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Proposed Peace Arraignments for the Israel-Palestine Conflict Wassim Boustani, Assignment 2 The Middle East (HIS-243414; Summer 2007) SUNY Empire State College Professor L. Sprankle 8 July, 2007

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Proposed Peace Arraignments for the Israel-Palestine Conflict Multiple solutions and scenarios for peace have been proposed for the Middle East, but none have successfully brought a complete halt to the Israel-Palestine conflict. The Arab and Western countries, in addition to other countries, have proposed resolutions that would please all those involved, but peace has yet to be achieved. It may be possible to create a coalition of Arab countries that would vote on peace scenarios, which could potentially improve the chances of calmness in the region. Before beginning any proposed solution, we need to consider the relations between Arab countries, and take an inventory of conditions within each. When speaking of the Middle East, we consider Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen (MidEastWeb, 2001). The proposed coalition would only include these countries, without any outside influences, unless requested. For these countries to agree to an alliance, they must find a way to eliminate conflict between each other. For instance, since the early 1970s, relations between Algeria and Morocco have been strained over Morocco’s support for the Polisario guerillas. Although the conflict was eventually resolved, relations have not been completely restored (ArabNet, 2002). To be of any help towards the Israel-Palestine conflict, these countries should be void of conflict themselves. Arab countries involved in the newly created coalition would need to display their willingness for peace, not only by words, but also by actions. Those who do not cooperate are not invited to sessions, and their continued absence could result in the loss of support by other members. Each coalition member would have elected officials to represent it at sessions.

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Officials would preferably be chosen according to the country’s primary religious and ethnic groups. Similar to the Electoral College in the United States, Muslim officials would be more numerous in countries where they are the majority. However, any major religion or ethnic group would have at least one official representative to ensure fair voting. Egypt, for example, has a 90-94% concentration of Sunni Muslim, but must also represent its small Christian and Jewish groups (MidEastWeb, 2001). These officials would be selected by citizens of the various groups during scheduled elections, and would represent their group for a two-year term, with no limit on the number of reelections. The objective is to have a very influential coalition that would vote on, act on, and monitor peace initiatives for the entire region, including Israel and Palestine. Consequently, peace cannot be achieved without the mention of Israel and Palestine. The coalition’s first order of business would be to review current issues, study peace scenarios, and agree to an immediate course of action. One pressing issue is to provide secure borders for Israel; however, the coalition will most likely vote for Israel’s withdrawal from all areas occupied since the 1967 war. Once this is accomplished, Israel would be recognized as an independent state by all the coalition members (Glenn, 2003). Borders would be clearly defined, and UN peace keeping forces will be needed in troubled areas. Israel’s occupation of new territories after the 1967 war has been highly contested, and its withdrawal would ease many tensions. Palestine should be established as an independent state with clearly defined borders, in addition to being recognized as a UN member (Glenn, 2003). As previously stated, Israeli armed forces should withdraw from disputed regions intended for Palestine. Elections would be held to establish a formal government and unambiguous leadership. The most difficult process would be a change in anti-Israel sentiments, and suppressing radical militia groups that seek to rule regions

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through terrorist acts. Conflict within Palestine could continue, even if Israel agrees to all the terms set forth. The coalition would need to express its authority on the region, possibly with the help of long-term UN peace keeping forces. The Palestine solution may come at a cost of civilian lives, with an increase of refugees, if radical groups do not cooperate. Jerusalem is considered a holy site by many faiths, and should therefore be shared by them all. Declaring Jerusalem an international city may be too extreme, but peaceful sharing of the site should be enforced. Any irrational restrictions by Muslim leaders would be removed, but the highest standards and respect for the holy site should be enforced. Various locations could be cordoned off to enable specific groups, such as Jews and Muslims, to pray without distractions from tourists. These groups would be responsible for the maintenance of their specific areas, and can choose to limit access by guests and visitors. Aid in the form of weapons, or funds intended for the purchase of weapons, should be banned to all nations involved in conflicts, including Israel and Palestine (Glenn, 2003). All coalition members should cooperate to combat terrorism and be expected to show progress. Less severe crimes by civilians and leaders should be tried with each member’s state, or by a coalition tribunal. Social service groups should be established to teach and encourage the idea of peace to children and their families. The well-being of families, especially poor and unemployed households, as well as human rights issues concerning women, should be attended to. Encouraging peace within the family and in the minds of children will result in a more tranquil future for all. The scarcity of water in the arid states continues to raise disagreements, especially since Israel’s growth spurt during the Jewish settlements. Long-term water sharing needs to be

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negotiated fairly for all those concerned. Trade agreements must be negotiated between members, especially Israel and Palestine. Trade should include industrial, technological, agriculture, and economic developments. Financial assistance should be made to Palestine, while domestic and foreign investments should be allowed to move freely between coalition nations. Travels to and from Palestine, including Israel, should be normalized with passports and visas, as it is with most countries. Resource use should not become a major igniter of conflict, but this is only possible with good management and fair distribution. Education could be one of the most important factors in achieving peace. A consistent curriculum used in a quality school system can teach subjects and tolerance to new generations. Cultural and religious studies could open discussions on peace, can challenge stereotypes and negative views of others, and will discourage violence. Education investments and freedoms will provide equal access to the poor and women. An increase in education and scholarly discussions in the region will also encourage foreign educators and student enrollment, as well as foreign exchange programs and investments. Knowledge sharing between nations will improve, as well as conditions in households, as tolerance is taught. Refugees from past conflicts should have the freedom to return to their homes, or be provided a safe haven and financial assistance in the country of their choice (Glenn, 2003). UN peace keeping forces would monitor the conditions of refugee camps, and preserve human rights during any refugee crisis. New resolutions can provide immigration limits, work and student visas, travel documentation, and refugee support by all coalition members. Financial assistance by UN members should be encouraged, without incurring debts on any coalition member. Future costs associated with a conflict should be the responsibility of those involved, but primarily by the nations who initiated the conflict itself.

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A coalition of Arab countries that would vote on the peace scenarios could potentially improve the chances of long-term peace in the region. The influential members of the Arab coalition would be self-sufficient, without the assistance of the West, unless it is so desired. The moderate venue would open dialogues between willing nations that have a desire for peace, prosperity, and inclusion in the growing global market and community. Without a unified solution, nations will risk alienation, increased conflict, and backward mobility away from others.

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Works Cited ArabNet, (2002). Algeria Foreign Policy. Retrieved June 27, 2007, from ArabNet Web site: http://www.arab.net/algeria/aa_foreign.htm Glenn, J. C. (2003). Middle East Peace Scenarios Study. Retrieved July 8, 2007, from AC/UNU Millennium Project Web site: http://www.acunu.org/millennium/rd1-mepeace.html MidEastWeb, (2001). Countries and Flags. Retrieved June 26, 2007, from Middle East Countries at a Glance Web site: http://www.mideastweb.org/countries.htm

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