|Introduction||The Problem||The Solution||The Author||Postscript|
Logically, there has to be a reason why the Israelis and the Palestinians have not been able to resolve their differences after such a long time, and with so much international effort having been put into the issue. And there is a reason -- the reason is that their demands (especially the demands of the "extremists" on each side) are diametrically opposed to each others' demands.
The international media have not been a great help. They have tended to engage in provider capture -- i.e. the media have often had agendas other than just reporting the news. They have seemed at times to see the task of "merely" reporting the news as being somehow beneath them; they thought they should be helping to bring about peace. This is what happens when you get people becoming journalists in order to "change the world" in some way. They shouldn't be so big-headed (Look who's talking !).
These attempts by the media to make peace have assumed that both the Israelis and the Palestinians are stupid -- which is not the case, in my opinion. If there are indeed irreconcilable differences, then we can expect at least some influential Israelis and Palestians to have noticed this -- even if the media haven't ! In that context, the simplistic push by the media for quick fixes just strengthens the wishful thinkers on the Israeli Left by giving them ammunition with which to argue for quick-fix, simplistic soluitons which won't work. (This is because the international media tend to analyse each situation into "Good Guys [The Oppressed] versus Bad Guys [Oppressors]", and it is obvious that they have chosen Israel to be the Bad Guy in this conflict.)
It is all very well aiming to create a Palestinian state in Gaza and the Left Bank and getting that State to recognise the State of Israel, but that doesn't even start to provide a solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict -- in some ways, it would make it worse. And I believe that many people in the region know this. Here's why:
It may well be that many Israelis (especially on the Right) may have decided that the only solution is to "tough it out" -- to "keep on keeping on" for years and decades and even centuries, until everyone else in the region, including most of the Palestinians, just accepts that Israel is there to stay, and that the refugees and/or their descendants will never get their land back. Historically speaking, that may well be a realistic point of view. However, Israel is heavily dependent on United States support, and no one knows how long the USA will be the World Superpower that it now is. Once it weakens, as it surely must one day, the hounds will be baying for Israeli blood, so to speak. So a solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict would be in Israel's long-term interest.
The key sticking-point is the land. The Palestinians used to have it, but now they don't have it, and the Israelis do have it. Many centuries ago the Jews did have that land, but others have lived on it both before and after them. I am going to assume that both Israelis and Palestinians have a moral (if not legal) claim to the same land, so the question is how to resolve that difference of opinion.
The proposed solution is to adopt the staged implementation of a Value-Added Approach (VAA).
The author, Peter Douglas Zohrab, has, has had, and intends to have no known Jewish, Israeli, United States, Arab or Muslim funding, affiliations or ancestry of any kind whatsoever.
I have heard an objection to this solution, to which I want to reply: The objection is that you need water to reclaim desert land, and desalination is so expensive that it is only feasible as a way of providing drinking water -- not as a way of providing irrigation. My answer to that is that the United States of America should -- in its own self-interest -- immediately target a huge budget allocation at speeding up research into making desalination cheaper. Once it has developed this technology, it should offer it free, or very cheaply, to Israel and all other desert countries. Apart from helping to solve the Israel-Palestine conflict, this would be an immense public relations and diplomatic coup for the United States in Muslim countries, which are the greatest threat to the USA today. The West is losing the War on Terrorism, so it is time to get real about solutions !
|Peter Douglas Zohrab|
|Last Update||15 March 2004|