The Palestinian Problem: A Real Solution


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From Israel’s point of view, the “two-state/land for peace” solution to the Palestinian conflict has proven to be a long, drawn out failure that should have been abandoned long ago. It is only because many prominent political figures have foolishly mortgaged their personal and professional prestige in the name of this unworkable position that it manages to remain a live option – to the grave detriment of Israelis and Palestinians alike.

Any dispassionate evaluation of the events of the past two decades invariably leads one to accept the following conclusion: that the Palestinians seem far more focused on annulling Jewish political independence than attaining Palestinian political independence. That is to say, Palestinians are far more committed to the deconstruction of the Jewish State than to construction of a Palestinian one.

However, no matter how convincingly one can show that the Palestinians as a national entity have failed to create their own national destiny, a stark reality remains: there are hundreds of thousands of essentially disenfranchised Palestinian families residing both in Israeli territory and in the wider Arab world.

Addressing this situation requires a comprehensive solution comprised of three constituent elements, all eminently consistent with liberal political doctrine. Two involve eliminating discriminatory practices against the Palestinians as refugees and as residents in Arab countries. The third involves facilitating free choice for individual Palestinians to determine their own future.

Eliminating the UNRWA

As Daniel Pipes has pointed out, the persistence and scale of the Palestinian refugee problem is, to a large degree, an artificial construct. The UN body under whose auspices all the refugees on the face of the globe fall — except for the Palestinians — is the UN Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). A separate institution exists for the Palestinians — the United Nations Relief and Works Agency. UNHCR and UNRWA have widely different definitions for the term “refugee” and widely divergent mandates for dealing with them.

According to the High Commission’s definition, the number of refuges decreases over time, while according to the UNRWA definition, the number increases. This “definition disparity” brings about an astonishing situation: If the High Commission criterion was applied to the Palestinians, the number of refugees would shrink dramatically to around 200,000 – i.e., less than 5 percent of the current number of almost 5 million according to the UNRWA definition.

Moreover, while the mandate of the UNHCR permits the body to seek permanent solutions for refugees under its auspices, UNRWA is permitted only to provide ongoing humanitarian aid for the ever-increasing population of Palestinians. Accordingly, while UNHCR operates to dissipate the problems of the refugees under its auspices, UNRWA activities serve only to prolong their refugee status and thus, their predicament. Indeed, rather than reduce the dimensions of the refugee problem, UNRWA has actually functioned to perpetuate the refugee status of the Palestinians from one generation to the next. It has create an enduring and expanding culture of dependency, while cultivating an unrealistic fantasy of returning to a home that no longer exists.

As long as the Palestinian refugee problem continues to be treated in what former Congressman Tom Lantos called “this privileged and prolonged manner” it will never be resolved. Accordingly, the first step toward the resolution of the Palestinian refugee problem must be the abolition of UNRWA and the transfer of responsibility for the matter to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. This move will facilitate the gradual tapering off of support for what should be a decreasing Palestinian refugee population.

Eliminating Arab Discrimination against Palestinians

Throughout the Arab world, the Palestinians are subject to blatant discrimination with regard to employment opportunities, property ownership, freedom of movement, and acquisition of citizenship. For example, Saudi Arabia in 2004 announced it was introducing measures to ease the attainment of Saudi citizenship for all foreigners who were residing in the country except Palestinians, half a million of whom live in the kingdom.

Similar policies of discrimination are prevalent in other Arab states. A 2004 Los Angeles Times report painted a grim picture of the life Palestinians are forced to endure among the Arab “brethren.” According to the report, Palestinians in Egypt suffer restrictions on employment, education, and owning property, and when Egypt announced in 2003 that it would grant nationality to children of Egyptian mothers married to foreigners, Palestinians were excluded. In Lebanon, meanwhile, nearly 400,000 Palestinians live in 12 “refugee camps,” where crime is rife and clashes between rival Palestinian factions are common. Palestinians cannot own property or get state health care. According to Tayseer Nasrallah, head of the Palestinian Refugee Rights Committee in the West Bank, Lebanon bans refugees from 72 areas of employment, including medicine and engineering. Syria, with a population of 18 million, is a strong verbal supporter of the Palestinian cause, but refuses citizenship to its 410,000 Palestinian refugees. Even in Jordan, where Palestinians comprise nearly 70% of the population, Palestinians complain that they are discriminated against in terms of employment.

When approached on this issue of discrimination against the Palestinian residents in Arab countries, Hisham Youssef, spokesman for the 22-nation Arab League, openly acknowledged that Palestinians live “in very bad conditions,” but claimed the policy is meant “to preserve their Palestinian identity.” He went on to explain with perhaps unintended candor: “If every Palestinian who sought refuge in a certain country was integrated and accommodated into that country, there won’t be any reason for them to return to Palestine.”

But according to a survey conducted by the well-known Palestinian pollster, Dr. Khalil Shikaki, most Palestinians were less interested in being nationalist standard-bearers than in living fuller lives. This view resonates strongly with opinion samples gathered by the leading Arab television stations Al-Arabiya and Al Jazeera of Palestinians living in the various Arab states, the vast majority of whom very much want to become citizens in the their respective countries of residence.

This clearly seems to indicate that Palestinian national identity is something more jealously guarded by non-Palestinian Arabs rather than the Palestinians themselves.

It is only the United Nations Relief and Works Agency that allows the Arab countries to continue to keep the Palestinians within their borders in their situation of suspended stateless animation. For while its mandate prevents finding a permanent solution for the Palestinian residents in these countries, it is the ongoing humanitarian aid that it provides for an ever-increasing client population that permits the host governments to sustain their discriminatory policy toward their Palestinian “guests,” to perpetuate their inferior status, and to allow their situation to languish and fester.

Allowing Individual Palestinians the Exercise of Free Will

If the first two elements of the proposed solution — abolishing the UNRWA and attacking the discrimination Palestinian émigrés suffer in other Arab countries — are directed mainly toward easing the plight the Palestinians living outside the West Bank and Gaza, a third element is aimed directly and exclusively at those living inside these areas.

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  • Terry

    I've been saying this for years. I remember being asked by one of my left wing friends where I was planning to build the gas chambers!!! Yet this is an obvious solution to a problem that otherwise has no solution. It is clear that the Jew hating left and the PA 'leadership' only want to destroy Israel. They are not in the least interested in 'Palestinian' statehood. If they were they'd have accepted it many years ago.

    So the arabs calling themselves palestinians need a reason to cease to live this charade and get on with their lives. Pay them to go. They will never be a viable state, not least because they don't even want to be a viable state. Their leaders' mission is destruction, not not nation building. Call an end to this farce and solve the problem once and for all with individual arabs calling themsleves palestinians.

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/garyrumain Gary Rumain

      Historically, Arabs are land thieves. They won't leave because they see any land they've once occupied as theirs. Consider their ranting about al-andalus (Spain). They still want that back. The only real solution is to force them out and keep them out.

      • s norby

        Sounds like toddlers:

        The Toddlers Creed
        by Dr. Burton L. White

        If I want it,
        IT'S MINE!

        If I give it to you and change my mind later,
        IT'S MINE!

        If I can take it away from you,
        IT'S MINE!

        If it's mine it will never belong to anybody else,
        No matter what.
        If we are building something together,
        All the pieces are mine!

        If it looks just like mine,
        IT'S MINE!

        If it breaks or needs putting away,
        IT'S YOURS!

      • Viiit

        Gary,
        You are right. However it is also true that ALL nations are land thieves.
        We all came out of Africa and then stole the land, and stole it again and again and again.
        It is time for us to realize that strong wins, and weak loses. Time to stop moralizing and to get strong. This is how nature works, this is how humanity works, too. The only difference is that we cover our natural behaviors with pretense of "morality".
        Now morality is good for deceiving enemies, but it is deadly if we deceive ourselves.
        Arabs are primitive and therefore can easily see through our deception, on the other hand Jews are very cultured and they get caught it their own pretense and are at the risk of paying for this idiocy with their national existence. Perhaps even with total extermination.
        Being nice, is for the cameras, only.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/ObamaYoMoma ObamaYoMoma

    You can’t simply ignore Islam and hope to solve anything in the Islamic world, as Islam is central to everything that goes on over there. The writer of this article would do well to consider the permanency of the jihad being waged against Israel. The goal of the jihad is the ultimate destruction of the Jewish infidel state and not the creation of a Palestinian state. Hence, any Palestinian state created would not result in peace because it would only be a stepping-stone to the achievement of that ultimate goal, or if the author’s proposals were to be put into affect; it still would not stop the Dar al Islam from continuing to pursue their perpetual genocidal jihad against the Jewish state. I mean Hezbollah would not simply go away, Iran would not all of a sudden stop trying to destroy the Jewish state, the Saudis would never stop funding jihad behind the scenes, and Hamas would never stop trying to destroy Israel.

    Hence, any solution will have to be comprehensive in that it should involve not only just the Dar al Islam’s proxies, the so-called Palestinians, but indeed the entire Dar al Islam itself, and in that regard anything less than destroying the regimes responsible for financing and funding the global jihad, confiscating their enormous oil wealth and oil assets, and rendering them into abject poverty and isolation, is destined to fail.

  • JK21

    The artificial efforts to create a viable Palestinian state may be one of the world's greatest historical contradictions and political embarrassments. In reality, there is really only one state on the planet that truly wants a viable Palestine: Israel. It is apparently the only state that would benefit directly.

    Yet it's ironically the only state that is attacked by both the Palestinians, its Arab neighbors, the UK, and other historical enemies. Enemies of the philosophy of Israel, its significance to humanity, today's and of ancient times, are the true target. Its enemies use Palestine as a tool, part of a ruse to feign concern for Palestinians simply to undermine Israel, the cradle and creator of civilized Law without slavery.

    The UN is more conducive to disuniting those nations, than uniting them. The curtain hiding the wizards of disunity has been open for 40 years. The facade is down and the gambit is over, and the phony flotillas aimed at incitement and provocation, not peace, are exposed. The choice of life over martyrdom is up to the Palestinians.

  • suzanne

    Of course there should be world pressure to end the so called "Palestinian refugee crisis". They are kept cynically in their jails because the Arabs know full well that the world will blame their suffering on the Jews and not on them. It is about as sick as it gets. I wouldn't trust the UN to handle anything concerning the fate of these "Palestinians" though.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/AL__ AL__
  • antiterror9

    I've got to tell you all something: Proposing solutions is always nice… except there is one little problem. The ones who call themselves "Palestinians" are…
    1) Artificially made, as most of them were Jordanians prior to 1967 (yes, with some Lebanese, Syrians and Egyptians) but have never been declared or recognized as "Palestinians" – it was only after Israel won in 1967 that all of the sudden the appeared. They are only a TOOL that serves radical Islam, along with many jobs and corruption at the UN. PURE and SIMPLE.
    2) Pathological Liars – They have never desired and will not sign a peace treaty with Israel, ever. I am AMAZED how everyone is so blindfolded on this. They had NUMEROUS opportunities to end the conflict, topping with prime minister Barak, who was even willing to divide Jerusalem for crying out loud. They did not take the deal because peace WITH ISRAEL is not their goal. It is rather the DESTRUCTION of Israel that they are after and will use any excuse and any mean to move forward in that direction only.
    3) A political tool for Islam in the middle east – why what's easier than taking this tiny little country called Israel and scapegoat it all you can? I am also afraid that this political tool is becoming a world problem… just look at countries like the UK, Denmark, Holland, Sweden, France and see what they have become – Greenhouses for Radical Islam.

    • Hugo

      The Israelis are the warlords and the liars. It is not their land and it has never been their land. They are for the most part Eastern European converted Ashkenazim Jews who cannot trace their origins to Palestine but mostly to Russia, Poland etc. They even have an autonomous Jewish region in Russia called "Birobidzhan"- why don`t they go there?
      Israel is the odd one out-the Ashkenazim should all leave Israel and leave the country to the real Sephardi Jews and the Palestinians.

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/MixMChess MixMChess

        Hugo, you're an idiot peddling the old antisemitic Khazar hoax. Ashkenazi Jews genetically share more similarities with Sephardic Jews than they do with Europeans (especially Russians and Polish). In fact genetics can trace all Jews (Ashkenazi, Sephardim and others) back to common ancestors from the land of Israel.

        In fact, the so-called Palestinians are newer to the area than most of the original European Zionists. Arabs moved to the region for economic opportunities in the early 20th century after Jews made the land viable and raised the standard of living.

        • Hugo

          There is no truth in what you write. In fact the Ashkenazim Jews who have common sense and know they are European and know their history are against Israel.
          The hoax is that the Ashkenazim have been told by their own that their genes are in common with the Sephardi Jews.

          • http://intensedebate.com/people/MixMChess MixMChess

            Hugo, you're still an idiot… Genetics and history back up my facts. What facts back up yours? Pali-Nazi propaganda?

            The biggest hoax in the past century has been the idea of "Palestinian" nationalism. Its a fabrication, invented out of thin air. You may as well believe in Scientology or some other made up culture.

  • Viiit

    There is a solution that very few people think of.
    De-Arabize Middle East.
    Psychologically people need to identify with something greater than themselves.
    This days, nations take on this role, more than religions. Islam may be lagging behind, but it can be transformed, just like Christianity was. (People used to think of themselves as Christians before let's say Austrian, or Italian.)

    People in Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, and North Africa need to be told that they are not Arabs. Rather they are Arab occupied ancient nations.
    Lebanese can be convinced that they are not Arabs, but Phoenicians. Egyptians can be proud of their ancient past. Syrians ancient people and ancient culture, too. Damascus is older than Hebron. Moroccans and Algerians are Berbers who have been colonized and forcibly Arabized by the Muslim hordes. Iraqis are ancient Babylonians. Of course Iran has a high culture for over 1000 years before it was conquered by the Muslim barbarians.

    I have tried this approach with some "Arabs" and it really works. A Lebanese "Arab" young man, was very excited when I told hem that he was a part of a very highly cultured ancient Phoenician. Moroccans and Algerians actually know that they are Berbers. Etc.
    Many Iranians see themselves as occupied courtly and see Islam as Arab colonialist/imperialist ideology.

  • Bill Ford

    This is not a new solution nor will it work. Jordan was created to be the warehouse for all disaffected Muslim refugees and their offspring. It is a pipe dream to think the world or Muslims will ever permit this to happen. No way. The war is spiritual. It is between Satan and allah verses God of Abraham, His Promise, His Land and His People and their Covenant with Him.

  • Ashfaq aziz

    we want peace for palestine !!!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/MixMChess MixMChess

      You want peace for a make believe country with a fabricated culture?

  • http://www.jordanispalestine.blogspot.com david singer

    Such a proposed compensation initiative coupled with a division of sovereignty of the West Bank between Jordan and Israel would afford displaced refugees the choice to apply for resettlement within the newly expanded borders of Jordan. The resultant financial infusion coming from Jordan's acceptance of such immigrants would be of great assistance to Jordan's economy. There would be the added benefits of family reunion and the reunification of the Arab populations on both sides of the Jordan River as existed between 1948-1967.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/MixMChess MixMChess

      What I don't understand is why do we need to create another undemocratic Islamo-facist country? I am not at all opposed to a Palestinian state but there need to be certain prereuqisites for its establishment, such as civil rights for its citizens, secularism (as there is in Israel and the rest of the west), pre-approved peace with its neighbors and it cannot be Judenrein!

  • -ss-

    heil hitler=-)

  • Mark Bernadiner

    The problem is very simple: arabs, including palestinians, EU and UN are not interested in saving Israel, but quire opposite.

    UN, including Secretary Generals KOFI ANNAN AND BAN KI MOON, UNHRC Chair Navi Pillay, and EU MKs, later including CATHERINE ASHTON, HIGH REPRESENTATIVE OF THE UNION FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND SECURITY POLICY started to design a plan to destroy Israel during the second Lebanon war. They pushed Israel into 'cease fire" trap to save Hezbullar from total defeat and thereafter helped Hezbullah to rearm with advanced Iranian weapons under UNIFIL protection. The same tactic with the same objective UN and EU used against Israel during war on Hamas. Now UN and EU are implementing a strategy to arm Hamas to the teeth with Iranian weapons. In addition, UN is developing a strategy to disarm Israel through so called initiative “Nuclear Free ME”, to oppress Israel legally through fraudulent “independent” investigations of “war crimes”, such as Goldstone and Co. fake and false investigation and currently planning Flotilla investigation.

  • David Tsal

    Here is what matters to me:

    1. Are Jews being killed (as in 2000-2001)?
    2. Are Jews being expelled (as in 2005)?
    3. Are Jews being bombed, shelled, etc?
    4. Are Jews about to be killed, expelled, bombed, shelled, etc?

    If not, things are good. If yes, things are bad.

    Negotiations and breakthroughs do not matter, as long as they don't effect these four things.

    Two state solution would result in killing, expulsion, bombing, shelling, etc. Therefore, it is bad.

    I think this is the sane attitude. I think ignoring lives and deaths of people or sacrificing them on the altar of negotiations, breakthroughs, solutions or change is sheer madness.

    As for the "essentially disenfranchised Palestinian families residing both in Israeli territory and in the wider Arab world" – I don't give a damn.

    There is already too much love for them, and too little for Jews. Let the rest of the world love them and their murderous ways. When the world starts seeing Jews as human beings, I might change my attitude.

  • Well…

    Lol @ the Man above me (Mr.David Tsal)…. But before i post my comment iam [A] one comment person on this board so read my words or leave it before you flame.

    1. Are Jews being killed (as in 2000-2001)?
    2. Are Jews being expelled (as in 2005)?
    3. Are Jews being bombed, shelled, etc?
    4. Are Jews about to be killed, expelled, bombed, shelled, etc?

    If not, things are good. If yes, things are bad.

    These words fail much …. You mean Do Palestinians get bombed, shelled ….etc?
    Do you even read newspapers? and compare how much Palestinians and how many jews die? or need some videos? do you see how they die and randomly die and how jews infiltrated this country ? Better watch The Arrivals.

    and oh "When the world starts seeing Jews as human beings, I might change my attitude. " They wont see them like you want until they stop bombarding Palest. and act themselves like human and then we call them humans… Its like telling us stop calling dogs ..dogs and call them humans.. let them act as humans and we will call them when they have a brain.

    Thx for reading and hope you will just read it like a 18+ and not yell back "Your dumb….Answers me " Remember I am here for only one comment.

    Iam not from Palest.
    Regards.

  • ajnn

    How does this punish the jews?

    It is international zionism that is the problem. Why not pay the jews to leave israel?

    [without accounring for jew-hatred as a motivation for anti-zionism this plan will be impossible to implement.]

  • New Yorker

    Israel is Jewish by definition. Whoever does not like it may pack up and leave. There are plenty of arab countries around with no Jews or Zionists in them to be-spoil the muslim paradise. Whoever is not happy with living in the one and only Jewish state is free to move out into one of the many Jew-cleansed ones – and stay happy.

  • Viiit

    Hahaha,
    People gave you thumb down because they did not get the sarcasm.