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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 11/29/12

Simple Solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

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Message Joseph Chamie
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The Israelis and Palestinians have been involved in more than six decades of conflict. Although much of the international community wish to see an end to this tragic struggle, hopes for a peaceful resolution in the near future appear remote. However, a number of simple solutions to resolve the conflict have unfortunately been overlooked.


First, Palestinians could convert to Judaism. This conversion has many benefits, including the return of Jewish-Palestinian refugees to their lands and homes, a sizeable increase in the Israel's Jewish population and a unified Jewish nation covering all the land of Eretz Yisrael. Of course, Jewish Israelis could convert to Islam -- or, if they prefer, to Christianity. These moves would have the corresponding benefits to a unified Palestinian nation.


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A second simple solution, which avoids religious conversion, is to bar official religious identification and limit its public display. This would create a secular nation with equal standing for Christians, Jews, Muslims and others. As is the case in many Western nations, religious identification would have no official role in government affairs and not collected in administrative records.


Third, Jewish Israelis - many already having US passports - could migrate en masse to American cities, such as New York or Los Angeles. This migration would not only resolve the conflict, but would strengthen the American Jewish community. It would also save American taxpayers billions in foreign aid and provide seasoned Israeli politicians to the Democratic and Republican parties.

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Alternatively, of course, the Palestinians could settle permanently in any one of the nearly two dozen countries belonging to the Arab League, especially those seeking migrants such as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. This resettlement would enrich those societies as well as free up the West Bank and Gaza for Jewish Israeli settlements.


Fourth, since the United Nations partition didn't work out as originally planned, the British Mandate in Palestine could be reestablished. Israelis and Palestinians might not be enthusiastic about the return of the British Mandate. Yet, its clear advantage is that it would provide a clean slate to devise a new and improved partition plan that avoids past mistakes.


The fifth possible simple solution, and perhaps the most straightforward, is we ignore the Israelis and Palestinians, say for a period of 25 years and hope for the best. We simply leave them totally alone, something like a time-out for quarreling kids. After 25 years, we check on them and see how things are going. Maybe they'll surprise us.

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Of course, it's possible that religious conversion, emigration, separating church and state, reestablishing the British Mandate or totally ignoring them for 25 years will not be embraced by the Israelis and Palestinians. If that turns out to be the case, then what are left are "not-so-simple" solutions.


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Joseph Chamie has recently stepped down as Research Director at the Center for Migration Studies, New York and Editor of the International Migration Review. Formerly, he was the Director of the United Nations Population Division. He had been with (more...)
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Simple Solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict