Friday, April 12, 2013

Condominalism - as long as it isn't Miminalistic

Anne-Marie Slaughter, is a former director of policy planning in the US State Department (2009-2011) and is currently the Bert G. Kerstetter '66 University Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University. She was previously dean of Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

She asks us to 

Imagine a two-state solution in Israel and Palestine in which Palestinians would have the right of return; Israelis could settle wherever they could purchase land in the West Bank; and Jerusalem need not be divided. 

As she further elucidates:

...suppose that the reason that no Palestinians and Israelis [are] willing to conclude such a that the solution itself is domestically unsupportable on both sides. Suppose that as long as a version of this deal [which is:  a version of the deal that Clinton sought: two sovereign states based on the 1967 borders, with negotiated land swaps to reflect existing settlement patterns. The agreement would include a land corridor connecting Gaza and the West Bank; a divided Jerusalem with guaranteed access for all to religious sites; Palestinians’ renunciation of the right of return; Israel’s willingness to dismantle settlements outside the agreed borders; and recognition of both states across the Middle East] is the only game in town, the creeping physical expansion of the Israeli state and the demographic expansion of Israeli Arabs will continue to erode its foundation..

She then goes on to promote Russell Nieli's article in Tikkun, “Toward a Permanent Palestinian/Israeli Peace – the Case for Two-State Condominialism”.

...The core idea is that Israelis and Palestinians would be citizens of two separate states and thus would identify with two separate political authorities. Palestine would be defined as a state of the Palestinian people, and Israel as a Jewish state. Under “condominialism,” however, both Palestinians and Jews “would be granted the right to settle anywhere within the territory of either of the two states, the two states thus forming a single, binational settlement community.” 

That means:

...Each state would have the authority and the obligation to provide for the economic, cultural, religious, and welfare needs of its citizens living in the other state’s territory. These would be extraterritorial rights and responsibilities, just as the United States, for example, provides for its large numbers of expatriates, such as civilian dependents of US military personnel based abroad.

To make this work, the borders of each state would first have to be defined – presumably on the basis of the 1967 borders, with mutually agreed territorial swaps. Israeli Arabs would then be required to transfer their citizenship, national identity, and national voting rights – but not their residence – to the new Palestinian state. They would have a permanent right to live in Israel and would retain the benefits to which they are currently entitled as Israeli citizens, but they would now vote as citizens of Palestine. All other Palestinians living in Israel would have rights and benefits only under Palestinian law.

Why define borders?  In any case

Condominialism recognizes the reality of the deep interconnectedness of Israeli settlers in the West Bank with the rest of Israel – through roads, water supplies, electricity grids, administrative structures, and economic relationships (just as Israeli and Palestinian parts of Jerusalem are interdependent). Instead of trying to separate and recreate all of these structures and relationships, it makes far more sense to build on them in ways that benefit both states’ peoples and economies. 

The "right of return" is a no-go/non-starter.  And without Arab/Muslim recognition of Jewish national ethos, this isn't worth the virtual paper on which it is printed.

There is no comparison, historically, culturally, religiously or legally, between the status of an Arab in the Land of Israel and that of a Jew therein.  Zionism achieved and gained international recognition for "close settlement of Jews" in the territory, at the least, between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, having been forced to relinquish, supposedly temporarily, that right in 1922 but we were victims of British reneging.

The Arabs sought from the start, via demonstrations in late 1919 and then violent murderous riots in 1920, to eradicate that entity.  And then they lied and propagandized and rejected any and all diplomatic resolution and engaged continuously in terror, as they still do.

A solution cannot be minimalistic.  it cannot avoid the Arab negativism, their attempts at disinventivity, the Islamic fanaticism.  All what Princeton may be avoiding or ignoring.

But I am willing to deliberate condoninalism - as long as it isn't minimalistic.



Elise Ronan said...

I actually wrote this comment on the article. I am not sure they will print it.

What nonsensical gobbledegook. At no point does this exercise in inanity take into account the facts. It dismisses the cultural and political norms of the area and imbues it with some esoteric elitist thought process that actually has nothing to do with the real world.

One: the idea of forced Palestinian citizenship on Israeli-Arabs is part and parcel of the most racist idea I have read yet. Telling people because of their ethnicity that even if they live in a state they cannot be part of that citizenry is beyond the moral bounds of democratic society. While citizenship-through-paternity is exactly how the Arab world is run it is not how any decent modern oriented nation defines its citizenry. Israel is a democracy and this idea in effect changes it into an oligarchy. Disgusting. If an Israeli had had this thought this author would be the first to decry it as a for of ethnic cleansing/civil rights abuse/ apartheid.

Furthermore, the USA does not control the legal realities of their expatriots. Their nations of residence do. The USA monitors and can help expatriots if they get into trouble or need assistance but they do not have legal authority to override the expatriots' residential nation. Prof Slaughter having worked at State should know that.

Second: that Jews and Palestinians could live anywhere they could buy land whether it was in the State of Israel or State of Palestine is inane. First the State of Palestine would have to remove the death penalty for selling land to Jews (which to them is a scared cow among other antisemitic positions). Then you would have to coordinate the land sales so that they were equally regulated. That the rules for Jews and Palestinians remained the same in both nations. How would that be accomplished without charges of further racism and legal apartheid once again? Would the States have to give up their sovereignty and let some benevolent "elitist" western organization monitor the land sales?

Third: recognized borders. What is the use of recognized borders if people do not have to abide by them? What is the need to have borders if it did not define sovereignty or rights or how your government is run? What would be the power of these nations? Who would govern their citizens? Who would control economic, foreign and development strategy?

Fourth: This is nothing like the EU. Even the EU is nothing like the EU. Nations did not give up their sovereignty and allow others to make overall decision for their population. While members of the EU can travel freely between nations, they are still citizens of the nations of their birth and only change if they abide by the rules of naturalization of the residential country. Foreign affairs are the purview of the individual nation not the EU and the EU parliament effectively has no power. There is nothing about the EU that would propel anyone to think of it as a success outside the elitist white Europeans who gave themselves the Nobel Prize last year, oh and this author apparently. Furthermore, as we watch the demise of the EU (basically because of the different national philosophies that have come into conflict) it is interesting to note that the author thinks it will work among nations living one of the most tribal, ethnic and religious conflicts on the planet.

The fact that this idea was presented in Tikkun magazine, that no truly respected magazine representing foreign affairs or Jewish/Israeli political thought would have it, only shows that not only is condonationalism an unrealistic approach to reality, but one that is devoid of reason, historical context and respect for the individual peoples involved. It merely is a leftist-anti-Israel polemic, nothing more.

YMedad said...

thanks for that ER

Anonymous said...

In scandinavia people think jews have a very strange face, especially the nose is very bad-looking,kinda scythe-like they say, . They call it " Ful nasa". the word "ful" is pronounced like the english word "fuel". i kind of feel sorry for them, but maybe its the testosterone.. i´ve heard it increases the tissues inside the nose, especially bone mass.
It´s intresting to note that the hebrew work "nasa" can mean both "to marry" and "to lift" and "to desire" among many other verbs..