2013/02/20

Eleven-state Solution

It should be clear that neither a one-state nor a two-state solution can work for the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. The Palestinians are divided, and lack the capacity to effectively govern their areas of responsibility. However, they do show some capacity to govern at the city level.

Perhaps the best option is an eleven-state solution: Israel would be one. The others would be Gaza, Nablus, Hebron, Jenin, Jericho, Ramallah, East Jerusalem, Tulkarm, Qalqilya, and Bethlehem.  Cities with divided populations would be split between the two peoples.

Israel would formally declare war on each, and separately negotiate peace treaties with each, establishing their boundaries and governments. The Palestinians would get the territories occupied by those cities together with a surrounding buffer area around each, suitable for building, to allow for expansion. Israel would get all the territory in between, which would include all their settlements, and a strip along the border with Jordan.

The Palestinian city-states would be encouraged to unite in a federal union which could represent it in the United Nations, but it would initially not have much power at the local level. Over time that might change, and boundaries might be adjusted.

This will not satisfy Palestinian aspirations, but it reflects the reality on the ground, which is the only thing that can be the basis for a lasting solution.

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