David Nabhan
Tectonic Shifts

Whither Thou Goest Now, Gaza?

China’s $28.5 billion Three Gorges Dam, the same price tag to provide a $100,000 stake to every household in Gaza. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons; Author, Rehman)

There are few savage nightmares to have occurred in history equal to the gruesome assault on its civilian neighbors on October 7 by the leadership of Gaza. Indeed, there are parallels to be found if one delves into the worst atrocities ever perpetrated as conquered cities were stormed by shockingly ruthless Huns, Mongols, Vikings and the like. The only saving grace in this despicable and shameful episode is that Gazans, Israelis, and every cogent human on Earth should be aware now of the obvious: Israel must end its relationship with Gaza—it can be neither a neighbor, a sovereign or semi-autonomous entity, a protectorate, or anything else. The relationship is terminated; there is no going back, there is no “saying sorry,” there is no working things out after the unthinkable horrors committed upon innocent and defenseless Israeli citizens, to include women, elderly, infirm and infants.

History is replete with palpable answers to what must come to pass when two peoples, occupying the same territory and exhibiting over decades or centuries an inexorable refusal to compromise and negotiate, finally accept the hard reality of how perpetual warfare and conflict should finally cease. The first recognition of the painfully evident is that they must not live together. Yet that doesn’t necessitate the utter destruction of one side. Far worse enmity than that between Palestinians and Israelis has been adjudicated quite peacefully, and to the benefit of both parties.

The struggle between Greeks and Turks, for example, began a thousand years ago with Ottoman and Byzantine forces battling for the Middle East and the Balkans during some four centuries of almost constant hostilities, followed by another four centuries of smoldering resentment, intermittent rebellion and insurrection by the defeated Greeks. Since 1923, however, an entire century of peace has reigned between the two peoples. That was the year of the Greek-Turkish population exchange, both sides swapping the 1.5 million minorities within their respective borders. And modern India and Pakistan were created in much the same way in the 1940s—although sadly not quite so peacefully.

Then too, the unworkable precedents of nations existing in two pieces, such as what a Palestinian state would be, composed of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, are clearly apparent time and again. Germany didn’t last too long with a Polish Corridor cutting it in two, East Pakistan hung on a little longer separated from West Pakistan by two thousand miles.

Since there is no coming back from the irremediable step Gaza took on October 7 the only question then is what is the optimum way in which a divorce between Gaza and Israel can be effected with the least privation and suffering to either side. Surrounded by a sea of dozens of states with the same language, religion, traditions, ethnicity, cuisine, music, dance, and at the epicenter of a sprawling Arab world comprising millions of square miles, the residents of Gaza could very easily take up new residence in neighboring Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia or any number of other countries and without experiencing the slightest culture shock.

And there’s no better time than now, since the great impetus to cause any group of people to move en masse has been what should be offered to the Gazans: fleeing from disaster, poverty, conflict and chaos to a better life of order, industry, peace and well-being. Gaza is in ruins and it makes little sense to pour in the funds to rebuild it—only so that in the next round of fighting it be destroyed again. The world should take this opportunity to set this matter right, once and for all, with the great Arab powers taking the lead and the US, Israel, UN, EU and China financially supporting the effort

For the relatively modest sum of $28.5 billion, every household in the Gaza Strip could be allotted $100,000 so as to stake them in the Arabic-speaking, Muslim country of their choice—nations which should have no problem welcoming not a flood of indigents seeking refuge, but fellow religionists with the means to establish themselves respectably in their new homeland. The House of Saud alone is worth a stupendous $1.5 trillion and the oil-rich emirate states aren’t that far behind.

For a monetary comparison, the Three Gorges Dam cost $28.5 billion to build. Certainly, quashing forever one of the world’s worst focal points of hostility and hatred, making sure that nothing like the medieval savagery that burst forth from the mists of the barbaric past should be evidenced ever again in our modern age would be a bargain at the price of one dam.

About the Author
David Nabhan is a science and science fiction writer. He is the author of "Earthquake Prediction: Dawn of the New Seismology" (2017) and three other books on seismic forecasting.
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