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Memo to Obama: Mid-East Peace in 1 Hour or your Money Back


peace dove

Photo Credit: Yori Yanover

(I have an interim suggestion, Mr. President: If you disagree with what I just said, don’t throw your iPad in disgust and walk away. Instead, let’s accept that we have a massive disagreement over this one issue, and return to it a little later. Who knows, maybe you’ll agree with some of the other things I have to say? Thank you…)

MY ONE-STATE SOLUTION

Israel_Emblem

Everyone living inside Israel or Palestine is entitled to his or her human rights: The right to life and liberty, freedom of expression, freedom of movement, and everything else that you and I deserve simply for being a person.

Everyone, Jews and Arabs alike, are also entitled to their civil rights: The right to democratic representation, to vote and to be elected to any municipal and national office. The right to equality before the law, the right against unlawful detention, the right to legal representation, protection from unreasonable search and seizure, freedom of assembly, the right to go on strike.

And everyone is entitled to their communal rights, to be free to pursue their cultural and religious ideals and lifestyle as unique communities within the state.

This last right is extremely important, because the notion that there are two nations living side by side between the Jordan River and the sea is misleading. There are, in fact, dozens, if not hundreds of separate, unique communities, among Arabs and Jews, and several that are neither. Forcing all of them to define themselves as either Jewish or Arab is a recipe for frustration and repression. Permitting all of them to flourish is part of the secret to peace and prosperity.

And the state is Jewish.

JEWS AND ARABS USED TO GET ALONG

Arab and Jew
The sad truth is that from the inception of Jewish resettlement in Israel or Palestine, 150 years ago, nobody was thinking seriously about living side by side in peace and harmony. The Arabs saw the Jewish arrivals as an invasion, pure and simple. European Jews were hardly even aware that there were Arabs living there.

Both communities envisioned a peaceful and prosperous future in which the other side would be expelled from the land for good.

Sure, there were some who considered a life of cooperation between Arabs and Jews, but their voices were often drowned out by the reality of violent skirmishes and a lot of blood.

It’s interesting to note, though, that despite the obvious animosity between Arabs and Jews, the two communities found many areas of cooperation, most notably in business.

The Jews fleeing turbulent Europe brought with them money and resources to create homes and factories, pave roads, grow food. The Arabs from all around the Middle East were drawn to this new prosperity and provided cheap labor for Jewish enterprises.

Nobody was happy, but everybody made out okay.

Just like in New Jersey.

ABOUT VIOLENCE

sweat
I’ll share with you my layman’s opinion on acts of terrorism: they are usually the result of some outside force meddling in local affairs.

In British mandated Palestine, from 1918 to 1948, many forces were trying to influence events, in order to tip things in their favor.

The British government used the tactics of Divide and Conquer in all the lands under its rule. They pitted Hindus against Muslims, Africans against Asians, Whites against Blacks. In Palestine they fed the flames of hatred between Arabs and Jews. It made it easier to control their subjects. They were truly repugnant people.

Then there were the Germans, who supported anti-British and anti-Jewish sentiments among the Arabs and financed terrorist acts wherever the British ruled.

There’s always someone out there willing to pay a bunch of guys to go out and kill people. So that, no matter how prosperous life could have been for Arabs and Jews living side by side in Palestine, there was always someone ready to pay someone else to ruin things.

This continues to be the case, by the way. The players are different: today they’re Americans, Europeans, Russians, Iranians, Saudis and Egyptians; but they’re all involved to some extent in paying someone to go kill people.

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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16 Responses to “Memo to Obama: Mid-East Peace in 1 Hour or your Money Back”

  1. Absalon Romero says:

    Una estrategia inovadora y fundamentada en principios espirituales. Excelente reflexión!

  2. David Willig says:

    And what happens if at the first election, they change their mind and vote to end Democracy? It has happened in other Arab countries. So two amendments to your plan. Any one claiming Israeli citizenship must sign a document to that effect, A list of new Arab citizens will be published once a week.
    Second, all rights EXCEPT the right to vote, which will be phased on over a 50 year period. Ara voting will start at age 68 and go down every year, till 50 years from now it will be age 18 for everyone. Theis will let people get used to Democracy and the benefits of equal rights. Or they are free to leave.

  3. So many errors on first page alone.

    "Back in 1947, the official count was 1.6 million Arabs and 600 thousand Jews. That’s when the first attempt was made to divide the land into two states" That was the SECOND division of the land – Jordan was already created from the Mandate to form an Arab state.

    "When, in 1947, the United Nations of the world decided to give the Jews a homeland in part of Israel or Palestine" Wrong again. The UN voted to END the Mandate – the decision to form a homeland for the Jews was made in 1920 by the San Remo Treaty and not the League of Nations, and placed into formal international law by the League of Nations in 1922. The UN had nothing to do with it.

    The UK did not steal the eastern 3/4 of the Mandate for the Arabs until 1923 not 1921 as stated.

    We did not get along before the Mandate – Jews were subject to pograms and extra taxes, nor did we have any rights. Again you take extreme license with the facts.

    The Arabs that occupy Judea and Samaria have JORDANIAN citizenship. We have a peace treaty with Jordan where they renounced their claim to that territory but left their illegal colonists. International law states that they MUST take them back.

  4. The Jews were brought back to their land by the hand of God. Do not sin against God by trying to give away his land. Without God's blessing no permanent peace will come from that action. Month by month, and week by week. The middle east spins more out of control. Iran continues unwavering on it’s march in the development of nuclear weapons and Assad the dictator of Syria is still in power. Current intelligence seems uncertain of when Iran will get the bomb and Israel cannot afford to gamble with this. Assad of Syria looks like he may be willing to use weapons of mass destruction against his own people and against near by nations as well. If this situation does not drastically change soon for the better, I believe the war in Isaiah Chapter 17 will likely take place. Damascus Syria would be destroyed. The worlds economy would likely collapse as a result and could usher in a one world government movement. I wrote a small 6 page book that outlines what I believe the Bible states will take place soon as well as the potential trends I see at this time. I don’t accept donations and it’s free. It’s a short read. I encourage you to have a look: http://www.booksie.com/religion_and_spirituality/book/richard_b_barnes/after-the-rapture-whats-next.

  5. Gil Gilman says:

    It is difficult to ascertain which dance has the most wishful thinking behind it, yours or the perpetual two-step, but it was an enjoyable read, nonetheless. Regarding any factual errors, let us first inject meaning into the text which was not there to begin with, and then argue with it.

  6. I see the solution. Make Israel a state in the United States like New Jersey.
    Is that what you are suggesting.

  7. Charlie Hall says:

    When did you become a onestater?

  8. Yori Yanover says:

    Always have bee. One Jewish state with equal rights for all.

  9. Nice thought but not very realistic.

  10. Yori Yanover says:

    Harold Pomerantz — You're suggesting that a 2-state solution with settlement removal and half of Jerusalem given back to the Arabs is realistic?

  11. Charlie Hall says:

    How is your proposal different from the one state proposal that the BDSers or the Hadash party propose?

  12. Yori Yanover says:

    What happens if the Arabs of Hoboken decide to vote to stop democracy in New Jersey? There are inherent defenses in the system to stop that. There are special majority requirements for constitutional changes.

    But also, we should include things I didn't mention in the article. A friend of mine sent me this response, which might answer your concern:

    I agree with the general direction of Yori's plan: One Jewish State Solution, With Equal Human, Civil and Communal Rights For All.
    However, there are 3 points without which this state will quickly turn into the PLO model of a "democratic, secular state" dominated by an Arab majority, or even an Islamist Caliphate ruled by Hamas and other radicals.

    1) "Equal Human, Civil and Communal Rights For All" – should clearly exclude any National Rights (or claims), such as self-determination, from all Non-Jews. The exclusive national rights of the Jews in the One State of Isael must be based on the Liberal principle of defending the Jewish minority against the tyranny of the majority in the Middle-East.

    2) A constitutional mechanism should protect the above rights by according the Jewish communities a permanent majority in the Knesset's upper chamber (as per my proposal titled "The Community Democracy") and some practical security safeguards in Jewish hands.

    3) The refugees issue should be resolved through a regional convention, where all claims against Mid-Eastern governments must be discussed – including personal and communal claims of nearly 900,000 Jewish refugees from Arab countries, thousands of refugees from the current civil war in Syria and more.
    Ignoring these points may turn your lovely vision into a dangerous trap.

    Ehud

  13. Noah Farbstein says:

    Yori. your one-state solution looks familiar, and almost appears to be in line with some of Israel's largest detractorsseems including Tony Judt, Virginia Tilley and even the wakko Norman Finkelstein.

    Assuming, as appears recently to be the case, that Jewish population growth actually is far greater than that of the Arabs, Israel should annex all of the so-called "disputed" territories and require allegiance by all citizens, both Arab and Israeli.

    However, if we are in the minority, I don't believe a simple agreement by the Arabs as to the Jewish nature of Israel would suffice, especially under your proposal, as the Arab world (and the Palestinians) never truly has accepted the legitimacy of Israel, in any form, as the Jewish National Homeland. This continues to be demonstrated by the rerfusal of Hamas, the popularly elected government in Gaza, and other radical Islamic fundamentalists, such as Islamic Jihad, to accept Israel’s existence.

    More alarming is your failure to highlight the the nature this one-state alternative that you seem to advocate (what would the new state look like, aside from 'lots of smiles?'). Iin my opinion, under the later scenario, it merely would replace a democratic state with yet another Arab Nation state. Most likely, one that is radically Islamic and at best it would see the subjugation of the Jewish minority, but more likely its cleansing. In fact, one need not look any further than the treatment of Coptics in Egypt, woman and minorities in Gaza, and Israel circa 1920/21, 1929, 1936-1939, etc.

    Further, even Benny Morris, one of Israel’s most well-known historians and an authority on this topic, has reversed course and blames the failure of the peace process on the Palestinians, which he claims do not seek a two-state solution. Instaed, they openly endorse a binational state with an Arab majority (e.g. Sharia Law) in all of the land of Israel.

    In fact, Morris, with whom I fully agree, believes that the Palestinians, including the PLO/PA, never truly accepted a two-state solution (even in the 1990s), as clearly stated in their charter (“…from the river to the sea.”). This might explain why recently they have placed even more restrictive preconditions on negotiations with Israel, such as no construction in Jerusalem on land owned by Israel, and which never was a consideration in previous negotiations.

  14. Noah Farbstein says:

    Yori, your one-state solution looks familiar, and almost appears to be in line with some of Israel's largest detractors, including Tony Judt, Virginia Tilley and even the wakko Norman Finkelstein.

    Assuming, as appears recently to be the case, that Jewish population growth actually is far greater than that of the Arabs, Israel should annex all of the so-called "disputed" territories and require allegiance by all citizens, both Arab and Jew.

    However, if we are in the minority, I don't believe a simple agreement by the Arabs as to the Jewish nature of Israel would suffice, especially under your proposal, as the Arab world (and the Palestinians) never truly has accepted the legitimacy of Israel, in any form, as the Jewish National Homeland. This continues to be demonstrated by the rerfusal of Hamas, the popularly ele…cted government in Gaza, and other radical Islamic fundamentalists, such as Islamic Jihad, to accept Israel’s existence.

    More alarming is your failure to highlight the the nature this one-state alternative that you seem to advocate (what would the new state look like, aside from 'lots of smiles?'). Iin my opinion, under the later scenario, it merely would replace a democratic state with yet another Arab Nation state. Most likely, one that is radically Islamic and at best it would see the subjugation of the Jewish minority, but more likely its cleansing. In fact, one need not look any further than the treatment of Coptics in Egypt, woman and minorities in Gaza, and Israel circa 1920/21, 1929, 1936-1939, etc.

    Further, even Benny Morris, one of Israel’s most well-known historians and an authority on this topic, has reversed course and blames the failure of the peace process on the Palestinians, which he claims do not seek a two-state solution. Instaed, they openly endorse a binational state with an Arab majority (e.g. Sharia Law) in all of the land of Israel.

    In fact, Morris, with whom I fully agree, believes that the Palestinians, including the PLO/PA, never truly accepted a two-state solution (even in the 1990s), as clearly stated in their charter (“…from the river to the sea.”). This might explain why recently they have placed even more restrictive preconditions on negotiations with Israel, such as no construction in Jerusalem on land owned by Israel, and which never was a consideration in previous negotiations.

  15. Noah Farbstein says:

    Yori, your one-state solution looks familiar, and almost appears to be in line with some of Israel's largest detractors, including Tony Judt, Virginia Tilley and even the wakko Norman Finkelstein.

    Assuming, as appears recently to be the case, that Jewish population growth actually is far greater than that of the Arabs, Israel should annex all of the so-called "disputed" territories and require allegiance by all citizens, both Arab and Jew.

    However, if we are in the minority, I don't believe a simple agreement by the Arabs as to the Jewish nature of Israel would suffice, especially under your proposal, as the Arab world (and the Palestinians) never truly has accepted the legitimacy of Israel, in any form, as the Jewish National Homeland. This continues to be demonstrated by the rerfusal of Hamas, the popularly ele…cted government in Gaza, and other radical Islamic fundamentalists, such as Islamic Jihad, to accept Israel’s existence.

    More alarming is your failure to highlight the the nature this one-state alternative that you seem to advocate (what would the new state look like, aside from 'lots of smiles?'). Iin my opinion, under the later scenario, it merely would replace a democratic state with yet another Arab Nation state. Most likely, one that is radically Islamic and at best it would see the subjugation of the Jewish minority, but more likely its cleansing. In fact, one need not look any further than the treatment of Coptics in Egypt, woman and minorities in Gaza, and Israel circa 1920/21, 1929, 1936-1939, etc.

    Further, even Benny Morris, one of Israel’s most well-known historians and an authority on this topic, has reversed course and blames the failure of the peace process on the Palestinians, which he claims do not seek a two-state solution. Instaed, they openly endorse a binational state with an Arab majority (e.g. Sharia Law) in all of the land of Israel.

    In fact, Morris, with whom I fully agree, believes that the Palestinians, including the PLO/PA, never truly accepted a two-state solution (even in the 1990s), as clearly stated in their charter (“…from the river to the sea.”). This might explain why recently they have placed even more restrictive preconditions on negotiations with Israel, such as no construction in Jerusalem on land owned by Israel, and which never was a consideration in previous negotiations.

  16. Noah Farbstein says:

    Yori, your one-state solution looks familiar, and almost appears to be in line with some of Israel's largest detractorsseems including Tony Judt, Virginia Tilley and even the wakko Norman Finkelstein.

    Assuming, as appears recently to be the case, that Jewish population growth actually is far greater than that of the Arabs, Israel should annex all of the so-called "disputed" territories and require allegiance by all citizens, both Arab and Jew.

    However, if we are in the minority, I don't believe a simple agreement by the Arabs as to the Jewish nature of Israel would suffice, especially under your proposal, as the Arab world (and the Palestinians) never truly has accepted the legitimacy of Israel, in any form, as the Jewish National Homeland. This continues to be demonstrated by the rerfusal of Hamas, the popularly ele…cted government in Gaza, and other radical Islamic fundamentalists, such as Islamic Jihad, to accept Israel’s existence.

    More alarming is your failure to highlight the the nature this one-state alternative that you seem to advocate (what would the new state look like, aside from 'lots of smiles?'). Iin my opinion, under the later scenario, it merely would replace a democratic state with yet another Arab Nation state. Most likely, one that is radically Islamic and at best it would see the subjugation of the Jewish minority, but more likely its cleansing. In fact, one need not look any further than the treatment of Coptics in Egypt, woman and minorities in Gaza, and Israel circa 1920/21, 1929, 1936-1939, etc.

    Further, even Benny Morris, one of Israel’s most well-known historians and an authority on this topic, has reversed course and blames the failure of the peace process on the Palestinians, which he claims do not seek a two-state solution. Instaed, they openly endorse a binational state with an Arab majority (e.g. Sharia Law) in all of the land of Israel.

    In fact, Morris, with whom I fully agree, believes that the Palestinians, including the PLO/PA, never truly accepted a two-state solution (even in the 1990s), as clearly stated in their charter (“…from the river to the sea.”). This might explain why recently they have placed even more restrictive preconditions on negotiations with Israel, such as no construction in Jerusalem on land owned by Israel, and which never was a consideration in previous negotiations.

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