A Two State Solution, but not what you think.
Mordechai From Middle East Information Center 03/28/2005
In many regards, there is already a Palestinian state via Oslo and following peace accords. So the question is, what does the current Palestinian state have or how is it defined? If we were to take a closer look at it, we would find the state has a President, International recognition, a flag and other nationalistic symbols, a police force, banks, territory, citizens, trade, an economy and the list goes on. The one thing that is being worked on is a Palestinian currency. So with that being said, as Israel declared a state, why hasn't the existing Palestinian government? It would most certainly force a vote in the General Assembly and would likely become "officially" a state. One could argue that the current Israeli forces create a situation of duress; however, I would argue that the declaration of Israel was no cakewalk either.
Let us take a deeper look at what I consider is a major obstacle to peace and that is "land." My only question to that statement is that even though land is certainly a part of what makes up a state, it is my belief the sovereignty exists within the people. That being said, the arguments that involve who owns what as in is it Israel's land or Palestinian land should rethink that claim a bit. If my history serves me correctly, it is not in accordance of the United Nations to create states, therefore as a formality the GA did indeed vote on the declaration, but what really makes Israel a state is those who recognize it as such. Therefore legally or according to international law, I cannot find anywhere that Great Britain terminated the mandate to Resolution 181 and to go further, Great Britain abstained from 181 on top of a GA vote that is not binding but merely a recommendation leaves a very complex situation to sort out. So how does Israel itself exist? My answer to that is as I stated before that Israel is a state from those who recognize it as such. Can we not say the same for all countries?
Now let us take a look at the results of the 67 war. I do not recall Israel annexing the new territory (Gaza & West Bank) as who could blame them. Israel would then have to find a way to administer a very large population that has very little to sustain itself as an independent body. This would place a huge burden on Israel as well as change the demographics overnight. One could argue the "settlements" imply annexation; however, if that were true, then the Israeli government would never consider removing the "settlements" as in comparison to giving up land behind the green line. So whose land is it? Property rights could certainly be reviewed, but the reality of that solution in working is questionable or maybe not. That being said with out an official annex of the land, why hasn't the PA declared a state when the odds are in the PA's favour to get an official U.N. stamp of approval?
My answer to that is a bit complex, first I will say that Oslo made a huge mistake in giving the PLO international recognition. Secondly is that the Palestinian citizens will never have a fair shot with the current leaders as in the past and rival very powerful "terrorist groups" such as Hamas and others who vie for power on top of Israeli counter-attacks creating dissension among many Palestinians. Moreover another problem I see for the Palestinians via their leaders is what I suspect is a bit of a scandal. The U.N. and other NGOs give the PA money for "refugee" status of many Palestinians labeled as such. A "state" would change the status of this and therefore cut off any aid in relation to that status. This as it continues creates as in many countries a failure in distributing aid where it needs to go rather then lining pockets. This leaves almost no hope for the Palestinians living in these circumstances.
That being said, I believe that an official Palestinian state should never happen under the current definition. There are too many problems with the current definition of a "two-state" solution. One is that the economy would create situations far worse than current conditions and thus would create more disdain for Israel amongst the Palestinian population allowing more to succumb to "terrorist" acts and create far more generations bred on hate rather than peace. An influx of surrounding self-proclaimed "Palestinians" would immigrate and cause further burden on an already weak state. The vacuum created by the absence of Israeli security in the new "state" whether you perceive it as good or bad would allow the rival "terrorist groups" more options to fight for power further killing more innocent Palestinians.
So what is the "two-state" solution? I will answer that in asking for a bit of an open mind in that we change or amend the definition of a "state". Israel and the Palestinians are not going anywhere and are very much interdependent. That being said, the only solution I believe in is creating an economic umbrella overseeing two populations. The two populations would elect their own leaders and the respective governments responsible for its own citizens as in traditional states. However, the state would not be defined by borders, but by sovereignty of the people. This creates a co-existence without borders allowing either population to live where they wish. I do realize both governments would work out the details, but that is the general concept. For example, in the beginning Israel and the International bodies should revoke or disavow the current PA leadership and shut down the "terrorist groups" allowing enough room for a functional Palestinian government to eventually overwhelm its opposition. The end results would be Israelis keeping most of their settlements as well as Palestinians receiving compensation and funding to establish themselves and settling out of the refugee camps. Such a "two-state" solution would have more economic power to deal with immigrants and remaining resistance.
Granted in the end it is a struggle to obtain such an idea, but it is a struggle that is much easier in my opinion to overcome. Both Israelis and Palestinians would have to overcome past grievances and begin to build the trust that Oslo was supposed to create. The only remaining factor would be Jerusalem of which I will not cover in this commentary. I do however find it very curious in finding a map of 181 at what it stated at the top, "Palestine, Plan on Partition, with economic union." Perhaps 181 had the right idea in terms of "Economic Union" Map