Last week, I went to a bar on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and
by chance, ended up, pitching the Turkish UN Foreign Relations Delegation, on a
novel solution to solving the Middle East crisis between Palestine and Israel.
I asked the Turkish undersecretary, whom I met there while having a beer, what is the real issue at the heart of the Palestinian crisis? Land, he said. Correct, so let's make more land, I said. How do we do that you may ask? Is the Dead Sea really dead? Yes, it supports no life, his assistant replied. So, why not fill it in and create the world's first Nation from scratch -- perhaps call it "New Palestine"?
Before you scoff at the idea, please consider the following facts. The Dead Sea is roughly 60% larger than the Gaza Strip. It has a natural water source to support the new country: the Jordan River. From a hydro-engineering standpoint, the Dead Sea can give life to a new country easily. After all, Dubai is spending Billions building a new island city just as the Turkish delegation and I sat on an old one pondering the possibilities. Money and engineering is not the problem; our way of looking at it is.
Certainly, the recent United Nations pledge of $5.2 Billion is not enough to rebuild Gaza (it is a futile attempt at best -- no mater how well-intentioned) -- when it's only a matter of time before it is destroyed again. Most agree, that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the very definition of insanity. Instead, why not take a small portion of the money being spent to perpetuate war and build a sustained peace that simply starts from a new idea.
Currently, The Middle East peace process is as dead as the Dead Sea. Undoubtedly, it will take an entirely new level of thinking to solve this pressing issue. Albert Einstein signed the Bertrand Russell-Albert Einstein Manifesto' in 1959 right before his death, which stated, "We have to learn to think in a new way. We have to learn to ask ourselves, not what steps can be taken to give military victory to whatever group we prefer, for there no longer are such steps; the question we have to ask ourselves is: what steps can be taken to prevent a military contest of which the issue must be disastrous to all parties?"When it comes to Gaza, for the peace process to finally succeed, we must create an entirely new state-of-mind to frame and solve the problem. Which is: build a new nation/state worth its salt. In this case of geopolitics, three is the magic number not two.