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Friday, November 10, 2006

The elephant in the living room of the 'Palestinian state'

At IsraelInsider, former litigator David Naggar points out the flawed reasoning behind the attempts to create a 'Palestinian state':
The international consensus solution, two States -- one Israeli and the other Palestinian within the confines of Israel, Gaza and the West Bank -- is based on fatally flawed assumptions. Even if two such States could be delineated by fiat, doing so would not produce a lasting peace. Neither State would be viable. And with ever advancing technology, and ever more powerful arsenals, it should be clear that failure to achieve true peace may eventually lead to a much wider and more lethal war.

Therefore, the assumptions underlying these international proposals must be revisited. The problem must be considered anew. A better approach to a sustainable peace must be found and pursued.

World leaders must first be educated to the improbability of establishing a successful Palestinian State in the limited space allocated to it. A RAND Corporation study suggests that to have even a chance of success, such a Palestinian State would require $33 billion of aid over 10 years, $50 billion of aid through 2019, and access to Israel's labor market. This approach is fantasy. Pursuing it will endanger the lives of some, and ruin the lives of many.

World leaders must also be re-educated to the fact that Israel's primary predicament -- its security risk -- is based on the long-standing Arab/Muslim-Israeli conflict, not an Israel-Palestinian one. In other words, the establishment of a tiny Palestinian State by itself won't end Israel's security risk. Iranian and Hezbollah actions are helping to make this point clear. Less appreciated is that the Muslim Brotherhood would come to power in Egypt and Syria if there were fair elections held in those countries today.

Finally, world leaders must then be persuaded to give weight to the fact that security is not Israel's only predicament. Israel may have the nuclear weapons capability to blow up many who hate it, but to exist as a healthy nation -- to be a viable State -- Israel's security and well being, including social, political, and economic needs must be unassailable.

Viability is hard to precisely define. It is a concept that is best examined holistically because each State has its own unique circumstances.

In its pre-1967 borders, Israel's long-term viability is suspect because 1) it is not self-reliant, needing to be annually subsidized by American foreign aid and the monetary support of Diaspora Jews, 2) it does not have adequate water or energy resources, needing to import both, 3) the quality of life of its citizens is brutal below the surface, notwithstanding the availability of material goods made possible by a subsidized economy. Israelis live in a pressure cooker imposed by its enemies; one that takes an unhealthy emotional toll, 4) it does not have adequate territory to allow for natural population growth, 5) it does not have permeable borders to support economic activity. It faces unfriendly neighbors, and must bypass its neighbors to openly trade, and, 6) it faces borders that cannot be easily secured because it does not have adequate territory to properly defend those borders.
Read it all.


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