a new Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.
while it is true that none of the administrations want peace, i feel that the majority of the people invloved want peace of some type.
this is because of the basic goodness of man which is in spite of the basic evil of those that lead them.
a majority of israelis want peace in the middle east and so do most palestinians and most americans. of course the obstacle is that there is a serious lack of trust between parties. my proposal aims to minimize that distrust.
1) the israeli view is that a Palestinian state might be used as a terror launch pad to attack a teritorially weakened jewish state. it is true that palestinian groups have launched attacks without provocation in the past. in order to counter this the proposal should be a compromise: palestinians will not be allowed a soverign military and israelis will be responsible for defending palestine from external threats. israel could also retain control of palestinina airspace and borders as it does today.
this is a safe bargain, because palestine is surrounded only by friendly states. so in effect, israel is getting something (security assurances) for nothing (the chance that jordan or syria will attack palestine). and the palestinians are getting something (their own country) as well.
2) Jerusalem. arab east jerusalem should become the capital of the the independent palestinian state. holy places such as the haram sharif and al aqse mosque should remain in the control of palestinian authorities, whilst the temple mount can either be integrated into israeli jerusalem, or be placed solely in the hands of jewish authorities. the logistics can be easily worked out if both parties sincerely wish.
3) jewish settlements. comprise is about giving and taking. israelis did not want to divide jerusalem, so its only fair that palestinains compromise on some territory as well. gaza settlements are no more, so thats not an issue an more. however, in the west bank, the largest settlement can perhaps be integrated into israeli land. the small outposts dotting the west bank, however, should be removed and replaced into mainland israeli territory.
4) refugee right of return. yes, it was an injustice that hundreds of thousands of palestinians left their homes and went to other arab countries as refugees. now some 60 years later, the number of those refugees and their descendents would easily number a few million. many of them have probably settled comfortable in their new homes. as for those that remain refugees, it is not feasible for them to come back to israel. where would they live? where would they work? the sudden infux of a couple million people would place severe strains on israel no matter how wealthy she may be.
then of course there are demographic issues whereby if all these arabs came in, israel would lose its jewish character. this is something which no country could tolerate or expect to tolerate. jews are people like all others, and as such they deserve a homeland. who are we do dictate where or how that should be? as long as they share and remain peaceful with them, we do not, islamically, have any choice but to be peaceful with them.