NOTE: If this is your first time here, it is very important to keep in mind that many of the ideas expressed in this blog represent older versions of myself, and not necessarily my current self. After all, we evolve, and sometimes change our minds. In the meantime, enjoy lurking around, and watch the video trailer for my upcoming book here.

Gaza for Egypt. West Bank for Jordan. Problem Solved. No?

by Drima on January 3, 2009

Okay, I don’t know about you, but first of all… happy new year and Sudanese independence day, regardless of the typical expected craziness raging in the Middle East.

I haven’t blogged anything about the unfortunate fighting, because well… many have already said what needs to be said. If anything, I’m simply going to recycle this old relevant post and link to Mona Eltahawy’s article.

Plus, quite frankly I’m getting tired of the same repetitive statements from both sides.

Here’s a radical idea that hasn’t been discussed on this blog before. Yeah, it’s the one in the title. Come on guys, if we’re going to talk, we might as well try a new proposition right?

Oslo? Two states solution? Let’s pretend it doesn’t exist for a while.

West Bank for Jordan doesn’t seem like a bad idea. Naseem, what do you think man? But, Gaza for Egypt? Now that would be, ehm, complicated. At the very least, it’s going to be a burden for Egypt. I’m also sure it’s going to make our Monkey friend very happy. But hey, maybe, just maybe, it could be manageable.

Those Palestinian figures who are neither members of Fatah nor Hamas tend to see the challenge most clearly. Qais Abdul Karim, a long-standing leftist MP, said he believed Israel’s bombing was intended to force on the Palestinians a provisional state, rather than true independence and sovereignty. “The idea is to isolate Gaza from the West Bank completely and to throw Gaza into the arms of Egypt and to subject the West Bank to perpetual domination by Israel,” he said. “Our priority must be to find a way to end our division.”

Yes Qais, believe me ya habibi, I’d love to see an end to those divisions too, but how? By blaming others?

His concerns are not without foundation. Israelis speak openly of alternatives to a viable, independent, contiguous Palestinian state. In recent weeks Giora Eiland, a former head of Israel’s national security council, proposed Jordanian control over the West Bank or a multilateral land swap between Israel, the Palestinians and Egypt which would let Israel keep a large slice of the West Bank for itself and see Gaza slide closer to the reluctant embrace of the Egyptians.


Mustafa Barghouti, an independent MP who ran for the presidency at the last election, said Hamas and Fatah had been seduced into fighting over leadership of a largely powerless institution, the Palestinian National Authority – created under the Oslo accords a decade and a half ago and which gave the Palestinians the trappings of power without a state itself.

True Barghouti, but hey boys and girls, let’s get real. Forget Oslo, the two states solutions, and the quoted text. Let’s go into the heart of the inevitable issue nobody wants to discuss greatly when violence like this erupts and even if the proposition of Oslo more or less gets worked out – Jerusalem.

Which of course brings me, to the religious dogmatic dimension of this conflict.

For the secular types on both sides, it’s not a major issue. Jerusalem can just get split two ways. Simple. But the religious folks, especially our crazy Zionist settler friends and Hamas loonies will never accept that. Heck, even many religious moderates won’t accept that. Instead of becoming more humanist and compromising, separation theology reigns supreme. Faith is no longer personal and spiritual but instead thrusts itself mightily into the public sphere.


Apparently, God is a real-estate broker who does not compromise – ever. And it gets better when you throw in all the prophecies and beliefs about the Messiah sort of flying out of the sky in a super hero costume to bring an end to this bloody, never-ending conflict… and then of course, the world. Seriously, what’s going to convince people like this to change their minds?

WAIT, I know EXACTLY what will work. This:

Phew, okay, I feel better already. Come on guys, it’s the least I could do to try and spread some love. :)

Bleh. Thoughts?

Click on the Cover Below & Learn More About My Upcoming Book

{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

1 alharaka 01.03.09 at 3:03 pm


It is good to know someone else is frustrated with people (and I mean EVERY side) claiming to defend “their” God and “their” way of life by treating humans like animals. Your idea is interesting, but it would require Jordan, Egypt, and every Arab country to move beyond self-serving political rhetoric and take up true interest in helping Gazans, and Palestinians in general. A few years ago, I could not even convince my Egyptian classmates they were just as skewed as Amreekis on the issue, and how the government was screwing Palestinians. At least my point is more apparent now. So, good luck with the plan. Haha.

Best holiday wishes.


2 rami 01.03.09 at 3:11 pm

Who wants to buy a conflict and underdeveloped regions with millions of people who lack basic infrastructure and very little natural resources?

3 Andrew Brehm 01.03.09 at 3:18 pm

Israel is fine with a two-state solution. Israel is also fine with Gaza and the West-Bank being part of Egypt and Jordan. Israel has been fine with those two solutions when they already came up. I think we can stop worrying about “Zionist extremists” who don’t exist.

I have seen east-Jerusalem. I don’t think Israel wants it. It’s the most holy site of Judaism that Arabs demand and that Israel wants to keep, not the entire city. Let’s divide Jerusalem, I don’t mind. The Jewish parts and the Old City will be part of Israel and the Arab parts in the east can be a part of Invaderland/Palestine. The only problem is that the Arabs in Jerusalem might not want that. Whenever such an option comes up, thousands of them register for Israeli passports. Hm…

The rest of your plan ignores the fact why Israel is fighting. Your plan doesn’t even address how you would get all the Jews dead. In fact, your plan seems to be built to allow them to survive. You think that’s not a problem? Look at what the PLO and Hamas say about their wishes. They want a Jew-free Invaderland and they have said so often enough. Your plan doesn’t address that issue.

Your plan is good, but it isn’t new. It had already been implemented, before 1967. And it could have been implemented by treaty in 1968 when Israel offered to give Gaza and the West-Bank back in exchange for peace.

And what about the refugees? The Jewish refugees from Arab countries don’t want to go back, they have nothing to expect but death and torture. But the Arab refugees from Israel, despite all the things they say about Jews, don’t seem to be expecting such a fate and demand a “return” (to lands they have never lived on, given that it has been three generations).

If we accepted the Saudi plan (1967 borders and return of the “refugees”) we would be back in 1948, a situation which caused the Arabs to start the first war. I don’t see how that would be a good solution, unless the “solution” is about giving the Arabs another shot.

I guess the entire thing really depends on the Palestinian Arabs. Vote for a damn government whose priorities is making the country viable and not to destroy Israel and it’s done. That’s all it takes.

Perhaps the PLO can do it now.

But do Palestinian Arabs even want this? Is a viable country of their own really important to women who teach their children that committing suicide while killing Jews is a good thing? Is a viable country of their own really important to sons who would rather kill themselves than not kill a Jew?

Here’s my take on a peace plan, and I realise most independent-minded Israelis will disagree with it, but I think it’s a good idea:

1. The King of Jordan is declared King of Israel and officially enters Jerusalem in that capacity.

2. Israel will remain an independent country with its own democratic government, the king will be a figurehead.

3. Israel will annex the West-Bank and Jordan and Israel will form a citizenship-federation in which all Jews born in either country will be Israeli citizens and all Arabs born in either country will be Arab citizens. (We can find solutions for the other nationalities. For example Druzim can become Israelis too.)

4. Both Jews and Arabs will be subjects of the descendant of the Sharif of Mecca, i.e. the King of Jordan.

5. The king will govern Transjordan directly and Cisjordan (Israel) only through the selected Israeli government. Israel won’t have a president any more, only a “Prince Governour” elected by the Israeli people who represent the country towards the joint monarchy and, representing the king in right of Jerusalem, towards the international community.

6. During his inauguration ceremony the king will refer extensively to the Quran and celebrate the fact that Allah has helped his people return to their land. He will point out how modern Babylonians tried to prevent it and how another Muslim like Cyrus was Allah’s tool to make Allah’s will prevail, even when it was done in the most complicated, roundabout way.

7. Israel can keep the border fence until the attacks stop. Israel will keep all the power she currently has and give it up only voluntarily at her own time.

8. Gaza can be part of this union.

9. The Golan Heights remain part of Israel. Syria had no part in the war, and deserves no reward for stopping the attacks once Syria knew she was too weak. Syria will be offered a chance to surrender to the united monarchy.

10. As will Lebanon.

11. We will then wait for the Arab and Muslim world to condemn Israel for making the descendant of Muhammed king of Jerusalem.

12. At that point the king will make it clear that his ultimate goal is control over ALL THREE holy cities of Islam. We will then work from that starting point. (The point is not to invade “Saudi” Arabia, but to make it absolutely clear that Jerusalem is as negotiable as Mecca, given that it is the other place of worship.)

4 Drima 01.03.09 at 4:20 pm


Glad to know someone gets my point about the religious dimension of this conflict and didn’t throw out the “apostate” label. 😉


Good point. Funny thing is how all Arab dictators talk as if they care. If they did, the lack of basic infrastructure wouldn’t be a problem. Just get Arab nations to invest tons of money in Gaza, create jobs and slowly make something out of nothing – the same way Gulfies did to their desert nations.

Btw, absolutely LOVED your recent post about this whole Gaza-Israel circus.


No Jewish extremists? I’m not sure about that. You may want to read this.

Those settlers are crazy. It’s something even the mainstream Israeli media has no problem admitting.

5 Andrew Brehm 01.03.09 at 4:47 pm

“No Jewish extremists? I’m not sure about that.”

Those people are rebelling against the Israeli government. I would hardly call them extremists of the Israeli side.

They certainly don’t have much support in Israel, which is why they revolt against the police.

But even they didn’t go as far as calling for all Arabs to be murdered, and Hamas and the PLO have done that several times.

The settlers are just as crazy as some of the more moderate Arabs. They demand a supposed right to return to lands that were once Jewish (and lands where Jews lived until 1948) and they don’t want to live in peace with the new inhabitants. They same demand coming from the Arab side (like the Saudi peace plan) is considered “moderate”.

As for the rest of Israel, trying to survive when people want to exterminate you is not a form of religious extremism.

6 Andrew Brehm 01.03.09 at 4:51 pm

“LOVED your recent post”

I read it. It’s just another anti-Israel opinion that tells Israelis and Arabs in a very patronising way that they just have to stop fighting.

Then it accuses Israel of teaching hatred to their youths. I am sick and tried of these lies. Where exactly does Israel teach hatred to her children? Why do people keep making those claims and never back them up?

I have seen examples of Arab schoolbooks and I have seen shows on Arab television that teach hatred. And they are often used as examples for how Arabs teach hatred to their children. And then comes the claim: BOTH sides do it.

Where is evidence that Israel does it?

7 Andrew Brehm 01.03.09 at 4:53 pm

A conflict and how journalists report it.

This is how today’s journalists would have reported about World War 2, I am sure.

Violent extremists become “human rights advocates”, fascism becomes “Islam” and multiculturalism, attacks become a “cycle of violence”, and reactions become the cause.

8 Andrew Brehm 01.03.09 at 4:59 pm

“by treating humans like animals”,1518,540689,00.html


9 Simon Columbus 01.03.09 at 9:41 pm

Drima, you’re great! This post is fantastic. Just wanted to day ‘thank you’ for this :)

10 Nobody 01.03.09 at 9:58 pm

I don’t think either Egypt or Jordan want to take any of them. Gaza in particular. Neither I think the Palestinians will agree. Another thing is that it may be already too late to evacuate the West Bank. It’s impossible.We can’t remove the settlements and they keep growing. The future of the West Bank is not clear to me.

11 Howie 01.03.09 at 11:00 pm


AB is basically correct on this one. There is nothing new here and, frankly, it is beating around the bushes…

I have given up on trying to understand the other side…because I realize I do. They will find fault in any agreement, they will beak it, they will terrorize and they will blame Israel. That has always been the pattern and I see no leader, nobody with any charisma in the Palestinian/Arab/Muslim world willing to stand up and tell the simple truth….which is:

Terror has always been our main platform and method

We have lost wars and lives continuously and have caused great misery to them and us.

It is not worked and, in fact, Israel is bigger, richer and more powerful THAN EVER.

We will never admit that we have never tried to obvious…stop terror and try to be decent neighbors.

We will never acknowledge that Egypt did this and got Sinai back, peace and gave NOTHING in return.

Jordan signed an peace agreement and Israel has done basically NOTHING TO them…and in fairness, pretty much vis-versa.

So we will continue to play the brave defiant hero/poor victim game, which gets us some mileage, but mostly bring horror and misery, much of the world will be suckered into that transparent con job, and the lives of Palestinians will remain miserable and we will take no responsibility for it.

Drima…sorry you are tired of the same old arguments…but it just happens to be the same old problem….terrorism. And the old “well, you made us do it” argument is just plain sick.

12 Howie 01.03.09 at 11:07 pm

Oh…and teaching Israeli kids to hate Arabs…that is a lie. I am certain there are individuals that do this, but given my wife was a teacher in Israel for years, my son attended school there as did half of my nieces, nephews, in-laws etc. I know for a fact this has never been part of any official curriculum and never taught or learned by the hundreds of Israelis I know. In fact…I went to school there for two years. I remember we had a West Bank dude in the class…Kareem (no, he did not play basketball to my knowledge). I bear witness that the class voted to forgo Chanuka celebrations because the celebration of a war victory against the Syrians…2,000 YEARS ago, might hurt his feelings. He was very cool dude, we liked him and he liked us. Then he was threatened by his associates about attending classes with the Jooz. No more Kareem. So bullshit on that!

So on that kind of filth lie…sorry…no deal.

13 Howie 01.04.09 at 12:21 am


I just read Mona’s article…if I would have done that first, it would have saved me my first paragraph and she said it far more eloquently…

She SEES it and she attests to it. Yup…she tells the truth…that’s it. Only she says 60 years, when in fact, this style started around 1900 and really started getting its groove on in the murders in Hebron in the 1920’s.

With all that…I am not interested in revenge, not interested in my families property that was stolen in Iraq. Keep it, let the past go.

STOP TRYING TO KILL us…we will let you alone and maybe after 3-4 generations, we might even become friends…doubt it, but one can wish.

14 Crystal 01.04.09 at 1:06 am

Hi Drima,

I know what you mean about Jerusalem, how it’s the elephant in the room that no one mentions but everyone frets over. I love Jerusalem, and it pains me to say this, but in some ways sorting this whole issue out would be a lot easier if it just didn’t exist, or was located in some peaceful Scandinavian country. I cannot see a solution to the problem. People talk about making it an autonomous statelet, like the Vatican, but that wouldn’t work because the Vatican is ruled by one religion (Catholicism), not 3 bickering cousin religions (plus their various bickering sects). Splitting the city might be feasible were it not for the fact that in some cases two parties claim the exact same spot of land.

Perhaps God left it this way on purpose, as a puzzle, to see if human kindness could overcome religious tribalism.

So far humanity is failing that test :(

15 Howie 01.04.09 at 1:13 am

I must correct myself…we did not cancel Chanukah for Kareem…it was honoring Israeli Independence Day because we thought it would make him quite uncomfortable…

I have been reading Palestinian blogs…No change…NONE. Not one word about how their actions may have contributed to the current situation…not one word. Not one word about their 100 years of utter failure in approach, ideas and policy.

So…nothing will change

16 Andrew Brehm 01.04.09 at 1:21 am

The murderers followed the Jews from Europe to the middle east. I think it is safe to say they would follow them to peaceful Scandinavia.

Jerusalem was located in a remote region 100 years ago. It had very few inhabitants (most of whom were Jewish) and nobody cared much for it, except the Jews.

It was only after the economic upturn brought about by the Jews that the world cared about Jerusalem again.

“Out there, in the world, all the walls were covered with graffiti: Yids, go back to Palestine, so we came back to Palestine, and now the worldatlarge shouts at us: Yids, get out of Palestine.”
— Amos Oz

Incidentally, according to polls 85% of Israelis are in favour of shooting back at Gaza. This means that at the very least a large part of the Arab population of Israel also support the government on this. And this time Israel is not hitting innocent Christians in southern Lebanon. This time it’s hitting a population who voted for and supported Hamas in their war.

Do they deserve to die? No, they don’t.

But they also don’t deserve to vote for war and then watch the Israelis die.

This is the deal Israel can propose to the Arabs: YOU decide if there will be war, WE decide who is going to die in it. It’s a balance of evil. Be proud of Hamas.

17 Andrew Brehm 01.04.09 at 1:32 am

The holy sites in Jerusalem are not a problem.

Mecca is a holy site for Muslims as well as several other religions (for example the Bahai). But the Muslims have simply decided that the city is a) theirs and b) forbidden for everybody else.

So apparently the problem of having a city that is holy to several peoples or religions has already been solved.

Neither is the presence of two distinct peoples (Jews and Arabs) a problem:

“Those who survive will remain in Palestine. I estimate that none of them will survive.”
— Ahmed Shukairy, chairman of PLO in Jordanian Jerusale, 1967 (before the war), he was referring to the Jews

“Arabs, rise as one man and fight for your sacred rights. Kill the Jews wherever you find them. This pleases God, history, and religion. This saves your honor. God is with you.”
— “Grand Mufti” Mohammad Amin al-Husayni, leader of “Palestinians” when they still considered themselves Syrians, 1944

The solutions are there.

And while those solutions are acceptable to Israel’s enemies, they are not acceptable to Israel, in neither configuration.

18 Howie 01.04.09 at 3:18 am

Now that I have vented…I once again have to thank Drima for being Drima and for this blog.

Drima…you are brilliant, level-headed…you challenge people and yourself, but keep the coolest of heads and never lose a sense of humor…even in very dark moments.

You are a good man…I wish the world hand many many many more like you.

I want an autographed copy of your book…

God bless you


19 Drima 01.04.09 at 6:00 am

People, vent all you like. It’s all good. I’m fine with it just as long as we stay away from personal attacks.

Argumentum Ad Hominem is not very nice ey? :)

“We can’t remove the settlements and they keep growing. The future of the West Bank is not clear to me.”


that’s why the idea of the two-states solution isn’t that clear anymore. Lots of settlements on the West Bank. What’s Israel gonnna do? Dismantle them all? Which Israeli politician is willing to make such a risky move that’s bound to piss off lots of super religious folks?

Guys, the part that stood out from Rami’s post is this:

Everywhere on the net, the same old tit for tat discussions are bouncing back and forth between Arabs and Israelis:

You started it, no you started it.
We were here first, no we were here first.
Peace is giving us our rights, no, peace is giving us our rights.
Recognize us first, no, you recognize us first.
Killing your people is justified when you kill ours.
Killing your people is justified since we have been killed before.
Your children are taught how to hate.
Your children are taught how to hate.

My stance is more or less along the lines of Mona Eltahawy’s.


my pleasure buddy. This is all so (as you say in Germany) “shaiyse” and man I say “Fick Diche” to all of this. It ain’t going away.

Andrew, Mr. Linguist, did I get the spellings right? :)


(gosh, what a LOVELY name AND u have a twin sister apparently?), Shalom my new dear friend. Checked your blog. Good stuff. Will certainly keep an eye on it. I LOVE girls with brains who are into philosophy. Thanks for your comment. Religious tribalism indeed. :)

Here’s a solution to the religious headaches facing both sides. Why don’t we try and spread Kabbalah in Israel, and grow Sufism in the Muslim world, instead of politically-infected orthodoxy?

Something tells me a mystical approach to religion would be a lot nicer. No? :)

Howie, my man! As usual, I appreciate you dropping by. Hopefully sometime around May this year, I may be dropping by in California.

You better be around to take me out for some hummus… which ehm ehm, *we* invented by the way. 😉

Will keep you all updated.

To everyone else, cheers and play nice. Drima will be back. Capiche?

20 Howie 01.04.09 at 6:51 am


Howie, my man! As usual, I appreciate you dropping by. Hopefully sometime around May this year, I may be dropping by in California

If you become a world famous author…will you share the groupies?

21 Nobody 01.04.09 at 9:00 am

“We can’t remove the settlements and they keep growing. The future of the West Bank is not clear to me.”


that’s why the idea of the two-states solution isn’t that clear anymore. Lots of settlements on the West Bank. What’s Israel gonnna do? Dismantle them all? Which Israeli politician is willing to make such a risky move that’s bound to piss off lots of super religious folks?


This does not automatically translate into a one state solution. You can’t keep the settlers and Arabs in the same place without ending with a major conflict in the end. I think the only solution is to go on some intermediary solution about borders, leaving Jerusalem and refugees for the next time. And this should be done right now before it’s too late because the settlers are basically taking over the West Bank. They are procreating at the speed that can put to shame all Arab demographic bombs together.

22 Andrew Brehm 01.04.09 at 12:26 pm

” This is all so (as you say in Germany) “shaiyse” and man I say “Fick Diche” to all of this. It ain’t going away.
Andrew, Mr. Linguist, did I get the spellings right?”


Fick Dich.

My pleasure. :-)

So what are the issues?

1. Terrorists with much support among the Arab population trying to murder all the Jews.

I don’t see how we can solve this problem. It’s up to the Arabs to solve it, really.

2. Jewish “settlers”.

Apparently living in the same city with Jews is a problem for Arabs. This can be solved using one of the two PLO-proposed methods: we kill one of the two groups or we remove one of the groups.

3. Jerusalem.

Apparently accepting Jewish control over Jewish holy sites is a big problem for Arabs.

4. “Palestinian” state.

Major problem. Israel can only withdraw so often. At some point the Arabs will have to found their state.

I don’t see how Israel can do anything to facilitate solutions to problems 1 and 4.

2 and 3 can be solved, but the solutions proposed by the Arabs are unacceptable for Israel (and Judaism). I for one would not accept murdering all the Arabs or expelling them.

What’s wrong with accepting the “settlers” as neighbours?

23 Andrew Brehm 01.04.09 at 12:30 pm

I find it hilarious that the Arabs in the West-Bank have a demographic problem with the large population of Jews in the area.

When politicians in Israel see a similar problem with Arabs in Israel, they are racist.

But when Arabs see such a problem in the West-Bank the world agrees that, obviously, there should not be any Jews in the area.

Anyway, my United Monarchy peace plan would solve the problem. The “settlers” would be Israeli citizens and could stay. And the Arabs would be Transjordanian citizens and could stay.

We can keep them from fighting each other by deploying Israeli and royal security forces until they stop.

If they don’t stop, we simply block access to their cities and let them fight it out. It won’t be a “concentration camp” since there are also Jews inside it.

24 Yael 01.04.09 at 1:27 pm

Drima can we put a copy of this on This is very in line with what our Palestinian participants (West Bank) were proposing would be the best solution back just before and during the bloody Hamas coup in Gaza.

25 Drima 01.04.09 at 1:50 pm

LOL, yup Yael. Sure, no worries, go ahead. Just do keep in mind that my radical proposition mixed with typical Drima sarcasm is meant to be taken with a grain of salt. 😉

26 Nas 01.04.09 at 2:08 pm

Happy new year Drima!

Well, it’s a terrible idea 😀

But I always enjoyed Qadaffi’s idea of a one-state solution called Israteen.

27 lynne 01.04.09 at 2:21 pm

Drima, can we just put you in charge of everything? I absolutely love your post, your brilliant reasoning, your generosity, and your music…
Wishing you happiness in the new year and always!!

28 Stephen 01.04.09 at 3:06 pm

No, no lol no

That would be just piling more shit on top of an already big pile of problems.

Thinking outside the box though

29 PeacefulVanguard 01.04.09 at 3:12 pm

Hi Drima:

Personally, I think Israel should accept the Saudi peace initiative, but with a caveat (and ok, good luck with this, but it does put the ball for being proactive, rather than merely reactive, into the court of the AL) …

1) Before Israel withdraws to the pre-1967 borders, the AL needs to come up with a viable plan for socioeconomic development and accountable governance for Palestine — a serious and legitimate blueprint for development and stability that includes government transparency, a robust judiciary, municipal services to take care of socially disadvantaged groups, public safety, economic development, etc.;

2) Put together an international donors conference that will support the blueprint for a viable Palestinian state;

3)) Create a media outlet specifically to be sent via satellite and radio into the Palestinian territories explaining their Arab-based plan to the people of Palestine and how it is by far the best way forward for them, urging them to shun and reject the political groups now on the ground, demanding mass disarmament, and to blaze a new trail forward for themselves based upon the Arab Blueprint for Palestine; expressing that if the Palestinian people will create a new political party that is based upon their blueprint for development, the entire Arab world (and subsequently many Islamic nations too) will support them politically and financially, beginning with opening embassies and trade offices in every one of their nations recognizing the new government.

4)Once the people of Palestine create a new political entity that is based upon the Arab Blueprint for Palestine for Accountable Governance and Development, create a critical mass behind it, hold elections and take over, Israel will begin implementing its role in the Saudi initiative.

The blueprint can be largely modeled on Iraqi Kurdistan.
It’s really simple actually. Create an indigenous Arab blueprint and facts on the ground for a robust Palestinian state to succeed, and then Israel will withdraw from the territory needed to ensure one.

This way, the people of Palestine have HOPE for the first time that they can have a viable, sovereign existence based upon best practices of governance with international support. Currently, they seem out of options. This gives them the best one yet, and certainly lets them know that their plight will no longer go unattended without creative brainstorming by their supporters.

I know that this sounds lofty and pie-in-the-sky for various reasons, however … considering that Hamas is controlled by Iran whose regional power Arab countries would like to disrupt, and that such a plan would undoubtedly be supported by the USA and EU, they might do it. The only thing standing in their way is the fear that such a plan would trickle into their own countries, which obviously would not be good for the current rulers there now.

Therefore, if the AL will not support such an initiative, Israel should take its plan for socioeconomic development and good governance for Palestine directly to the Arab diaspora and encourage them to be proactive in this arena in which they will be the ones to create a plan and present it directly to the Palestinians via new media. At the very least, it shows how Arabs can be very proactive in Palestine’s social change in a way that gives them the power to create empowerment, rather than relying upon Israel to do it. As far as I can see, it’s the best place to start creating change that can last …

30 Roman Kalik 01.04.09 at 8:11 pm

For the secular types on both sides, it’s not a major issue. Jerusalem can just get split two ways. Simple.

Not… quite. Before religion played a major role in our region, we had about 50 years of secularism ruling pretty much everything. The PLO rose in the environment of the Arab League – in the secular, pan-Arabic, nationalist environment of Nasser, Assad, and Saddam Hussein.

And it took it 40 years to get around the idea of *not* eradicating the Jewish state altogether might just be a clever idea.

Religion? Without religion, there’s nationalism. And without nationalism, there’s hatred. The pure belief that “we” are pure, and “they” are animals worthy of death, and that “we” are a constant victim that is *owed*.

With interest. In blood. And revenge is a dish served hot in our neck of the woods.

Any ideal can be twisted around to serve a specific agenda. Any ideal at all. It’s just a matter of time, effort, and a great deal of propaganda.

Whoever said that secular people are reasonable? They haven’t been for the last three or four generations. That the current struggle is becoming of a more religious nature doesn’t mean that it will continue being that way.

31 Howie 01.04.09 at 11:41 pm

“Whoever said that secular people are reasonable? They haven’t been for the last three or four generations”

RK makes a good point of course…

Myself…I say all people with any passion for something are religious…There are the God religions…but look at everything from Nazi’s to various types of soccer fans. People are willing to give their lives and get pissed over some pretty funny stuff and God is not involved in it.

Here is my plan. As a sign of good will and good faith…Arabs cede control of Jerusalem to the Jews…maintaining full rights to their neighborhoods and holy sites.

That would get a lot of mileage from our side…enormous concessions…won’t happen, but would work.

32 Howie 01.05.09 at 12:16 am

Hey…got a joke for you…

What is the #1 pick up line in a bar in the southern part of the United States?

“Nice tooth”.

What is the ONLY pick-up line in Taliban/Iran style Muslim society?

“Nice eyes”

33 Ron 01.05.09 at 5:53 am

The solution is really simple for the Palestinians. I would guess that there are about 25 million Palestinians in the world who can traces their origin back to Israel or the occupied territories. A significant percentage of Tthese people outside of Gaza and the West Bank should return and help establish the groundwork for a one-state solution.

The Palestinians should have a program of total non-violence against the Israelis. They should go to the international community in say 40 years and request a one-state solution.

Israelis and Palestinians should live in one-state. I am not sure what it will be called but I think this is the only fair resolution.

We know that the US cannot be Israel’s protector forever. The strategic rewards are dwindling and the American demographic is changing in its attitude toward Israel as well.

I think Israel will find itself in a catch-22. No one wants to say it but the fate of Israel is doomed and has always been so.

I am neither pro-Israel or pro-Palestinian but I am a realist.

As a black man, I do not have a dog in this fight, although as a human the violence is appalling.


34 Nobody 01.05.09 at 6:24 am

Ron on January 5th, 2009 5:53 am

I am neither pro-Israel or pro-Palestinian but I am a realist.

This is what I like most about people who greet each other with salaam – their never taking any side objectivity and incredible realism

😀 😀

35 Craig 01.05.09 at 7:53 am


Perhaps God left it this way on purpose, as a puzzle, to see if human kindness could overcome religious tribalism.

You sound like a Christian, saying that :)

So far humanity is failing that test :(

The bulk of humanity does in fact fail the test. At least, that’s what I read in Christian scripture.

Anyway, Drima… I think Israel would risk losing support of Christians all over the world if it decided to turn over control of Jerusalem to Muslims. That may not have been true a decade ago, but I think it is now. We aren’t feeling all warm and fuzzy about Islam over here in Jesusland these days.

36 Andrew Brehm 01.05.09 at 11:10 am
37 Andrew Brehm 01.05.09 at 1:01 pm

“I think Israel would risk losing support of Christians all over the world if it decided to turn over control of Jerusalem to Muslims.”

East-Jerusalem is of no particular importance to Christianity. The Old City WILL remain part of Israel.

There is no way Israel will (or should) hand over the most holy site of Judaism and Christianity to Islam.

38 Nominally Challenged 01.05.09 at 11:36 pm

“The Palestinians should have a program of total non-violence against the Israelis. They should go to the international community in say 40 years and request a one-state solution.”

That would be based on their 100-year precedent of total non-violence, I presume?

I think back to the drawing board with this one …

39 Andrew Brehm 01.06.09 at 1:44 pm

“As a black man, I do not have a dog in this fight”

The vast majority of victims of Arab nationalism are not Jews but Iranians and black Africans.

It is time to realise that those battles are not unconnected. Arabs have a horrible time co-existing with ANY non-Arab group in the so-called “Arab world”.

The Arab League is the last remaining colonial empire, ruling over Berbers, Massalith (and other black tribes), Kurds, Assyrians, Jews (no longer), Somalilanders, all without home rule and most without basic human rights.

I think black men have a dog in the fight.

40 Ron 01.07.09 at 2:18 pm

@ Andrew –

Ha the Shia alliance? Zanj rebellion. There are no permanent alliances just interests. I will concede that there is Arab colonialism.

However, black peoples’ predicament is our own making and the Arab’s have just taken advantage of our many weaknesses.

We cannot depend on the Arab’s moral compass for peaceful co-existence. Peaceful co-existence is only viable through mutual respect.

Respect for black people will only come through our military/economic strength.

41 Andrew Brehm 01.07.09 at 5:15 pm

“Respect for black people will only come through our military/economic strength.”

I think so too.

However, I think it is in Israel’s interest to help the black peoples against Arab colonialism.

42 Ayemi 01.09.09 at 5:53 pm

My thoughts on this?
If you take out all religious considerations, a big part of this “Jerusalem issue” will be resolved.
As John Lennon said “Imagine if there was no religion…”
Well, “you may say I am a dreamer”, but deep down I know much of the issue depends on the symbolic importance various religions are giving to portions of lands.

43 Freedom Now 01.12.09 at 11:20 pm

There is a difference between Jewish settlers and Hamas extremists that is not addressed in this post.

Jewish settlers have been evicted from numerous settlements by the Israeli government and the two have become political enemies.

I am an atheist who supports Israel’s right to their capital. When has Jerusalem been a capital of Palestine? Never, but Jerusalem is the historical capital of the Jews. The last time there was a native government in the region was before the Roman conquest. Ever since then the region has been under foreign rule. There has never been a Palestinian state in all of history.

The majority of the Palestinian Mandate went to the Arabs. Jordan became a state as a result and the Arabs rejected the small percent allotted for the Jews. The Arabs will never be satisfied until they drive out the Jews completely.

Fatah accepted the Oslo Accords and when they had a chance to ingrain themselves back in Palestine they started a new war (the 2nd Intifada). These negotiations are only preludes to more Arab aggression.

The Israelis will never live in peace as long as their country exists. No amount of appeasement will save them from this fate. When the Jews paid their dhimmi tax they were better treated by Muslims. Now that they want their homeland back and are succeeding, Muslims are catching up to European anti-Semitism.

44 shula 01.13.09 at 5:46 pm

I think that Sadat “imposed” Gaza on Israel for whatever reasons he had. I agree that the best would be for Gaza to go back to Egypt and WBank to Jordan. I am also of the opinion that Sharon had the same in mind, when he withdrew from Gaza. And maybe the seeds had started when King Abdullah was married to Rania, a Palestinian. A sliced Palestinian state between the WBank and Gaza is a non workable solution. Egypt could, with the “discreet” help of Israel turn Gaza into a mini-garden-of Eden and to be as an example for the rest of the Arab countries. But nothing will be acomplished if the Arab countries do not stop the constant scapegoating, using Israel as a whipping child,that comes from the mosques, from the educational institutions, etc. Saudi Arabia and Egypt could lead in stopping the constant barrage of incitement against Israel.
After all the majority of people on earth want PEACE and the majority of leaders delight in “screwing” up at every opportunity presented to them. and for whatever excuses they may have at the moment…………
By the way, as a Jew, I am sick and tired having been used and abused as a scapegoat. Because of that I am a proud supporter of Israel and I want very much a dialogue to start………..Also, I don’t live in Israel, so this may be unrealistic. But we have to start from somewhere and tentative little steps have to be taken. There are two big obstacles: protection for participants from and/or Hamas and corruption. Protection is something that I can not address. Job creation could start with food (maybe resurrecting the greenhouses) and small factories of tech or related items or small consumer electronics. Small steps as an inducement for more people to join. Capital has to be ready to act, (e.g. with plans) as opportunity arises. Also “public works” such as better roads, water, sewer, infrastructure in general, and always skirting the major urban centers. Create tiny gardens of Eden where misery can look and want to join and imitate……………Create islands of hope………..and maybe………….

45 Andrew Brehm 01.14.09 at 12:55 pm

“I think that Sadat “imposed” Gaza on Israel for whatever reasons he had.”

Sadat wanted out of the war. He wanted back what was Egypt’s and didn’t want Gaza. I assume Egyptians find the people of Gaza scary too.

Whether or not a “Palestinian” state divided into two disconnected areas is exactly the best option doesn’t matter. It wouldn’t be the first country in such a situation. It is in fact a fairly common occurrence.

I don’t see why Jordan couldn’t annex both the West Bank and Gaza. It would even give Jordan another access to the sea, through Israel. And I (and presumably most Israelis too) trust the Jordanian government a lot more than the PLO or Hamas.

46 Kingsley 03.07.09 at 6:28 pm

oh-oh..Ghost in the building.

Good singer though…

47 Katka Amiourova z Prahy 04.02.09 at 3:30 pm

Athought writting for NYTIMES – no interest from this side on solving GAZA, is ti true? so the level of the work of this thinker is like only jobbing. Why had Obama nothing make nothing? So, if you have a chance, promothe a campaign:Dear Sir/Madam,
In order to find a speedy solution in Gaza, I am sending you an effective tool in the form of a sophisticated wit – a defence against ignorance.
On the billboard – on the top: Israelis are considerately building a stairway to Heaven.
Underneath: A picture of a row of corpses of women, children and men wrapped in shrouds.
At the bottom: The favouritism shown to Israelis in this conflict has a deep logic – if they are not killing people, they are living reasonably orderly lives. On the other hand Palestinians are like any other homeless people. They have no prospects – and why don’t they have prospects? Because they don’t have rear – and why don’t they have rear? Because they don’t have prospects – etc. So much for Maslow’s pyramid of hierarchy of needs. HELP! (It¨s absolutely not true, that Izraelis are yet standing on green line from 1947)
Bad times to speak about religion in times of Echelon, HAARP, computer semantic and so on – and directly in circles ïnvolved in profit from it.
Bye – enthusiasted jihadist K.

48 Andrew Brehm 04.02.09 at 3:59 pm

On the other hand Palestinians are like any other homeless people.

Like any other homeless people who receive billions in aid and use it solely for attacks and murder.

I suggest spending the money on helping Darfurians and founding a Kurdish state. The Darfurians are being slaughtered by the thousands and Kurdistan has been under Arab occupation for 90 years.

End the occupation! End the murder! Use the money given to the “Palestinians” to end the occupation of Kurdistan and the murder of Darfur.

(The only reason Israelis are living reasonably orderly lives is because Israel exists. Otherwise middle-eastern Jews would be the slaves of the Arabs, like the Dinka, Berbers, Kurds and the other non-Arab people of the region.)

49 Andrew Brehm 04.02.09 at 4:02 pm

Any plans for a jihad against the Arabs because of their attacks against and murder of hundreds of thousands of Muslims in Kurdistan and Darfur?

Thought so.

It’s up to the Jews to fight for the rights of Muslims, isn’t it?

Well, here’s a humble beginning:

50 Jerry34Calderon 04.01.10 at 2:32 am

According to my own analysis, billions of people in the world get the loans at various creditors. Thence, there is a good possibility to receive a collateral loan in every country.

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