On December 16, 2023, the New York Times published a series of articles in its Opinion section by individuals which it called “thinkers, political leaders, and experts” for their vision of what could be done after the October 7th attack by Hamas “because in the end, the two neighboring groups of millions of people need to find a way to live their lives”.
Nine people shared their opinions in response to the New York Times’ request. None of the writers suggested a secular democracy based on a constitutional principle for the entire area of Israel Palestine, nor did they propose a federal government. Instead, they provided technical suggestions to facilitate a two-state solution. It is worth noting that many, if not all, of these writers have previously published their opinions in the New York Times, and the newspaper is already familiar with them. However, the New York Times did not provide an explanation of what qualifies these individuals as “experts” on the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In March 2023, Colonel Lawrence B. Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff to United States Secretary of State Colin Powell, along with attorney Josef Avesar, submitted an opinion piece on the same issue to the New York Times.
The article titled “Simulating an Israeli Palestinian Confederation” described in detail a proposed structure for a common federal government that aimed to address the complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The article explained how simulations were conducted, with notable guests such as Dennis Ross, Peter Beinart, Noam Chomsky, Alan Dershowitz, Cornel West, Gideon Levy, Richard Falk, and others participating. These guests praised the concepts presented in the simulations and recognized their potential for resolving the conflict.
The article was rejected by the New York March 20,2023 over 6 months before the events between Gaza and Israel on October 7th, 2023. It is possible that its publication could have provided hope to the people in Gaza regarding a potential new approach to resolving their desperate situation.
It is interesting to note that the New York Times, which benefits from constitutional protection and operates within a federal system, rejected a similar solution for the Israel-Palestine issue and did not invite those who suggest a similar system to express their opinions.