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Israeli Palestinian Confederation — It’s about time

They have joint markets, roads, and power grids; joint government would be far better than this endless war
Illustrative: Ultra-Orthodox Jews and Arabs ride the Jerusalem light train on March 15, 2012. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Illustrative: Ultra-Orthodox Jews and Arabs ride the Jerusalem light train on March 15, 2012. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

The latest round of attacks and counterattacks in Israel and Gaza demonstrates the respective governments’ inability to extricate their people from an awful situation, decades in the making.

Palestinians and Israelis live in the same land, share the same utility grids, roads, economy, and currency. A confederation government representing both peoples, working in conjunction with the Israeli and Palestinian governments, could be a gamechanger.

Throughout the world, federations have worked to allow groups with different interests to thrive under a common government.

The Israeli Palestinian Confederation [“IPC”] would more readily come up with solutions. It would provide a broader perspective to resolve issues. The IPC would be a forum for the people who live and breathe the daily reality, to solve their issues based on common interests. It would not replace the existing Israeli or Palestinian governments, nor would it prevent them from reaching their own agreements. Since the IPC would not be Israeli or Palestinian (but rather Israeli-Palestinian), it would be more trustworthy, treated with less suspicion, and easier for both sides to accept.

An IPC would establish an educational curriculum for both sides to teach tolerance and understanding of each other. It could propose, refine, and adopt substantial economic options not now available to them, including: joint economic zones, joint passports, joint airports, mutual economic projects, as well as forging relationships with other countries not previously available to one side or another.

An IPC would work to create a joint security force for the benefit of both Israelis and Palestinians and could be instrumental in working out ways to share Jerusalem and other holy sites. It would be able to mediate between the Israeli and Palestinian governments on military clashes, prisoner exchanges, economic cooperation, and other disputes or emergencies.

An IPC made by Israelis and Palestinians (Muslims, Christians, Jews, as well as other minorities), representing the entire area, would be better able than the separate Israeli or Palestinian governments to negotiate peace with Hezbollah in Lebanon, Iran, Syria, and many other countries. The IPC could declare the conflict over.

Given the Israeli and Palestinian governments’ consistent failure in creating peace, they would lose legitimacy if they chose to oppose a Confederation.

We believe that there are enough Palestinians and Israelis who would support a confederation because they understand that a formula for peace which preserves their identities and expands their opportunities, security, and freedom is far better than having an endless war.

The IPC could be created and supported by providing a secure internet platform to hold elections and conduct business.

Submitted by the following board members of the Israeli Palestinian Confederation:

Dr. Saleem H. Ali- Newark, Delaware
Josef Avesar- Los Angeles, California
Nicholas Allis- Los Angeles, California
Natalie Awad-Los Angeles, California
Mohamed Awadalla- Richmond, Virginia
Jill Davis- Fullerton, California
Sumner Fein- Los Angeles, California
Dr. Mahmoud Haj-Nahariya- Israel
David Marcus- Los Angeles, California
Kathleen O’Connor Wang- Long Beach, California
Dr. Natan Ophir- Hebrew University, Jerusalem
M.J. Rosenberg
Hanna Siniora- Jerusalem
Aymen Zaben- New York, New York
Dr. Ouriel Zohar- Technion, Haifa

About the Author
Josef Avesar is founder of the Israeli Palestinian Confederation, which advocates for a mutual third government for Israelis and Palestinians. An American-Israeli of Iraqi background, he practices law in the U.S., but travels frequently to Israel and Palestine.
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