In my last article, I showed you a history of Israel, in which I discussed what had happened there over the years. In this portion of the Israel series, I’ll discuss different solutions we could come up with. If you have any ideas, I urge you to contact me about them. I would love to hear your take.
Above is an image of Palestine-Israel land sharing over time since the 1948-49 resolution, for the reader’s understanding of how much land will be given up. Just for posterity reasons, this will be a “1949-1967 map” idea. The Israel borders will remain in the “No Palestine” scenario, and the Palestine borders will remain like they are in the 1949-1967 map in the “No Israel” scenario. Please refer to this if you need an idea of what’s going on. (Sources: MSNBC showed a map similar to this here: https://unitedwithisrael.org/msnbc-news-broadcasts-palestinian-propaganda-maps-as-fact/ )
Fist, an explanation: On the east side of the map of Israel, the green spots are in the area known as the “West Bank”, even though it’s in the East of Israel. The small strip of land on the West coast of Israel that is occupied by Palestine is the “Gaza Strip”. If you know Israel’s history with this area, it has been contended with for a long time.
Second, we should talk about the ‘scenario layout’. In both scenarios, we will use the “1949-1967” map. Why? Well, especially in the ‘No Palestine’ scenario, I don’t think many nations will want a bunch of encampments in the Gaza Strip. Hence, the 1967 borders will be used.
Many in the past have offered two general solutions rather than peace. Either a) Israel is disbanded, and the land be given “back to it’s original owners”, or b) Palestine is disbanded, and the land is given “back to it’s original owners”. I’ll entertain both ideas in this portion of the article.
ISRAEL FIRST: THE “NO ISRAEL” SOLUTION
All right, let’s get into some alternative history.
It’s 1948 again. The global Jewish population has been decimated. In contrast to our timeline, Hitler had the Jews being killed at a faster rate. Not something drastic, like 12 or 13 million, but just around 8 or 9 million. Again, a big loss. Luckily for the Nazis, in this alternative timeline, they erased a large portion of Jews who, in our timeline, want to return to Israel the most. So, the whole “1948 resolution” by the UN does happen, but the land that is given to Israel is small, like in our scenario. Thanks to ‘Zionist’ forces from America and other nations from the West, the events slowly grow to where it comes to the 1967 war. Sadly, instead of winning the war against all of it’s enemies, Israel loses, and the land it owned is divided up and sold for profit by Palestine (for some reason). This land sale lasts until today. The Jewish people either remain in the former Israel, or flee to other nations. Despite there not being a Jewish state anymore, the PLO still exists, and the attacks on Jews still happen. Like I’ll say in the ‘No Palestine’ scenario, the reason is simple: Hatred of the Jewish people is what drives anti-Semitic attacks against them, not the existence of the Jewish state. The existence of the state does supercharge the anger, though. It does not, however, completely fuel the anger.
Let’s start by looking at what the new landowners will get out of the deal. Waterfront property, which means shipping rights, as well as a river and several hundred miles of open land. Whoever gets this property will have access to both Jordan and Egypt, two huge trading partners. In addition to the positive waterfront property gig, this new owner also has access to resource potential. Farming land, which is always important, is available. In addition, the possibility of tourism is available, too.
Now, let’s go to the list of contenders. In the Middle East, we have a group of neighbors who are looking for some new land. We’ve got: Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Northern Cyprus (yes, we’re counting it too), Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, the UAE, and Yemen.
We have to put out a disclaimer: Places like Bahrain, Turkey, and other nations not immediately next to the up-for-sale land will need to be considered as “possibilities”, not contenders for the ownership of the land. This is because owning land not directly next to you is hard; I don’t really believe Bahrain would want the land that isn’t near them in a geographical sense. The same thing goes with the two Cyprus’s; again, no reason to be interested in the land that’s not even close to you.
Let’s look at the new possible owners. Palestine has, according to anti-Israel detractors, always existed, even before Israel was there (in our timeline).
Let’s take a deeper examination into who would get the land. First, we’ll start with Egypt. While Egypt did engage in several wars over the years with Israel, it has relatively stopped warfare. All it can now really be charged with is possibly funding terrorism (and that claim is, to my knowledge, just a claim). It could use the land for farming, trading (sea ports, as well as land-based trade routes open up), and even use tourism the ancient history brings with it. I personally wouldn’t mind Egypt taking the land (rightfully, not forcibly), since they aren’t the biggest threat to the region, or the world. So, Egypt would be the best so far.
Next, let’s move on to Lebanon. To my current knowledge, Lebanon is not a state-sponsor of terrorism. Be that as it may be, it has done little to stop the terror from the PLO, which was using the country as land for it’s bases. While Lebanon may not encourage terrorism against Israel, it has done nothing to stop it. Next, let’s examine why Lebanon may want this country’s land. Lebanon has resources of it’s own: It has trade opportunities that it can use to make itself rich. In addition, it has plenty of land for farming. Maybe it would like Israel to use it as a land for trade opportunities. Also, the new land could be used for farming. And, in addition, access to land (without having to pay for shipping and tax from another country) for free. While Israel today has free trade agreements with many nations, I don’t think that Lebanon would be as happy to do free trade with other nations. In addition, Lebanon’s coastal borders would increase as well.
Let’s move on to the neighbor of the east, Jordan. While Jordan has been hostile to Israel in the past, to my knowledge, their relationship is like a brother and sister-they aren’t hostile most of the time, but they aren’t exactly friends. In this situation, Jordan would gain some coastline next to Lebanon, and would also gain some access to borders shared with Egypt. The additional land would allow full access to the Lebanese border, and would then gain nearly full trade potential with Egypt and Lebanon. Again, all of the prior opportunities would be there, except the ‘trade with Jordan’.
We’ll examine Syria next. Syria would be happy to gain more land, and would be a lot more happy to gain that land from the former Jewish state. The Jewish state has always been an annoyance to the Syrians, and I’m sure they’d be just as happy to see it gone. Again, like all other countries, the country would gain direct borders and trade possibilities with all of the countries surrounding Israel. This could be a problem.
Imagine it happening in a world today: Syria is in the midst of a lot of conflicts-whether that be civil wars, wars against domestic terrorists, or even national invaders. Imagine if they had direct access to Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, and Lebanon. Wouldn’t that be great: Getting other countries involved in with your problems. As well as Egypt, don’t forget that issue. I’m not sure about Middle Eastern politics, but I’ll just take a guess and say Egypt isn’t that great of friends with Syria. Yes, they may have been on the same side in previous conflicts, but that doesn’t mean they can be friends now. For example: Back in the Civil War, Britain hired German mercenaries to help in the war effort against the colonists. Then, nearly 160 years later, those same two countries were trying to destroy each other. Do you understand why this mindset would be set on this scenario?
Next, let’s discuss Iraq. Yes I know Iraq is considered a ‘possibility’. But, I think Iraq would be interested in the potential Israel has to offer. Let’s say the Iraq-Iran conflict again occurs, this time with Iraq in Israel. Saddam wins, and starts building up his military. Being a smart dictator, he sends troops into the land of Iran (in Israel). He loses the Gulf War, again. But, this time he orders his troops in Iraq “In Israel” to attack and conquer Lebanon. Again, He’d just lost the war. But, he has the ability to catch everyone off guard, and take over other countries. We all know Saddam Hussein is like Hitler; the more land he can grab, the more he will grab. So, think of the potential disaster of letting him have a country with borders shared with Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria. Not to forget: They’ll have potential port access, as well as a link (through Jordan) to Saudi Arabia. Is that ringing a bell with anyone now? I certainly would block that buy.
Let’s go on to the list of ‘unallowed’ buyers. These are the countries we wouldn’t let have the land, nor would they want the land.
Iran doesn’t want Israel to exist, so let’s just remove their name off the list. Bahrain? What would they use Israel for? Sure, it’s got water access, as well as trade borders, but that situation is like Seward’s Folly. Why would they want to buy a small piece of land three to four countries away? Same idea goes with Cyprus. No real reason to buy a piece of land So, they’re off the list as well.
Turkey falls into the same place as Iran. They could use the land, but they’d be the first to use Israel as something else. No, they’re not as bad as Iraq, but they’ve still got enemies in the Middle East. So, I think it’d be a huge risk to allow them to buy it out.
RAMIFICATIONS OF THIS SCENARIO
Let’s see what Israel has done for the world since it was established. It trades with over 7 other nations outside of the Middle East. Currently, in December of 2018, they do not have a ‘water crisis’. They use a new irrigation method called ‘Drip Farming’; this method conserves a huge amount of water as opposed to ‘flood irrigation’. Water is very important to humanity. Israel seems to get this fact, and has acted upon it, unlike other countries in the region. Also, Israel has one of the best defensive military forces in the region. They have been able to defend themselves against terror threats not only from terror groups, but also threats of war from other countries. Egypt, Lebanon, Iran-all three of these countries have either threatened or declared war on Israel in the past. In addition, Israel has world-renowned scientists, and are always making scientific advancements every day. In addition, Israel has been pushing for peace with it’s neighbors since it started being a separate country. Don’t forget: In 2000, the Prime Minister of Israel offered up the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, recognition and establishment of a separate Palestinian state, and a share of Jerusalem as capital. This was huge, since all four of these items were what Palestine wanted. But then the negotiations fell through. Should we get rid of Israel? If we did, we’d be removing one of the few democratic powers in the region. In addition, we’d be getting rid of a strong ally. Yes, Jordan and Egypt are good allies, but they’ve not been what Israel has been to us. Would you get rid of a best friend?
Lastly, we need to address the ‘God’s People’ issue. In the Bible, God promised the land of Israel to Abraham’s descendants. Then, he said that whoever was good to Israel would be blessed in return; whoever treated Israel badly would be treated the same by God. I’m not sure about you, but an argument can be made that America, one of the biggest supporters of Israel has been immensely blessed. Israel itself has been immensely blessed. If we as America had never had Israel around, would we be as prosperous? Would we be as great as we are? Think about that for a second.
PALESTINE: WHO GETS IT?
As I explained earlier, we’ll be using the pre-1968 borders of Palestine to determine who gets it and why they should.
Let’s start with the benefits this land has to offer: First, it shares land borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt. It also has a sea border thanks to the Gaza Strip. In addition, the PLO has had bases along the border of Israel and Lebanon for years, so that could technically counted as territories as well. In terms of resources, they have tourism opportunities, living space, and some resources they can trade or be used.
WHO SHOULD WE GIVE THIS LAND TO AND WHY?
First off, Israel won’t get the land. Why? No one would ever allow them to.
In order to start this part of the story off, we need to talk about the backstory here. It’s 2017, and 50 years earlier, Palestine lost the 1967 Six Day’s War. Their territory prior to the war is offered up as a great purchase of land for any country to buy. So, we need to look at the possible contenders. The rules, as before, do apply.
Egypt is first up for scrutiny. Out of this deal, Egypt would have direct land-trade routes with Jordan, of which they are friendly to. In addition, they’d gain back the Gaza Strip, which would also give them more coastal property. They’d have a stronger (and shorter) trade path with Lebanon as well, in addition to every other nation in the Middle East. In accordance to this additional land, they’d be able to directly communicate with Israel about it’s affairs without worrying about possibly angering the Palestinians (since their land would belong to Egypt, and would be known as Egypt). Egypt isn’t at war with Israel anymore, so Israel would possibly find an ally in their new larger neighbor. This would be a positive for Israel.
Next we’ll do Jordan. Jordan is friendly with Israel as far as I know. They’d increase their borders, gain a small piece of sea border, and would share new border lines with Egypt. In addition, the’y d gain closer trade routes with Lebanon, a larger border with Israel (more trade without Palestine to go through, if they wanted to). In addition, they’d gain a direct trade route with Egypt, would gain them money, as well as the possibility of a sea port. Jordan doesn’t have a large sea border to begin with, so it’ d help them.
The story with Israel would also help the Jordanians. Without Palestine, Jordan would be able to more closely trade and negotiate with Israel. Their relationship would be better if they had no middle man.
Lebanon is next on our list. Lebanon has been problematic with Israel for quite a long time. However, if Palestine were part of it’s land, it would gain a lot of land and resources. If it gained the land, it’d gain direct borders with both Egypt and Jordan. Their trade routes would significantly cheapen in cost, and would increase in profit. That would offset the reason for Israel to worry about them invading the land. Lebanon would gain a huge piece of revenue if they had direct access to Jordan and Egypt. Israel would have to worry about those in Lebanon-Palestine who are hateful to them. However, since Lebanon has other places to trade with, they’d also need to be nice to Israel, since Jordan or Egypt could then intervene (quickly).
Next, Syria. Syria has not had a great relationship with Israel, or the other nations in the Middle East (to my knowledge). Again, like every other country on this list, they’d gain land borders with all three countries-Israel, Jordan, and Egypt-and would also gain a possible sea port. This is good for trade, since Syria would get a lot more in profits, even if Israel drove up the price for the land (I’m thinking Israel would not want Syria there for obvious reasons of anti-Israeli sentiments). However, maybe Syria would act more like Jordan: They’d get used to Israel’s presence, and would maybe even become friends with them. In addition to the new friendliness the country would possibly develop, they’d also have a direct link to Egypt. Syria would be able to either attack or trade with Egypt directly, which would either strengthen or lessen the tensions between the two countries. All in all, this country would be a little more of a “case-by-case” issue, rather than a predictable “good idea”, unlike previous contenders.
We’ll move on to the list of investors who would be barred from getting this land. Why? Their history with Israel and the other countries, of course.
First, Iraq. Let’s assume Iraq wants this land for reasons of closeness to Israel. They’d send out a smooth and slick talker to negotiate the buy. Obviously, we need to remember: This is the same country which tried to involve Israel into the Gulf War, hates Jews, and was ruled by an anti-Israeli dictator in the 90’s. Saddam would have liked nothing more than to just invade Israel to destroy it, then to take over the countries surrounding it. We need to also remember, Iraq is very unstable. It’s constantly rocked by terror threats, the Taliban, ISIS, and plenty of civil uprisings. They’d be unable to actually benefit from land not directly next to them. So, I’d say Iraq would be a hard pass for buying this land.
Iran will be next. Do we even need to explain this one? I guess so. Iran hates Israel even more than Syria does. Iran has always hated Israel from day one. Iran’s issues really ramped up after it’s pro-American king was overthrown in the 1970’s. Imagine, just imagine: It’s 1968. Israel is selling the land they’ve won from Palestine to anyone who wants to buy (except Iraq and Saudi Arabia). Iran approaches Israel’s representative, and says, “We want the land for a good price.” Israel says “We don’t think we can trust you.” The U.S. overhears this conversation and goes over to Israel, “They’re friendly to us. Just tell them the relationship will be strained for right now.” So, Israel accepts, and Iran immediately starts to settle pro-Israel ‘moderate’ Muslims in ‘New Iran’. It’s all good for about 10 years, but then 1979 rolls around, and the revolution happens. It turns out that those ‘moderate’ Muslims who were settled in Palestine were loyal to the kind. He’s now overthrown, and they’re angry. For some odd reason, anti-Israeli Muslims get in the ear of these angry Muslims, and convince them that Israel, a pro-American state, caused the revolution (they have an agenda), and they cause these Iranians to call for war against Israel. See an issue here? Since 1980, Iran has become more and more anti-Israeli. If they’re right next to Israel, wouldn’t that be a horrible thing in 2018? Imagine all of the attacks they could bring out against the nation, as well as any other pro-Israel or even ‘nice to Israel’ countries around them. This situation would be disastrous for stability in this nation, and would destroy our relationships with the nations there.
Lastly, let’s examine Saudi Arabia. While the Saudi kingdom has not been as anti-Israeli as Iran has been, they’ve not been as good as other nations. Saudi Arabia, however, could be like Syria if they had a chance to become more stable with Egypt and Jordan thanks to the new land borders, they could possibly grow to tolerate Israel. However, the risk is too high in my opinion. We should be safe, rather than sorry. So, Saudi Arabia will remain on the “No” list for now.
THE INCONVENIENT TRUTH
The Middle East situation has been very fragile ever since Israel was established. I don’t care about your political affiliation; we can all agree on that fact. However, the issue to this ‘No ’ solution is that the situation does not call for ‘One state to remain’. The issue remains (from the most objective view possible): No one wants to give up their land. Israel doesn’t want to leave, and Palestine doesn’t want to leave. The viewpoints of the situation delve further into opinion as you get deeper into the argument: From a pro-Israeli point of view, it’s “Israel only wants peace, and will do almost anything to achieve peace; however, Palestine doesn’t want peace, and never will”. On the anti-Palestine side of things, it’s “Israel is causing the violence, has invaded land that is not theirs, and remains, bullying the people who did live there previously”. The sole outcome of this debate? No one will ever find peace. Why? No one has ever wanted the situation to end. Zionist radicals would like to see Israel rule over all of the Middle East, heck, probably the entire world. Palestinian radicals would like nothing more than to destroy Judaism off the face of the earth. The ‘moderates’ in the middle can’t even agree on a settlement which would benefit both parties. Why? I’ll say it again, but with a different spin: No one will feel like a proper settlement was reached. There are those in Palestine who want all of Israel to belong to Palestine, and not just half the land. Likewise, there are those in Israel who want to own all of Palestine, and not just certain portions of it. We need to admit the fact that ‘peace in the Middle East’ will never happen, as long as hatred for others exists. Even then, hatred for others is natural in humans; it’s as natural as love is. So, in conclusion: We need to admit that there will never be a ‘fair’ solution, and get on with other issues.