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Solving the Palestinian/Israeli Conflict

Editor’s note
This is the most important policy piece that has been written by the Free Muslims Coalition. This policy was formulated by Palestinians, Israelis, Muslims, Jews, and Christians. We seek your input. Please send us your views and forward this policy paper to friends, family and anyone who may be interested. If you have a web site or a blog, please post this paper and request the input of your readers. Please send your input to Let us know if you endorse this paper. After receiving your input, we will publish this paper in Israeli and Palestinian news papers. If you chose to be endorsers, we may add your name as endorsers in future publications.

No issue has been more frequently used to justify global terrorism than the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. During the cold war, the United States and the Soviet Union twice raised their security alerts and aggressively challenged each other over this conflict. The oil embargo of the 1970s was related to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. Numerous militants, terrorist groups and governments around the world, who seek legitimacy and a following, place the Palestinian/Israeli conflict at the forefront of their agenda. Many governments have insincerely relied on the Palestinian/Israeli conflict to justify their authoritarian rule. And while the Palestinian/Israeli conflict is not the cause of terrorism, solving this conflict could do more than just bring peace to the Palestinians and Israelis. It could also transform the political landscape of the entire Middle East, exposing the various agendas of numerous terrorist organizations that leach on this conflict to win the hearts and minds of emotional and unsuspecting people.

While the entire world must reject any attempt to use the Palestinian/Israeli conflict as an excuse to use terror and violence, the entire world should do all it can to promote harmony and peace between the Palestinians and Israelis. Towards that end the Free Muslims, along with Free Jews and Free Christians, propose the following:

Today there are three possible solutions to this conflict. The Israelis and Palestinians can keep slowly killing each other; they can separate by creating two separate countries; or, together, they can create two sovereign states, joined together by a federation to make one country and one nation. Presently, the only solution being discussed is the two country solution which is commonly referred to as the “two state solution.” This solution is based on the complete separation of Israelis and Palestinians by creating two countries with borders similar to the United States and Canada. While we support any solution that brings final peace and harmony among Israelis and Palestinians, we believe there are serious problems with the two country solution, and that it may not bring long term peace to both people.

During the Clinton administration, the Palestinians and Israelis spent nearly ten years trying to hammer out a deal based on the two country solution. Their efforts ended in total failure with each side blaming the other for the failure.

We believe that neither the Palestinians nor the Israelis were completely to blame for the failure of those peace talks. It may be that the solution itself was the cause of the failure. The consequences of creating two separate countries were and still are a difficult pill to swallow for both Israelis and Palestinians. The fact is Israelis and Palestinians have religious, historical and emotional attachments to every square inch of the land that includes Israel, the “West Bank” and Gaza. The sooner we understand this reality the sooner we can solve this conflict.

From the point of view of many Israelis, the two country solution is difficult because they would have to give up their religious and historical attachments to the “West Bank” and Gaza which they, following Scripture and history, call Judea, Samaria, and Aza. Many Israelis simply cannot fathom giving up on these lands, and maybe they should not have to.

From the point of view of the Palestinians, the two country solution is difficult because they too have historical, religious and emotional attachments; not only to the West Bank and Gaza but also to Israel which to them is an integral part of Palestine. These are the facts and realities that the Palestinians and Israelis must address in order to resolve their conflict.

In light of these facts some may think that a solution to this conflict is impossible. We don’t think so. The Palestinian/Israeli conflict can be solved like any other conflict as long as the parties think outside the box for mutual benefit.

In light of the attachments that both parties have to the same territory, we believe the solution is not in separating but in coming closer together. Many Israelis and Palestinians seem to agree that the land they call Israel/Palestine is indivisible. Thus, the solution lies in keeping the land that Israelis and Palestinians call home as one country while at the same time providing each side with the security and the individuality the parties would have in their own separate countries.

We are proposing a two-state/one-country solution based on equality, freedom and civil rights for both Israelis and Palestinians. The idea behind this solution is that their would be two states, similar to New York and New Jersey, that would be joined together through a Federation that form one country and one nation.

What we are proposing is not entirely new nor would it be the first time the parties have thought about such a solution. What is new about this solution is how it avoids the negative consequences of becoming one country. In essence this solution confers upon the Palestinians and Israelis both the benefits of being one united country, plus most of the benefits of being two separate countries.

After occupying the Palestinian territories in 1967, Israel could have theoretically integrated those territories into Israel by providing the Palestinians with citizenship and equality. However, Israel did not do this. The reason Israel did not integrate the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza into Israel is because they were afraid of a demographic problem. The Israelis feared that if they gave the Palestinians equality, political and civil rights that the Palestinians may one day out number the Israelis and vote Israel out of existence. While we understand this concern, this apprehension by Israelis is based on the false assumption that they cannot live as equals with the Palestinians without endangering the concept of having a state for Jews.

The territory that includes Israel and Palestine can be joined by a Federation, where Christians, Muslims, and Jews will enjoy the equal protection of the law, and the full complement of political and civil rights, while and at the same time be a safe heaven for the world?s Jews and Palestinians.

This can be done by creating a federation of two states. Israel and Palestine can be two sovereign states like New York and New Jersey, or England and Scotland, which are united by a federal government with limited powers. The country can be called the United States of Israel and Palestine. While both states may have the right to limit immigration and migration the principals of the nation should not unnecessarily obstruct the free movement of labor and people.

For local and state politics, to the extent that Israelis move to Palestine and Palestinians to Israel, we can avoid the demographic consequences of the migration by having their vote count in their respective state regardless of where they live. This approach will guarantee that uneven migration of people does not dilute the political power of Jews or Palestinians in their local and state politics.

As to the federal government, we propose that the federal parliament be divided 50/50 until the end of time. With this solution the Israelis do not have to fear political dilution from potential demographic changes and the Palestinians do not have to fear political dilution from the Israelis.

As to the President or Prime Minister of the federal government of the United States of Israel and Palestine, she or he should be elected by the federal parliament, or by popular referendum. Being that the parliament is divided 50/50 no Palestinian or Israeli can win without being supported by parliamentarians of the other side. This, along with a strong Constitution guaranteeing those principles, will help ensure that no Palestinian or Israeli extremists can become president of that nation, or significantly affect its legislative and judicial processes.

Initially the federal government should have limited powers similar to the United States government in the early days of the Union. As time progresses and both Israelis and Palestinians feel more comfortable with each other, they may chose to give the federal government more authority.

As to economic matters, the two states shall act as one nation in every sense of the word. They shall have the same currency, no tariffs and complete free trade. The early days of the new federal government should bring jobs and economic prosperity to both Israelis and Palestinians. This should be an easy task. A peaceful Israel and Palestine acting as one nation would be a gold mine the likes of which the world has rarely seen. In the motherland of Progressive Civilization, a place immensely revered by Jews, Christians and Muslims, tourism alone can support a healthy economy, pretty much in perpetuity.

However, the economy will have more than tourism to secure its prosperity. A nation of Palestinians and Israelis at peace with its neighbors would have unlimited opportunities. The technical know-how of Israelis and Palestinians, the available capital in the Arab world, and a geography that is at the intersection of three continents can produce an economic power house that is second to none on a per capita basis. Moreover, a peaceful nation made up of Palestine and Israel, at peace with its neighbors, will not only bring economic prosperity to that nation but also to its neighbors.

What we have outlined may not be perfect and the parties will certainly seek to tweak the details and that is just fine. But it may be the only solution that will give both parties most of what they want, and at the same time allows both people to keep their individual identity and live as one nation. Moreover, with this solution, Jerusalem becomes a non-issue and borders become less relevant.

To summarize, the Palestinian Muslims and Christians of the team who formulated this policy paper are reaching out to our Jewish partners and say the following:

We understand why the state of Israel is important to you. We are fully aware of the persecution that Jews suffered throughout history and the necessity of having a safe haven for Jews. We also understand that Jews have historical and religious ties to Israel/Palestine. We believe that every Jew should have the right to move to Israel and become a citizen immediately. We also welcome Jews to move to the West Bank and Gaza, and strongly suggest that there is no reason to remove the settlements. If you want more security, we suggest you retain the Israeli military as the National Guard of the state of Israel. In addition we apologize for the killing of innocent Israelis and Jews, and sympathize with you over the millennia during which your Human Rights were brutally violated, and will do everything in our power to prevent such violations in the future, because we want to live with you as neighbors, friends and countrymen. In return, what we want is freedom, liberty and equality. Will you meet us half way?

We the Israelis and Jews who formulated this policy paper say the following to our Palestinian Christian and Muslim Partners:

We recognize and accept the historical, religious and emotional ties you have to Palestine. We understand the suffering that the Palestinians have endured over the last 57 years. We wish that Israel’s gain did not have to mean Palestine’s loss. We, as Jews, love Israel/Palestine and fully understand that you love it just as much. Our mutual home is truly a special place. But what good is a special place if one can not enjoy it? We want security and a place where Jews will never face fear again, and understand you want equality, security and a place where the Palestinians will never face fear and persecution again. We believe that every Palestinian should have the right to move to Palestine and become a citizen immediately. We also welcome Palestinians to live in Israel. We apologize for the killing, violations of the Human Rights and dignity of innocent Palestinians and we will do everything in our power to prevent such violations in the future, because we want to live with you as neighbors, friends and countrymen. Will you meet us half way?

Editor’s notes

Please note that we are not against the two country solution. However, it has not worked to date. What we are saying is if the two country solution does not work, we should consider other alternatives.
As proof that this solution can work is the fact that Israel has one million Palestinians with Israeli citizenship who are commonly referred to as Israeli Arabs and they are not demonstrating, throwing rocks or blowing themselves up. In fact, they are a vibrant and productive component of Israeli society. Why is this? There is absolutely no ethnic difference between the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza and the Palestinians inside Israel. In fact, many of the Palestinians inside Israel have relatives in the West Bank and Gaza. The main differences between Palestinians who are citizens of Israel and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are that one group has freedom, political and civil rights while the other had nothing. Another difference is that the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza have not assured Israel that they don’t want Israel?s destruction. Thus, the solution is found in providing the Palestinians of the West bank and Gaza with equality and they in return must commit to a sincere peaceful co-existence with Israel.

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Posted by cricket on 11/17 at 08:57 AM in Politics

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