Moving Sovereignty NOT People
As the efforts to square the circle of a proposed Israeli cabinet created out of sometimes opposing party ideologies a proposal for land exchange between Israel and a proposed future Palestinian state surfaces again as it has since 2003.
One of the more controversial ideas that has resurfaced relates to a proposed solution to the problem of Israel’s claim to incorporate several West Bank “settlement blocks” that lie adjacent to its internationally recognized borders, into sovereign Israel itself.
The theoretical agreement that was proposed; Israel would exchange these new territories for land currently within sovereign Israel for those West Bank areas on an equal basis.
In this context one proposal was for Israel to exchange these new settlement blocks for land adjacent to the proposed Palestinian states borders. A significant area proposed for this exchange was in an area known as Wadi Ara. This valley lies on a main access roadway between the Mediterranean coast the the Yazreel Valley which itself runs from Haifa, East to the Jordan River.
A “spicy” historically comment: At the point where Wadi Ara enters the Valley of Jezreal lies the ancient hill settlement of Meggido, known in Christian mythology as Armageddon, (Har Megeddo).
Wadi Ara is populated mainly by Muslim Arabs citizens of Israel. To the immediate south of the Wadi lies the northern border of the proposed Palestinian state.
So, a proposal was voiced that in exchange for the settlement blocks Israel will absorb into its borders, it will relinquish sovereignty of some of the southern hills of this Wadi (valley). Along with the land area several thousand Israeli Arab citizens would also fall within Palestinian sovereignty. This proposal has stimulated a great deal of controversy. The official representatives of the Arab community in Israel, the individuals that are elected to the national parliament have voiced extremely negative reactions to this proposal. Objections have also been voiced by some of the ordinary people as well. One of them, Mr. Nabil Sa’ad is a resident of the town of Umm el-Fahm, one of those communities that would become part of Palestine; was quoted in a Jerusalem Post article as voicing his communities objections to being “move(ed)…from place to place without anyone asking them”.http://www.jpost.com/...ost%2FJPArticle%2FPrinter
I think Mr. Sa’ad and the residents of Umm el-Fahm should be reassured that the plan, which I believe is endorsed among others, by Avigdor Liberman and his Israel Betenue party, does not call for any one, Arab or Jew, to be moved from where they live today to someplace else. Under the terms of the proposal Mr. Sa’ad his family and neighbors would continue to sleep in their comfortable beds, in the homes they now inhabit, surrounded by the fields, trees and views enjoyed by all the past generations of their families. The only “thing” that would move is the invisible, somewhat arbitrary dividing line between the state of Israel and a future state of Palestine. The color of their passports and identification documents might also change.
Under those conditions Mr. Sa’ad, his family and friends would finally be living as full equals in a state of all its citizens, a state in which its national anthem would be one that Mr. Sa’ad, his heart beating proudly, could joyfully sing. The flag flying over his local post office would be one which he felt was his own as would be the official language written on the stamps he could purchase there. In addition the photo of the nations president, which usually graces the walls of most post offices would be of a president he could be proud of.
No longer would Mr. Sa’ad be challenged by a condition in which the beliefs of his people would be in conflict with the interests of his nation. Mr. Sa’ad would be able to save himself the unpleasant experience of feeling discriminated against because of his religion, national or historical loyalties.
The holidays celebrated in his new country would be his holidays, the national heroes could also be his personal heroes.
There would be no question of loyalty or allegiance. No paying taxes to a despised government.
An additional advantage, with his new passport (written in Arabic) Mr. Sa’ad would have no trouble traveling to visit family in any of the Arab states in the region or doing business in the Muslim states further away.
As I believe that many if not most of Israels Jewish citizens are feed up with hearing the constant complaining and criticism emanating from the countries Arab citizens it seems that this would be a win-win situation. The Palestinian state would benefit from its new educated sophisticated citizens. Israel would become more governable by eliminating some of smaller political parties as well as towning down of the intense destructive negative non-constructive rhetoric of these parliamentary representatives.
A disturbing right wing party like Israel Beyetnu would loose a great deal of its reason d’etre and its power would be muted.. This too would be a true contribution towards the goal of having stable functional governments for Israel..
It sounds like an win-win situation for Mr. Sa’ad, his family, his community the citizins of the state of Israel and a future Palestine.