Israel-Palestinian conflict and possible solution to it has become a major issue. Israel is a Jewish State and only democracy in the Middle East. In the entire world, this is the only tiny piece of country millions of Jews have as their homeland. In this regard, I would firmly oppose any evil step from anyone of forcing the State of Israel emerge as a secular country. In my personal opinion, despite the fact of being a Jewish State, Israel is the only country where its non-Jewish Arab citizens are allowed to enjoy total freedom and basic rights. But of course, no country in the world would let its citizen indulge in destructive or terrorist actions. The unfortunate fact is – majority of the Arabs in Israel are nefariously antisemitic and they even are heavily inclined towards Hamas, a mega terror outfit that wants to eliminate Israel from the global map and drive-away Jews from the Middle East. With such dangerous mindset, how the Arab Israelis can think about peaceful coexistence?
If Israel would ever allow emergence of a Palestinian state, the immediate conflict will break between Hamas and the rest of the Palestinians. Under any circumstance, Hamas will never let Gaza be ruled by anyone from Ramallah. So, the conflict between Hamas, Fatah and other Palestinian groups is the main problem. Most importantly, international efforts in disarming Hamas is vital. Unless it can be done, there is no distant possibility of peace in that part of the world.
Now let me discuss about the so-called two state solution, which possibly is an invention of the western powers, who want to see a permanent conflict between Israel and Palestinians. There is no room to argue – the so-called two state solution has already fallen flat. It is already been thrown into the garbage dispenser, mostly because, this is not any workable formula in resolving the crisis.
Majority of Israelis, even several Israeli Arab fractions are totally against the two-state solution. Key reason behind such public opinion is because, Israelis and those Israeli Arabs believe, implementation of the two-state formula would further empower and strengthen Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other Islamist militancy groups. It will open the opportunity for Hamas and Islamic Jihad in particular in expanding terrorist activities within the Middle Eastern nations and beyond.
Another important point here is, those Palestinian leaders in Gaza and West Bank do not represent the residents of those areas. While leaders in Gaza want no peaceful solution with Israel, the leaders in the West Bank are miserably corrupt. Therefore, it is beyond any reasonable doubt that if Gaza or West Bank were to emerge as sovereign nations, they would at best be debilitated and rogue States, and at worst turn into a war-mongering Islamic Caliphate.
The most feasible solution to this would be implementing a one country, two systems policy like one implemented in the Hong Kong SAR of China. While Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of China and is not a sovereign nation on itself, the region enjoys full autonomy until 2047. Hong Kong has a separate flag, currency, parliament and virtually everything a separate nation has. Similarly, West Bank and Gaza should become two special administrative regions of Israel, with full autonomy and separate cabinets, flags and even police forces. However, the two autonomous regions will still be a part of the State of Israel, but Israel will not meddle into any affairs of the West Bank and Gaza.
If this solution is implemented, Israel, too, will be morally obliged to protect Gaza and West Bank with the Israel Defense Forces from any foreign attacks, and aid the regions in developing their infrastructure, education, healthcare etc., just as China has aided Hong Kong since its independence from Britain. Gaza and West Bank will have separate Chief Administrators, who will be elected by the people of these regions. The regions will also have separate visas, and if necessary separate consuls in all countries of the world.
However, Israel and the autonomous Gaza Strip and West Bank should have free movement and just as Israel has Muslims residents, Gaza and West Bank should also have Jewish residents. No state in the world can ever become exclusive to one ethnic or religious group. Even Saudi Arabia, site to Islam’s holiest sites, and Vatican City the resident of the head of the Catholic Church allow people of other religion to travel and live there.
Gaza and West Bank, should above all, concentrate on educating their population so that the future generations free themselves from the fetters corruption and terrorism that have been plaguing the regions for a long time. Once autonomy is granted, West Bank would start flourishing, almost immediately. However, Hamas-plagued Gaza will face stagnation because of Hamas’ potential reluctance in giving in to any peaceful resolution. However, once people of Gaza start witnessing the growth of the West Bank, they will, inevitably, realize that Hamas is just a burden for the region and rise against Hamas’ decade-long oppression on people of Gaza.
Most importantly, this long and burdening conflict has taken a toll on both Israelis and Palestinians. This is about time the two regions no longer look forward to other regions to settle this issue for them. No one, not even the Arab nations, should be allowed to interfere with this resolution. This matter is best understood by those who have been living in this region, and if foreign powers are allowed to intervene, the region will have the same fate as one India has had in 1947. Bangladesh became a part of, Pakistan and it took Bangladeshis no longer than a decade to realize that their newer nation, Pakistan, was even more oppressive than the British Empire. Similarly, any other nation, even Arab nations, may push the region down a spiraling staircase of havoc if they are allowed to intervene in any future resolution.
With the recent 11-day conflict between Israel and Gaza and a change of leadership in Israel, the call for a peaceful resolution has become more pressing than ever. Right now, establishing two autonomous regions of Gaza and West Bank under the State of Israel is the most viable solution in sight. The three regions must now prove to the world that even the worst of conflicts has a peaceful solution.
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