Formula for peace between Israel and Palestine

Editor’s summary

The Free Muslims Coalition has written a position paper that, while saying it is not against the two-state solution currently sought by both Israel and the Palestinian Authority, puts forward a “one nation, two-state” solution that it says has a better chance of succeeding. According to this proposal, the relationship between Israel and Palestine would be comparable to that of New York and New Jersey, or England and Scotland.

The paper says: “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.”

The name of this nation might be “United States of Israel and Palestine.” The president would be elected by popular vote or by a parliament whose seats are divided 50-50 between the Israeli “state” and the Palestinian “state.” (Given current demographic trends, it’s doubtful the ‘popular vote’ idea will get very far with Israelis.)

Is this the right formula for peace between Israel and Palestine? Is peace in this region a matter of finding the right formula or finding avenues for reconciliation at some deeper level?

UPI editor at large Arnaud de Borchgrave makes a good case that, if such a “no brainer” as the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza strip creates such deep divisions within Israeli society, it is not realistic to expect Israel to withdraw from the West Bank to make way for a Palestinian state. Formulate that!

Gershon Baskin, the Israeli chief executive officer of the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information, asks: “Can a peace process be created as the result of a political decision? If so, is the absence of a peace process the direct outcome of the lack of a political directive to build it?” He makes a valid point.

Despite the scheduled Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, violence continues.

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