Friday, August 12, 2016

Beyond a Two-State Solution

I attended a very interesting even last night organized by Inon of البيت הבית HOME

There were a variety of speakers from very different backgrounds, both Israeli and Palestinian, trying to think out of the box to try to find solutions to the Arab-Israeli situation.

Interesting that there was a lot of common ground between most of the speakers. I think that most of the participants would agree that any solution would need to include the following points as non-negotiable:

  1. The "2 state solution" as it is currently being discussed is part of the problem, not part of the solution. It is used by the Israeli government as an excuse not to invest in the Palestinian territories (why would you invest in territory that will not be under your control in the future), and is used as an excuse by the Palestinian Authority to restrict development as all problems can be blamed on "The Occupation" which absolves the PA of taking responsibility.
  2. Any solution must guarantee full and equal rights for Palestinians, especially the right to travel and unrestricted access to work, schools, and medical facilities.
  3. Any solution must guarantee security for both Israelis and Palestinians, so that Israelis and Palestinians can visit each other, work together, as well as ride buses or go to sleep at night without fear of terrorism or unnecessarily violent military action.
    There should be zero tolerance for terrorism, or support for terrorism (such as paying families of terrorists or glorifying their actions), or for vigilantism (such as "Tag Machir")
  4. The refugee camps must be replaced with respectable housing for all descendants of the Palestinian refugees. 2 generations after what Palestinians refer to as "the Nakba", all people are entitled to a proper home with proper infrastructure.
  5. People should be free to live and travel wherever they want. That means that Jews should have rights to live in Chevron, Beit Lechem, or Ramalla, and Palestinians should have rights to live in Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, or Modi'in.
  6. Jews and Palestinians need to learn to listen to each other's narrative, and respect the fact that we may not perceive history or the current reality in the same light.
I'm sure that not everyone will agree with all the points above, and some of them seem to be contradictory (can we have unrestricted freedom of movement yet maintain complete security?) And I'm sure that there are other non-negotiable points that would be acceptable to both Israelis and Palestinians that could be added to this list. Feel free to leave a comment.

6 comments:

Yossi Etzhasadeh said...

I am in general agreement with most of the poibts above but sense that the key issue is missing - will it be a soveriegn Arab State shared with the Jewish residents or a soveriegn Jewish State shared with its Arab residents? - IMO without a reoslution to this question the points above will remain a theoretical excercise.

Michael Sedley said...

Yossi, many of the speakers last night addressed different answers to that question, who should be sovereign under what type of government, and I don't think that there was a single clear answer, although several interesting ideas, all of which are imperfect (or "stinky" as one speaker said), but in my opinion all better options than the current failed 2 state paradigm.

But yes, for now I think that this is more of a theoretical exercise than a flawless concrete solution.

Anonymous said...

What i miss is the freedom of religion. Religion plays a fundamental role in the Middle East, Denying that aspect is again a failure, like Oslo was a failure.
What about the juridisdiction ? Will there be for every religion an court of arbitration ?
Some questions that came up reading this.

Michael Sedley said...

Great comment Anonymous.

Religion is certainly a key aspect to the conflict.
Among the speakers last night were 3 rabbis and a sheik who all regarded religion as part of the solution, not part of the problem.

There was also a Rebbitzin who had just got back from Egypt who is promoting joint religious courts with Rabbis and Imans working together (If I understood her proposal).

Mr. Cohen said...

Please read this pro-Israel article:

http://shilohmusings.blogspot.com/2016/09/the-great-palestinian-lie.html

Mr. Cohen said...

Israel and the United Nations
(complete transcript of a short pro-Israel speech by Mr. Patrick Condell)

http://shilohmusings.blogspot.com/2016/09/israel-and-united-nations.html