Joseph Cox
Finding Beauty in Complexity

The North Gaza Initiative

The North Gaza Project

We in the Middle East live in a region without solutions. The Arab Spring led mostly to slaughter and dictatorship, while American efforts to rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan ended with Iranian colonization and a resurgent and victorious Taliban. For Israel’s part, our tremendous economic growth has still left unsolved both the existential threats of Iran and the dreams held by those who seek to follow up the largest geographic ethnic cleansing in history (that of 99.8% of Jews from Arab lands) with the genocide of the Jews of Israel.

Despite how it may feel, our region is not unique. There are rarely solutions, no matter where you happen to live. Even in the West, those who seek solutions (such as through the War on Poverty, the War on Drugs or the War on Terror) often see little in the way of success.

The world may lack solutions, but it is full of hope. That is: things can, step by step, get better.

In almost all cases, the seeds of positive transformation have not been borne by powerful and large nations. Instead, those seeds planted their roots in places that were small, dynamic and – yes – hopeful. Athens gave birth to democracy and humanist culture. Amsterdam to religious toleration in the midst of war. Hong Kong to economic freedom in the face of Communism. Taiwan and Singapore to political freedom and the rule of law in a world dominated by a bruised and corrupt Chinese culture. Rwanda, to ethnic peace and the rule of law in a region overrun by lawlessness and slaughter. The UAE to a glorious Islam unconnected to military conquest.

Indeed, so many of the ideas that engendered both the American concepts of religious liberty and the hatred of slavery were brought to maturity in the relatively small colonies of Rhode Island and Massachusetts. In 1776, Massachusetts had 380,000 residents and Rhode Island had 69,000.

London alone was around 800,000.

These small places were nurseries of revolutions in how human society could be organized and run. Each of them had a fundamental impact on how we live our lives today. Critically, almost all of them were populated by people who would seem to have been living in a world not only without solutions, but without hope.

It is my belief that, collectively, these examples can provide a cookbook on establishing the rule of law and improving the lives of people in any troubled region. Even that of the Middle East. Put together, these examples form the basis of the North Gaza Project.

The North Gaza Project isn’t a solution. It has the far more modest goal of being a way to make things better. The North Gaza Project borrows from Singapore, the UAE, Rwanda, Hong Kong and others to show how Israel and her Arab regional allies could plant a seed of hope in our region. It also relies on new ideas, unlocked by technology. These include monetary, tax and welfare concepts that would have been impossible to implement only 30 years ago. Critically, it includes clear and well-defined metrics by which control of the Project could be transitioned to the resident population.

The proposal covers everything from immigration and legal systems to healthcare and education. All of it is geared around encouraging the rule of law, molding a religious reality fashioned around the UAE’s example, and avoiding the terrible reality of ‘aid states’ that become cesspools of corruption, rent-seeking and, ultimately, violence.

If these ideas are exciting to you, visit and learn more about how we can reinvent our region.

About the Author
Joseph Cox lives in Modiin, Israel and has written 12 books. The latest published book is "A Multi Colored Coat... an autobiography of sorts".
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