Israel and Palestine – 1

When it comes to the issue of Israel and Palestine, it is amazing that both sides are so stubborn and just cannot see the bigger picture.

We have Israel on the one hand building the illegal settlements in the West Bank, which cost a huge amount to protect; treating Palestinians who have to work in Israel with no dignity; and politics controlled by a small extreme Jewish party.  The current Prime Minister does not appear to really want peace – he is only concerned about Israel’s expansion.

Then you have the Palestinians, some of whom do not recognise the State of Israel, and who seek to antagonise the Israelis through their bombs and suicide attacks.  The West Bank Palestinians do not trust the Gaza Palestinians and vice versa.  Although many of the Arab states support the Palestinian ‘struggle’, they are not really interested – it is all about getting rid of Israel.  (In Kuwait, the Palestinians are non-citizens and have very few rights.)  In Jordan, where there are many Palestinian refugees, other Arab countries are not prepared to take them, nor help fund their care.

One feels like banging their heads together as they are acting like children.

A possible solution is move all the Palestinians from the Gaza Strip into the West Bank, and all the Israelis in the West Bank to move to the Gaza Strip.  The Israelis will need to help finance the development of the West Bank, installing irrigation systems and other infrastructure.  And then there also needs to be the recognition of the State of Israel by the Arabs, especially the Palestinians.  Israel should keep the Golan Heights for security reasons.  By moving the Palestinians from the Gaza Strip will also give Israel assurances that arms cannot be delivered to Hamas and help them control the border with Egypt, especially with Islamic State and Al-Qaeda operations in that area.

To make this happen, both sides need a mediation partner who is not from the West, Russia or China.  A possible candidate could be India, which has strong links to the West and Russia, in terms of getting grants to support the development of the West Bank, along with Israel.  There is also a requirement to find a way to develop strong trading ties so as to give the West Bank a stable economy and the less likelihood of unemployed people becoming radicalised.

The issue of Jerusalem should be seen as a separate issue.  I personally feel that Israel’s capital should be Jerusalem, but at the same time because Moslems also see Jerusalem as the Palestinian state capital (for religious reasons – same as the Jews), one could extend the city, by building it so that it forms part of the main city but houses Palestine’s parliament buildings and become the main border between the two countries.

After the success of the mediation, then the West needs to encourage Israel to dispose of its nuclear weapons as part of an international  ban throughout the world.  Therefore, Pakistan, India, Russia, France, Iran, the UK and the USA will need to come together to agree to destroy their nuclear weapons and find a way to stop North Korea from developing them, to help make the world a bit safer place to live.