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Consciousness is not a phenomenon of the observable universe. It is that which makes the universe observable. Consciousness is the physical manifestation of God within us!

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

If I Ruled the World #2: Solving the Israeli / Palestinian conflict!

Dear Friends: "Let's get things back into perspective!"

Today, boys and girls, we are going to tackle one of the most vexing and aggravating problems in the world today, and that is how to solve that Israeli / Palestinian thing!

One of the best and most sensible solutions was what is now referred to as 'The Roadmap for Peace,' which was a plan to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict proposed by the Quartet on the Middle East: the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations.

The principles of the plan, originally drafted by U.S. Foreign Service Officer Donald Blome, were first outlined by U.S. President George W. Bush in a speech on 24 June 2002, in which he called for an independent Palestinian state living side by side with Israel in peace.

A draft version from the Bush administration was published on 30 April 2003, but the process reached a deadlock early in phase I and the plan was never implemented.

Here is a brief summary as outlined in Wikipedia:

The Second Intifada, which started in September 2000, showed an escalation of mutual violence.

In March 2002, in response to a wave of suicide attacks, culminating in the "Passover massacre", Israel launched a major military operation in the West Bank, dubbed Operation Defensive Shield.

Virtually the complete Palestinian public administration was destroyed by the Israeli army. Israel re-established its full exclusive military control over the West Bank, including the area's which were destined to be handed over to the Palestinian Authority in the framework of the Oslo II Accord.

US, EU, UN and Russia, who became the Quartet on the Middle East, tried to save the "peace process" with a new plan. This happened against the background of George W. Bush's War on Terror, which started after the 11 September 2001 attacks and dominated the international politics.
The plan. (It needs to get back on track.)

Described as a "performance-based and goal-driven roadmap", the Roadmap is built on goals without going into details,. It may be summarized as: end the violence; halt settlement activity; reform Palestinian institutions; accept Israel's right to exist; establish a viable, sovereign Palestinian state; and reach a final settlement on all issues.

However, as a performance-based plan, progress will require and depend upon the good faith efforts of the parties, and their compliance with each of the obligations the Quartet put into the plan.

The Roadmap was composed of three phases: I. Satisfy the preconditions for a Palestinian state; II. Creating an independent Palestinian state with provisional borders; III. Negotiations on a permanent status agreement, recognition of a Palestinian state with permanent borders and end of conflict.
  • Phase I (finished as early as May 2003): Mutual recognition; an immediate and unconditional ceasefire to end armed activity and all acts of violence against Israelis anywhere; Palestinian political-institutional reform; Palestinian elections; Israeli withdrawal to the positions of 28 September 2000 (begin of Second Intifada; the plan does not speak of any further withdrawal). Israeli refrain from deportations, attacks on civilians, demolition and destruction, etc.; reopen Palestinian institutions in East Jerusalem; improve humanitarian situation, full implementation Bertini report, easing movement; freeze on settlement expansion and dismantling of settlement outposts built since 2001.
  • Phase II (June–December 2003): International Conference to support Palestinian economic recovery and launch a process, leading to establishment of an independent Palestinian state with provisional borders; revival of multilateral engagement on issues including regional water resources, environment, economic development, refugees, and arms control issues; Arab states restore pre-intifada links to Israel (trade offices, etc.).
  • Phase III (2004–2005): second international conference; permanent status agreement and end of conflict; agreement on final borders, clarification of the highly controversial question of the fate of Jerusalem, refugees and settlements; Arab state to agree to peace deals with Israel.

O.K. That was that ...., but parts of it were unworkable because the State of Israel will not stop the expansion of settlements in the West bank. (That's because their long term goal is to fill it up with Jews and slowly force the Arabs out! NOTE: This is a long term solution for the Jews, and might not happen for scores, if not hundreds of years, while doing nothing to decrease the hostility between the opposing forces. In other words, Israel needs to come to its senses and the Arabs need to cool their jets.)

The Solution involves moving the Palestinians out of Gaza and over to the West Bank which would become a Palestinian State. (The West Bank, or Palestine!) Then Palestine and Israel would form a union not too dissimilar to the European Union with a common currency and open borders for the free transport of goods and people. (Jerusalem would become the capital for both States, much the same as Brussels is now the capital of the E.U.)

Lots of details to be worked out in a plan like this kids,  but it offers the most sensible hope for a lasting peace in the Middle East. (It doesn't solve the power dynamics between the Shia and Sunni factions of Islam, but we will look at that some other time!)