Jonathan Kohan

An Israeli Constitution for Gaza

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Polling suggests that Palestinians are even more fanatically genocidal than the Germans under the Nazis. It is therefore worth our time to examine how the Germans and the Japanese went from the epitome of evil to liberal democrats. What we see in both cases is that the Americans imposed a liberal constitution on their conquered enemies. The Israelis should do the same. Over the course of decades, we will likely see the Palestinians deradicalize. This will not be a magic bullet that solves the problem overnight. In fact, German support for the Nazis increased in the immediate years after the occupation. However, over time the benefits of liberalism were apparent and the Germans and Japanese deradicalized while becoming thorough liberals. This is Israel’s best path forward.

Israel should emulate the American occupation and impose a liberal constitution on the Palestinians. Like the Americans, the Israelis should write a constitution for the Palestinians that they can live with. This should include clauses that ensure security for the Israelis, as did the Japanese constitution for the Americans. The Israelis must then enforce the constitutional clauses at the barrel of a gun.

There is a desire to resettle Gaza, but quite frankly it is a ridiculous proposition. The Palestinians need a state as Israel cannot forever rule over these people without giving them citizenship. The state of Palestine must primarily be in Gaza. It is flat, coastal, and on the edge of Israel, and cannot meaningfully challenge Israel’s security in any real way. There will not be a Palestinian state in the West Bank. The West Bank, particularly Area A and parts of Area B, must be non-militarized exclaves of either Jordan or Palestine (Gaza).

In addition, a general timeline should be created for the occupation. Power should at first be handed to some Palestinian entity with extreme oversight by the Israelis and an Israeli appointed high court. Palestinians themselves must be partners as any foreigner will abandon the project the instant they take casualties.  At the onset of the occupation elections must be scheduled for some time within the next decade. Jihadists political parties must be banned in the Palestinian constitution. If the Palestinians refuse to abide by the election results or constitutional clauses, they can once again face the might of the IDF. 

Some commentators would like to implement an authoritarian system in Gaza, but this is misguided. Politicians in a democracy are directly accountable for the material conditions of the people. A democratically elected politician will not order another 10/7 as they know this will result in a second destruction of Gaza and a direct loss of their power. Conversely, under an authoritarian system the incentives to impoverish and radicalize Palestinians to steal international funds while living abroad will remain. 

The constitutionalist endeavor will be hard. America attempted a similar project in Iraq and Afghanistan. The constitutionalist project was successful in Iraq, but it was an absolute failure in Afghanistan. A large part of this is that the Americans did not have the willingness to take the casualties necessary during an Afghan occupation. The unfortunate truth is that Hamas has made it apparent that Israel has no choice but to engage in a medium-term occupation. 

The biggest strategic risk to this plan is that Israel does not have a constitution. Liberal democracies produce the strongest militaries and most powerful states. If Israel ever descends into a non-democratic non-capitalist country, this will be the only time it can face annihilation as their enemies would be liberal democrats. Giving the Palestinians a constitution without Israel having a constitution can create a long-term security risk. Israel must therefore seriously pursue the implementation of a political constitution of their own. 

Israel has rightfully conquered the West Bank and is rightfully conquering Gaza. Israel has so far engaged in a half occupation with Palestinians retaining miniature lunatic statelets. This situation was a mistake. Israel does not want to give citizenship to their conquered populations. Therefore, a political resolution must be created for the Palestinian population. Israel should engage in an actual occupation stylized on the American occupation of Germany and Japan. A liberal constitution is the only way we know how to de-radicalize a genocidal population. Israel needs to enforce a constitution on the Palestinians through a forceful occupation with a state being declared in Gaza. Only then will the Israeli-Palestinian issue find a workable resolution. 

About the Author
Jonathan Kohan is currently a student at Cornell Law School. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania. Jonathan is interested in comparative politics, political procedure, and morality. He is currently writing a book discussing religion in the 21st century.
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