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Comment on "A Better Alternative..."

Reader comment on item: Romney's Remarkable Speech in Jerusalem
in response to reader comment: A Better Alternative For Israelis and Palestinians

Submitted by Sigmund Derman (United States), Aug 16, 2012 at 12:43

I like the idea of buying more land. This would enlarge the pie that various powers are trying to divide. But I do not like the idea of a political confederation (at present) and I do not see that as a necessary part of any solution. Without getting into invidious comparisons, there really is a huge difference between Israeli "culture" and Palestinian "culture." Why attempt to force those together? In fact, I wouldn't give much of a chance even to your example of New York and New Jersey. Even though those two states are not shooting rockets and/or sending drones at each other, I believe they are better left separated. As part of a 50 state union they can co-exist OK but I wouldn't be very optimistic about a two state confederation. And my expectation for an Israeli/Palestinian confederation would be even less sanguine.

What might help, however, would be joint economic interests and projects that also brought in other powers as stakeholders. There is a lot of potential in that area. Most notably, there now is oil, gas, and shale to develop. Technology is strong in Israel and in the future it could be strong in the Palestinian areas. Tourism, especially religious and historical (and maybe even medical for Israel) could also be developed to a much higher level than at present. To me, the best thing would be to bring in multiple partnerships involving the United States, Russia and other great powers such as China, Japan, and European countries to develop those things. African countries should participate too. Joint economic interests by multiple partners could create a de facto confederation that was "too valuable to fail" and also "too valuable to be blown to smithereens in wars." It could draw in other Middle Eastern countries as well leading to less violence in that area.

One important condition for full participation could be full recognition of Israel but more limited participation could be allowed to other nations in order to get them to participate at all. Buying more land could be part of this, but I do not see it as really necessary. The present and even projected future populations are not really all that dense compared to some areas of the world.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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