The Two-Legislature Solution – Why Will It Work?

To paraphrase Arthur Conan Doyle’s ubiquitous character, Sherlock Holmes, “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the solution.”  In previous posts I have explained why the main peace proposals put forward in the past 50 years; One Binational State, a Two-State Solution, Confederation, and Federation have proven to be impossible because they do not address at least one of the main requirements of one side or the other.  The Two-Legislature Solution is the only proposal that addresses all of the requirements of both sides.  It is the only true Win-Win proposal.

As mentioned in an earlier post, I have sent this concept to over 50 (now 60) pundits, politicians, professors, diplomats, religious leaders, activists, members of the press, and military experts, 25% of whom responded.  None found fault with the concept, but all were skeptical that it could be implemented under the current circumstances.  With no substantive reasons given for why it would not work, I looked through the responses to find a common thread.

Dr. Bernie Avishai of Hebrew University and Dartmouth University said, “Both sides will want a strong measure of geographical sovereignty.”  I took this to mean that peace could only be reached if Arabs and Jews were kept physically separate.  Prof. Benny Morris of Ben Gurion University of the Negev was more direct saying, “The Arabs (and many of the Jews) are not Englishmen (or Norwegians).  One-state means rivers of blood.”  Other persons, even those who believe in equality of all residents of Israel-Palestine, have simply stated that Arabs and Jews cannot live together.  But the current circumstances in Israel where more than 20% of the population are Israeli-Arabs belies this notion.  Jews living with Arabs who have full citizenship have not been subjected to rivers of blood.

The failure of previous negotiations has left many feeling that there is no partner for peace on the other side.  But one of the advantages of the Two-Legislature Solution is that it does not rely on finding a partner for peace in an existing Palestinian organization.  It does not require negotiation with Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Fatah, the PLO, or even the Palestinian Authority.  While agreement from such organizations would be helpful in encouraging people to participate in the new form of government, this plan can be implemented without their involvement.  It also does not require agreement or input from the United States, the European Union, the United Nations, the Security Council, or any other entity outside of Israel as this will be an entirely internal Israeli matter.

The Palestinian partners for peace will be each non-Jewish resident of the refugee camps, Gaza and the West Bank who accepts full citizenship and the conditions thereof.  Being allowed to return to their or their parents’ home areas and rebuild their lives along with the ability to move freely throughout Israel, and to be able to vote for and hold office within the government is the definition of citizenship and the goal of all parties in the current impasse.

One may question, where has this ever been successful before?  In 1863, President of the United States Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation offering amnesty and a return of citizenship to members of the Confederate States Army who would renounce violence and live in peace.  Below is the document my great-grandfather, Richard Ashley, signed at that time.  Neither he nor his children, nor his children’s children ever again waged war on the United States.  He lived peaceably as a farmer for the rest of his life.  After the war, soldiers below the rank of colonel were given this same opportunity to regain their citizenship.  Almost all did.

Citizens being assured that their property and way of life cannot be restricted without the assent of their house of the legislature will remove impetus for violence.  This is especially true when the resources of the country are turned from a war footing to be equitably distributed to all citizens and all areas of the country.  Equal access to roads, water, transportation, electric power, medical treatment, education, sewage treatment, and other infrastructure will further make life pleasant and productive for all.

While it is entirely possible that some people on both sides will reject this new structure and move to continue the violence, access to peace will mean that the great majority who accept this new structure will work with the newly combined Jewish and non-Jewish security apparatus to root out these persons and they can be handled by the police and legal system.

Finally, the Two-Legislature Solution will work because it can be done today by the current government or any ensuing government of Israel.

About the Author
Mr. Ashley is a Mining Engineer with 36 years of experience in the mining industry. He holds a B.S. in Mining Engineering, an M.S. in Mining Engineering (Geostatistics), and an MBA. He is also a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Nevada (Retired). He has worked on evaluation and development of more than 50 mining projects located in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Morocco, Norway, Peru, Papua New Guinea, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Suriname, Thailand and the USA, involving commodities as diverse as aluminum (including bauxite and alumina), coal, copper, diamonds, gold, iron ore, kaolin, lignite, nickel, oil shale, potash, silver, uranium and zinc. Since his retirement he has dedicated his life to supporting causes that promote sustainable peace and development for all and working within his community to support democracy and good government doing such things as working on the Civil Grand Jury in his County and working as a Poll Worker and Trainer of Poll Workers.