Palestine 2011

November 26, 2010 No Comments

BY JEFF HALPER for Middle East Post

Struggling as I have for the past decades to grasp the dynamics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and find ways to get out of this interminable and absolutely superfluous conflict, I have been two-thirds successful. After many years of activism and analysis, I think I have put my finger on the first third of the equation: What is the problem? My answer, which has withstood the test of time and today is so evident that it elicits the response…“duh”…is that all Israeli governments are unwaveringly determined to maintain complete control of Palestine/Israel from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River, frustrating any just and workable solution based on Palestinian claims to self-determination. There will be no negotiated settlement, period.

The second part of the equation – how can the conflict be resolved? – is also easily answerable. I don’t mean entering into the one state/two state conundrum and deciding which option best. Under certain circumstances both could work, and I can think of at least 3-4 other viable options as well, including my favorite, a Middle Eastern economic confederation. The Palestinian think tank Passia published a collection of twelve proposed solutions a few years ago. What I mean is, it is not difficult to identity the essential elements of any solution. They are, in brief,

· A just, workable and lasting peace must be inclusive of the two peoples living in Palestine/Israel;

· Any solution must provide for a national expression of each people, not merely a democratic formula based on one person-one vote;

· It must provide economic viability to all the parties;

· No solution will work that is not based on human rights, international law and UN resolutions.

· The refugee issue, based on the right of return, must be addressed squarely.

· A workable peace must be regional in scope; it cannot be confined merely to Israel/Palestine; and

· A just peace must address the security concerns of all the parties and countries in the region.

These seven elements, I would submit, must configure any just solution. If they are all included, a settlement of the conflict could take many different forms. If, however, even one is missing, no solution will work, no matter how good it looks on paper.

Read the rest of the article on The Middle East Post website.

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