For many people, Arab Palestine is Jordan (APIJ) is original enough as it is. Yet, much more wild thinking may be needed and could go with that.
I’m not going to present a comprehensive APIJ Peace Plan. I’m sure there will be plenty of clever brains writing many alternative options and versions. Rather, I will restrict myself to suggesting pointers that could not only influence the course of the discourse and tip the scales towards winning over enough people, but also be incorporated into any blue print of your choosing.
Some of the below ideas may sound insane to you. However, won’t you agree that a problem older than a century or even millennia deserves some substantial thinking outside of the box?
- The goal of our activism should be to help actually recreate Jordan as the real Arab Palestine. It is not just to intellectually demonstrate and proclaim being right over others being wrong.
- The new Arab Palestine does not need to be demilitarized – also Egypt has an army. But – like Egypt – it must be run by the right people.
- Gaza, enclaves in the West Bank and all of Jordan can all be part of the New Arab Palestine Confederation. Their continuity (tunnels, bridges) hinge on how well they behave towards Israel.
- There is no such thing as Arab Palestinian leaders’ power to block peaceful developments. Foreign donors can close the money streams and then appoint any peaceful Arab Palestinian leader.
- Dual citizenship for Arabs already living in Israel should be encouraged.
- Jews should be able to live freely in Arab Palestine. As long as that would be impossible, no peaceful co-existence between the two states should be possible, blocking the birth of Arab Palestine.
- Israeli and Arab Palestine could and should undertake many projects together for mutual benefit, in the fields of: tourism, science, ecology, medicine and nature, etc.
- The so-called King of Jordan needs to be replaced, either by someone else, or he could stay-on as a figurehead. However, different from his predecessor, he doesn’t seem to like Jews, so it he wants to stay part of the picture, he’d better shape up in that area. Most importantly, meanwhile, we should reassure the President of Egypt that we see him as a friend, because he behaves as one, so that he stays on our side and won’t feel threatened when we help push for curtailing the Jordan King.
- Stand up for our friends. We need to promote simultaneously a free Kurdistan. Every People deserves its own state.
- We should not be satisfied with just solving the Arab Palestinian problem. The Peoples of the Lebanon are longing for a terrorist-free state too, with full rights for all groups, including Palestinian Arabs. Next: Syria should be given back to the Syrian People. You betcha that Europe has money for that. Speak out as Israeli for that – these people should know who are their allies and friends.
- No one can afford to permit our neighboring States to be oligarchic dictatorships or naive democracies that can be hijacked by anti-democrats. We must insist that their societies respect freedom of the press, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, respect and safety for women and GLBTQ, separation of powers and between religion and state. Specific religious prohibitions that do not only not hurt people but actually prevent hurtful options may be allowed, like an injunction on alcohol. Demilitarization of the public and opposition groups is crucial.
- Hostile and even “just” biased anti-Zionist Arab and international reporting should be called out as incitement and anti-Jewish, even from the mightiest press agencies. They should be sued so badly that they won’t dare to be so partial again.
- Never trust any politician. They will try to fool you – that’s their job training. We must make sure that we’re no fools. Jews tend to swing between complete mistrust and total naivety. We could do better. A healthy measure of mistrust would make us look just fine. Meanwhile, we should stay honest and only choose honest leaders, but they too must not be naive. Yet, that doesn’t mean enraging opposition or giving away all our bargaining chips.
- I don’t want to scare anyone needlessly, but in case you feel secure in President Trump’s support – and not everyone does – don’t forget that we must have realized Jordan is Arab Palestine before Bernie Sanders takes the reins. This could be in 8 years, in 4 years or even earlier. It’s time for real action.
- To help us realize this dream, we need to envision our success and the obstacles in our way to overcome them. Wishing is not enough.
- Our vision must be around positive goals. So, no limited ambitions like: let’s stop the loony left or oppose anti-Semites. Rather: let’s promote regional peace, mutual safety.
- Don’t make the Left-wing mistake of being deadly serious when working for a better world. Be light, make jokes, convey optimism and self-confidence. People get the serious part without us stressing it. And no hatred or anger – not even in the back of our minds!
- Deal with your own doubts. Any sliver of hesitation to fully believe in Jordan is Arab Palestine will either shine through or will come out as extremism in order to hide your insecurity, needlessly putting off people ready to join.
- Don’t mention Hitler, anti-Semitism, Auschwitz, Nazis and the like, as if Oppression of Jews does not exist anymore and should be placed in the past. Condemn Jews’ hatred like all hatred and supremacy – but do point out that oppressed groups tend to come together against Jews. Jews often need to fall back on rulers who hold them captive, and only have themselves to rely on once they betray them. Call out the Left to liberate Jews from this hostage.
- We must adopt the Arab negotiation style: to have tough demands and speak sweetly. To smile, be friendly, even loving, while being very clear on our demands and red lines. However, be honest. Don’t say one thing in English and another in Hebrew.
- We must be dictatorially against anything that threatens the democracy – in Israel and among our neighbors. Being nice to real enemies is not being nice at all.
- Don’t worry about extremists among us. They may provide excellent ideas. Just make sure that our leaders can be democratically replaced; compromises will be needed and in the end, the majority will support non-extremists.
- Don’t talk about Palestinians or Arabs – always say: Arab Palestinians, making clear that Jews are Jewish Palestinians, and say: Arab Muslims and Arab Christians, to make clear that most Middle-Eastern Jews are Arab Jews – Arabs too.
- Don’t go smartass claiming that Palestinians don’t exist. It might be an identity created just to oppose the Jews (as it says in the curse in Deuteronomy 32:21) that might disappear once we have peace. Yet, everyone is free to pick their own identities, which should be respected. However, no one (Arab Palestinian) is free to rob others (Jews) of their national rights claiming to be their replacement.
- Jews are not a religious body but rather a Nation – with a religion, mission and culture. Welcome Arab Palestinians to search for their Jewish roots (many have) and honor them as special, close to us.
- Much animosity has been created by religions wanting to prove that they are better than all the others. Yet, we need rabbis and mundane Jewish leaders who now say: there is one top religion, however small in numbers, that doesn’t want to convert anyone, but should be respected by all monotheistic religions, not as a powerless minority or as an equal but as a parent. The other ideologies all are rooted in Judaism and we have the keys to much of the coffers. We need to praise them for their good stuff but also correct them on a few mistakes – and we’re not saying that they are to blame for their mistakes. The issue is not our superiority or their guilt. The issue is listen to us again – it’s long overdue. No more false equality (or disdain) with the Jews. We have a task to be the humble teachers of the world. Without that, we lose our reason to exist. Humble, but nevertheless everyone’s teacher. This claim will bring out Jew hatred. That’s good – then it can be fought. Trying not calm the Jew hatred, leaving the puss under the skin, prevents cure. Insist that the leaders of any sizable group of Monotheists speaks out that they subscribe to this.
- There are two things that Jews need to teach Gentiles, and Arab Palestinians and neighboring States of Israel will be the firsts to profit. These are: 1. Jews are the teachers; honor and protect us. 2. Thou shan’t murder – the preciousness of every human life.
- We Jews naturally will be the allies of all the Peoples around us, but we need them to be our allies too. It won’t work otherwise. Arab Palestinians have been betrayed by all other Arabs. We can stand up for them. But they must do the same for us. Everyone standing up for themselves is sweet but it will not cut it anymore. Being allies of everyone else is the only workable future.
- Let us collect and protect pro-Jews Muslims. In the Middle East, in the US, in Indonesia, wherever. Let’s turn them from courageous loners into protected bunches of people – and political leaders of Arab Palestinians. I don’t mean two-faced political slime balls who speak differently in Arabic and English. Rather: bloggers in Turkey or Egypt, Muslim IDF soldiers and others who simply saw already that Jews are not the enemy – and actually are great to be with.
- Get people involved who did good peace work outside of Israel (but avoid the fakers): in Jews/Christians, Jews/Muslims, Catholics/Protestants (Northern Ireland) dialogue.
- Don’t assume that by default that all Right-wingers will support our ideas and all Left-wingers will oppose them. Show off Left-wingers, Gentile Arabs and Muslims who support Jordan is Arab Palestine. In the end, they could easily outnumber Right-wing Jews. Yet, all will remember that we started it.
- Don’t just preach to the converted only – also try to win over people who sound as opponents. Never give up on anyone. The most vocal antagonists might be the most ready to join.
- Don’t be such a skeptic or cynical as not to trust any penitent. When people seemed Jew haters or loony leftists but claim to have come to their senses, give them some benefit of the doubt. Public repentance is a must and some low-level ongoing mistrust of them too.
- Credit the left and the secular for inspiring us. It won’t put off the right and the religious, because they know who are on their side, but it may give us less people to fight with. In debates, stress points of agreement instead of focusing on disagreement.
- All people have different needs but none of us have alien desires. Jews need safety; Arab Palestinians need respect and honor. We both need hope. We can understand each other’s needs.
- Always make a distinction between brutal leaders and their over-powered or docile populations. Most people are decent – unless incited (see also next point). Subsidize courses for people to unburden their hurt of generations. There is no turning a new leaf without crying. Promote the knowledge of Non-Violent Communication: how to have empathy for people who are different from you. Take a course yourself.
- Always stress that most people are mostly good people. Yet, non-violent Arab Palestinians have in majority glorified and supported violence and murder against Jews and – like the German Nation after WW II – must repent for that. Sentiments against Jews in Arab society must be examined and dealt with; first like by the RC Church, on an official level; after that, also on a real level by insisting that people are taught that Jews are everyone’s best friends, hatred for Jews is out and it’s an honor to guarantee Jews amongst one being and feeling safe unconditionally.
- Stop the racism. The Right is not doing such a bad job compared to the Left in Israel, but still, we should strive for perfection. And I don’t mean: being politically correct, faking background neutrality. Rather, we should deeply understand how inaccurate racism is and how even any trace of it weakens our positions and will be something we will regret later. Remove passionate racists from our leadership. We can still profit from their good ideas as advisors but not have them as our public representation.
- Promote and support leadership of our movement from non-Whites, women and homosexuals. There is no reason in the world why our ideas should live only in an isolated group of isolated leaders. There is excellent talent among Mizrachim, women and GLBTQs. Don’t squander it. Even before opening their mouths, these leaders being with us will prove that we are serious about being after everyone’s fortune and not just the Jews’.
This post was prepared before Shabbat so that it could be put up not too long after Shabbat.