Israel / Palestine

Piece Plan

I read the 180 page Peace to Prosperity plan. The bulk of the plan is in the first 40 pages. The rest are appendixes. I was going to write up a detailed analysis of it but frankly, it is not worth the time and effort.

It does represent a fair amount of work on the part of some people. But it is either very naive or hatchet job on the Palestinians or both. I suspect the latter. It is also pretty much a backward-facing plan. It does not deal with issues like Water properly which given Climate Change, will have a big effect on the region.

I, for one, do not believe that a two-state solution is realistic unless there is one state for the Israelis and Palestinians and the other state is for their politicians.

The plan does take into consideration many of the reasons that it is not feasible to have a Palestinian state but then seeks to overcome these it in ways that would make Israel comfortable but at the cost of the Palestinians. The plan seeks to buy off the Palestinians with economic assistance with things that might happen in the future once they give in.

Let me say first, why I don’t think a two-state solution is feasible. It is all about security. If there was truly an independent state on the West Bank with its security and military, it would likely turn into Gaza but one that is located much closer to the main population centers of Israel. It would be just seven miles from the main airport, and right on the border Jerusalem. I would sincerely love to see Palestinians with their own country but fear that if they had it, it would soon be occupied once again by Israel and in the process, many Palestinians would be killed and injured along with Israelis.

While the majority of Israeli’s would like to see a two-state, most Israeli’s do not think it is viable. In the absence of that, Israel has been “slicing and dicing” the West Bank with walls and settlements.

It is clear that over the years, the Palestinians have overplayed their hand and failed to agree to, what in retrospect, were pretty reasonable proposals for two states. Israel has grown stronger and Palestine weaker. The Palestinian leadership in the West Bank has personally benefited from the situation.

One of the more interesting or should I say diabolical proposals in the plan has to do with what is referred to as the transfer of a number of Arab communities located on the Israeli side of the border with West Bank Palestine.  There are about 350,000 Israeli Arab Citizens in these communities. They largely self identify as Palestinians and can be pretty hostile to the Israeli Government but they are definitely Israeli.  I have visit this area many times.

Periodically, Israeli politicians on the right have suggested that the boarder be redrawn and these communities can join their Palestinian Brothers.  After all, this would have the effect of reducing the Arab vote in Israeli elections.  But also it is done to force those Israeli Arabs to give voice to the fact that they wish to remain in Israel where they have many benefits they would not have if they were actually in Palestine.  They are full Israeli citizens with all the benefits including an Israeli Passport.  

One of the reasons to include this possibility in the plan is because it would increase the amount of land given to the Palestinian side.  There has always been a concept of land swaps in any discussion of a two state solution.  This new plan does not provide an adequate swap.  So by including the “triangle” the gap is closed.  Even if it never happens.  Israel can say the offered.  

I see no way it would actually happen.  The people living in the Triangle would never agree.  I can’t see how the Israeli courts would agree to this unless it was the will of the people effected.  I guess that both the Israeli and Palestinian sides would say that it would be up to the people in the Triangle. 

Anyway, this is just another manipulation.

Why make the proposal before the Israeli Election? The Israeli Arabs represent about 20% of the population.  They have four parties and don’t really get along but last election they formed a Joint List and got enough votes to be the third largest party.   There was some concerned that they could join the Blue and White Party and together have a majority although this was always a long shot.  However, with the release of the proposal, the Blue and White Party under Ganz had to endorse the plan making a coalition with the Joint List impossible.  I am sure thee are other reasons.  But it is clear that the USA is interfering in the Israeli election.  

I think the primary purpose of the proposal is to give cover to Israel to do what it was planning on doing anyway, such as annexing the Jordan Valley. The Palestinians will reject the plan but Israel will accept it. Then Israel can go about unilaterally implementing parts of it. It may also give some cover to Arab countries and that can say that Palestinians should engage in negotiations. Arab countries have never cared about Palestinians and treat them badly. For a while, the Israeli/Palestinian issue serves Arab countries but now with the threat of Iran, they need to build relationships with Israel which has the strongest military in the region. There is already a lot of military cooperation and more economic cooperation that one would imagine.

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