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A "No-State" Solution

Reader comment on item: The Three-Way Option: Arab States, Israel, Palestinians

Submitted by David Barnett (United Kingdom), Jan 27, 2017 at 09:30

The list of "bottom up" measures lacks the insistence on cessation of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish slanderous incitement. Without this, all else is pointless. It was a feature of the Egyptian peace treaty, and also the Oslo accords, but never enforced in either case.

All the politicians and academics are seeking political "solutions" for middle-east problems (not just re Israel); but there are none.

Politics is about wielding communal power to coerce compliance. This is legitimate when applied to security against predators (both external and internal) and to administer justice.

But whenever the state reaches beyond security and justice administration (even with the best of motives) the opportunities for favours and "jobs for the boys" multiply. The politically well-connected tend to extract resources from everyone else, creating huge resentments which can be redirected easily to convenient scape-goats. And in the middle-east, with its multitude of interleaved ancient communities, provides ample scope for this.

The slanders persist because the politicians of the free world have an appeasement mentality, and the corrupt Arab elites have every incentive to preserve their alibis.

This is not a new phenomenon.

In late Ottoman times, the effendi class made huge profits out of the tax system on the backs of their fellahin (peasants). Taxes had to be paid in cash; but the fellah had no cash, only his crops. His effendi would "lend" him cash for the taxes against a pledge of a large part of the harvest.

Jewish economic activity disrupted the tax racket. How? The Jews employed Arab labour and paid cash. Come tax time, the fellah was in a position to decline the effendi's offer of a loan.

The effendis fought back by getting laws passed banning land sales to Jews. However, Jews were prepared to pay such good prices, that the land sales continued by one subterfuge or another. [The same is happening today in the PA territories despite death-threatening fatwas against land sales to Jews].

With the failure of the land-sale ban, the effendis resorted to whipping up fervour for the "honour" of Islam. It was not hard to do because of the feudal mentality - that the owner of the land owned everything on it, including the people. How could it be right that a dhimmi can own a Moslem, especially in a land regarded as dar-al-Islam?

So the "nationalist" anti-Jewish campaign was stirred up by the Arab elites as a tool to preserve their exploitation privileges over the masses.

The British appeasement of the "nationalists" effectively endorsed the extreme anti-Jewish racism within the Palestine mandate. In a fit of insanity, they gave the religious post, Mufti of Jerusalem, to Amin Al-Husseini, a scion of an effendi family. He used his post to eliminate all dissenting voices [literally - he ran a private army of thugs]. This same Al-Husseini was very pally with one Adolf Hitler and fled to Germany during the war.

The pattern of anti-Jewish propaganda and incitement was set in late Ottoman times and entrenched during the British Mandate rule. It would take at least a generation of intense effort to undo the poisonous atmosphere. But as along as politics rules the day, the problem is intractable.

Symptomatic of the poison is the Arab insistence that Judah and Samaria should be Jew free. It is this Arab racist opposition to Jewish settlement that is the obstacle to peace, not the settlement. Most people do not realise that most of the Jewish settlement is on land acquired privately. Imagine how the liberal-left

Before even talking about x-state solutions anywhere in the middle-east, one ought to do a first principles examination of what a state ought to be and do. Given the patchwork of interleaved nationalities, sects and tribes, perhaps some alternative security arrangement to a "nation-state" needs to be devised.

After more than a century of failed attempts at a political solution, perhaps it is time to look beyond politics. A "no-state" solution would remove the controversy over who should be in charge.


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