Josh Wander wrote an excellent and comprehensive list of alternatives to the two-state solution, land for peace initiatives in his blog post entitled, A collection of possible alternatives. He is to be commended for being far-sighted and for going beyond the stale idea that if you’re not for these tried and failed solutions, you’re not for peace. Josh is absolutely correct in his assessment that:
If anyone dares to suggest that there is an alternative out there besides the two-state solution, they are immediately and severely assaulted, censured and delegitimized. Those that hide behind the vale of liberalism and democracy, are often the most intolerant when it comes to suggesting unconventional options.
A person who is truly committed to a solution that brings true peace will not automatically overrule every new, untried idea. A person who is truly committed to resolving the Middle East Conflict will spend time thinking outside the box to see what else there is out there that we haven’t tried. Because clearly, what we have tried has not worked thus far.
It’s simply wrong to say that if you disagree with a failed idea and want to stop pursuing that concept, you are an enemy of peace. What it is, is HONEST. What it is, is PROACTIVE.
Being that I did not see my own peace plan on Josh’s extensive list, I will share it here.
My idea is basically transfer with a twist. And by the way, just because I used the word “transfer” doesn’t make me a far right fringe extremist. It’s actually realistic to expect that in a conflict over territory there will be a population exchange. There should have been one here, too.
After all, 850,000 Jews were expelled from Arab lands, as a result of the conflict and were resettled in Israel. Why should the 22 Arab states not resettle the Arabs who were made homeless as a result of the conflict? Especially since “made homeless” is not really accurate, since unlike the Jewish refugees who were expelled from Arab lands, these “refugees” were not expelled, but rather, voluntarily left at the behest of the Arab countries that attacked Israel in 1948. They were told by those they trusted that the territory would soon be wrested from the Jews and that they would then be able to return.
Obviously this did not happen. And since they voluntarily vacated their properties, they really have no legitimate claims to such. And anyway, it’s not the original “refugees” we’re speaking of in most cases, but their descendants, kept as pawns by their brethren, as a way to try to get rid of Israel once and for all, by keeping the refugee issue alive in perpetuity.
But I digress. Here is my peace plan, which for lack of another name, I call “Modified Transfer.”
It’s very simple. A choice will be presented to the Arabs who consider themselves “Palestinians” as follows:
Full Legal Rights
Arabs who wish to become citizens of Israel with full legal rights, only have to sign a loyalty oath, swearing loyalty to the Jewish State.
Those who don’t wish to sign the loyalty oath will receive a handsome financial package to help them start afresh in a new country, such as Egypt or Jordan, countries with which Israel has peace agreements.
Even with a very large settlement, the cost is likely to be far less expensive than what Israel currently spends on defense.
Those Arabs who sign the loyalty oath will become fully productive citizens of Israel and will live side by side with us in peace. I know this, because it would take great courage to sign such a document. Only those Arabs who truly care about Israel will want to sign on for peace.
Of course, some Arabs may sign the oath and then turn out to be disloyal. I suggest they be deported, without benefit of the financial package, for having played dirty.
It Could Work
There would be a lot to discuss to nail down the nitty gritty details, but I really think it could work.
Now, I know from experience that a lot of people are going to come and make nasty comments about me and about what I’ve written. I’m not going to answer them. I’m just not going to do it.
Either you’re willing to take great and brave chances for peace and try something new, or you’re not and you’d rather call me, and people like me, for instance Josh Wander, intolerant, bigoted, and etc.
I believe in free choice. If you want to keep an open mind and try new ideas for the sake of peace, that’s great. If you don’t, I really don’t have anything to say to you, anyway.