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"dual state" solution to Israel/Palestine conflict - an alternative to the one-state or two-state proposals; FYI

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  • David Crockett Williams
    Article advocating a dual state solution to the Israel/Palestine conflict - an alternative to the one-state or two-state proposals Superimposing a Solution
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 1, 2006
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      Article advocating a "dual state" solution to the
      Israel/Palestine conflict - an alternative to
      the one-state or two-state proposals

      Superimposing a Solution [for Israel-Palestine problem]
      By Mathias Mossberg
      Posted June 27, 2006

      Mathias Mossberg is vice president for programs at the
      EastWest Institute. He served as Sweden's ambassador to
      Morocco from 1994 to 1996.

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Encounter-EMEM@yahoogroups.com
      On Behalf Of Elana Wesley
      Sent: Thursday, June 29, 2006 7:15 AM
      To: Encounter-EMEM for international Israel-Palestine peace activities
      Subject: [EMEM] Superimposing a Solution [Article advocating a "dual state"
      solution to the Israel/Palestine conflict - an alternative to the one-state
      or two-state proposals; FYI]

      This idea has no chance because it would serve the interests
      of all those who lived here, Palestinians, Jewish Israelis,
      and others. That's not what the Israeli authorities want at
      all. They want all the land and none of the Palestinians or
      as close to that as possible. Now which is the better idea?
      How do we convince the politicians?
      - E

      From: Sam Bahour [mailto:sbahour@...]
      Sent: Thursday, June 29, 2006 5:09 AM
      To: epalestine@...


      Subject: [ePalestine] Superimposing a Solution

      Dear friends,

      As the sky falls in on the Palestinians, AGAIN, below is a
      refreshing, out-of-the-box analysis from a good friend of
      mine, Mathias. He is well connected in both Israeli and US
      networks, so I hope his words will be seriously considered.

      I must mention here a past article from an Israeli friend
      that I passed around several years ago. It is in the same
      vein as this one, and deserves to be seriously considered
      given Israel is proving once again, it cannot deal with a 2
      state solution by fully ending the occupation.


      Looking beyond today's news,


      Superimposing a Solution

      By Mathias Mossberg

      Posted June 27, 2006

      What if Israelis and Palestinians forgot about borders and
      security fences? What if the long and bloody road to
      creating a two-state solution was abandoned in favor of a
      new concept of statehood? It's called a "dual state," and
      it's more realistic than you may think.

      For more than half a century, Israelis and Palestinians have
      been fighting over the same tracts of earth. Numerous
      proposals for dividing the land have come and gone, and none
      has proved workable. Israel's most recent effort to end the
      territorial stalemate by pulling out of Gaza and dismantling
      some of the West Bank settlements has drawn criticism for
      being too little, too late. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud
      Olmert has outlined plans to finalize the country's
      boundaries by 2010, but as long as the Palestinians demand a
      return to the 1967 borders, few expect the deadlock to be
      resolved. With Hamas unlikely to meet conditions for talks
      and the controversial Israeli security barrier still under
      construction, a peaceful and mutually agreed-upon two-state
      solution remains elusive.

      But in today's world, control of geographic territory
      doesn't mean as much as it once did. Statehood has become
      less about territory, and more about access to markets,
      technology, and the rule of law. What if the Israelis and
      Palestinians were able to separate somehow the concepts of
      statehood and territory and explore new ways of living
      together? What if both peoples were given the right - at least
      in principle - to settle in the whole area between the
      Mediterranean and Jordan?

      I'll admit that it might not be the easiest thing to
      imagine. When we think about states, we naturally think
      about borders-real, specific, definable borders that you can
      plot on a map. What I have in mind is utterly different, and
      no doubt somewhat far-fetched. (That said, given the failure
      of all the "realistic" solutions of the past 50 years,
      forgive me for suggesting it may be time to consider other

      You might call it a "dual state." Instead of the familiar
      formula in which two states exist side by side, Israel and
      Palestine would be two states superimposed on top of one
      another. Citizens could freely choose which system to belong
      to. Their citizenship would be bound not to territory, but
      to choice. The Israeli state would remain a homeland for
      Jews, and at the same time, become a place in which
      Palestinians were able to live freely.

      This basic administrative structure has worked elsewhere,
      for example, in the cantons of Switzerland. There, people of
      different origins and beliefs, speaking different languages
      and with different allegiances, live together side by side.
      In the Israel-Palestine dual state, smaller territorial
      units could be given the right to choose which state to
      belong to, based on a majority vote. At the same time,
      individuals will be able to choose citizenship for
      themselves, regardless of where they live. A person living
      in a canton that has opted to belong to Palestine could
      continue to be a citizen of Israel and vice versa.

      An Israeli and a Palestinian living side by side in, say, an
      Israeli-administered area would share many of the same
      rights and live by many of the same laws. They would both be
      free to move about within the area now occupied by Israel
      and the territories. They would share a common currency,
      participate in the same labor market, and contribute common
      taxes for a number of shared services. Civil disputes could
      be settled by independently appointed arbitrators. Parents
      would be free to send children to the schools of their
      choice, and government funding for education could be
      allocated on a proportional basis. Neighbors would vote for
      separate leaders in separate elections, but these elected
      representatives would harmonize legislation on a number of
      matters, such as traffic laws, taxation, and criminal law.

      There would be no need for security fences or barriers, no
      need for corridors or safe passages, and no need for
      checkpoints. A joint defense force could secure the borders,
      and a joint customs service could ensure one economic space.
      Both states could keep their national symbols, their
      governments, and their foreign representation. Local affairs
      would be dealt with by canton administrators on a majority
      basis, while individual human rights and freedoms could be
      guaranteed by the two states in cooperation.

      It is not difficult to imagine a Jewish-majority area
      consisting largely of present-day Israel, plus a number of
      major settlements. That area would be under Israeli
      jurisdiction but remain open to Palestinians who wish to
      live under Palestinian jurisdiction. Similarly, one can
      imagine a core Palestinian area, consisting of the West Bank
      and Gaza, and perhaps even parts of Israel where Israeli
      Arabs are the predominant population. The whole of this area
      would also be open to Jews living under Israeli law.
      Jerusalem could be subject to the same principle. The
      demographics of neighborhoods would not change overnight -
      for example, the divisions between East and West Jerusalem would
      linger for some time-but there would at least be the
      opportunity for people to move and live freely.

      To be sure, the road to such a "dual-state" solution would
      create its own challenges. But, to a large extent, it could
      build on present realities and proceed one step at a time.
      Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank, accompanied by the
      development of credible and lasting Palestinian
      institutions, could ignite the process. At some point,
      direct talks about shared economic, civil, and defense
      responsibilities could begin to build the architecture for
      this new type of state.

      Again, is this proposal completely unrealistic? Perhaps.
      But present realities are far from sane and sound. There is a
      crucial need for new thinking if the peace process is to
      take root. Perhaps by re-envisioning how statehood can exist
      outside the traditional notions of who owns what strip of
      land, Israel and the occupied territories can produce the
      first modern embodiment of the globalized state, where the
      intangibles of the 21st century can solve the most
      intractable territorial conflicts of the 20th century.
      Such a state would be an innovation in world politics,
      international law, and constitutional design. But it would
      in many ways be a codification of the new world in which we
      already live, where our lives are no longer tied to the land
      in the same way they once were. For Israelis and
      Palestinians, forgetting about the land may be the only way
      they both will ever be able to live on it.

      Mathias Mossberg is vice president for programs at the
      EastWest Institute. He served as Sweden's ambassador to
      Morocco from 1994 to 1996.


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      ----------end fwd post

      David Crockett Williams

      Initiator, Rainbow Uprising Campaign

      Global Emergency Alert Response 2000
      7/1/2006 9:54 PM PDT
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