that happens, is beyond me.
The point is, Israeli occupation was simply an historical glitch in how modern occupation is conducted. It wasn’t by expansion, conquering or military invasion. It could only be justified because the land was conceded to them by other Imperialist nations like England and the U.S., who simply gave it to the Jews because their just wasn’t such thing as “Palestine”. And the problem is that when you give property to someone when you’re in power, it just simply creates discrepancies for the native settlers who have to cope with the newbies. I understand the frustration of the Palestinians.
Jews didn’t earn to have Palestine, even if they were unjustly expelled from the Roman Empire’s second diaspora. It was a sudden and unexpected move for many. But the truth is the Palestinian land was not an independent country before Israel started, it was a land tied by strong pheromones of culture and religion, but without any real nationalistic entity as its been always tied by other stronger empires that kept conquering it over and over again.
Palestinians have actually been treated even more unjustly in the regions of Syria, Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan but is not spoken much by the media because they’re less Palestinians per-capita, than in Israel a