Dear Yousef Al-Helou and Dina Jadallah-Taschler
I enjoyed your articles and commentary at PalestineChronicle.com.
I know Palestinians have been fighting for the return of their homelands for now going on 62+ years. With each passing year the lands under Palestinian control have slowly but unabated continued to shrink. And as frustrations mount among all involved, the speaking with one voice has also continued to ebb. If you really want to see a long term solution to the Palestinian state I encourage you to read and reflect on, yes, another approach to the conflict.
I have long been concerned about the plight of Palestinians, especially the children. I agree with the need to the establishment of a Palestinian state. However I find that the concept of a viable Palestinian state going forward from even the most extreme wishes of the current Palestinians of all political parties, ie, total return of the West Bank to pre 1967 borders, "right of return" and the opening of Gaza to the world would not in anyway constitute a viable country.
The first problem would be "right of return". This is just not going to be agreed to by the Israeli government. Point to resolutions, show refugees with keys and children among rubble. It still is not going to happen. That leaves the complete control of p re 1967 West Bank borders and the Gaza. That may be fine for those currently living in the area, and with the evacuation of all current Israeli settlements in the West Bank, space could be found for an additional half million or so. So where do the rest go? What are they going to do for jobs? What about demographics? That time bomb of population growth so often sited as the main reason that Israel would not allow a one state solution does not stop ticking with the return of the Gaza and West Bank.
Right now. Today. If Israel were to say that they were packing up and would be out of the West Bank by 1 November 2009, who among the Palestinians is to be in charge and what are they offering as a viable government, country and way forward. I sure don't see any type of road map to that question and that is all in the Palestinian camp. No Quartet, no Arab League. Just among the Palestinians themselves.
If the Palestinians take a cold hard look, their solution involves all those keys having locks to come home to. It involves those aid packages, for bankers and civil servants, to keep on coming. So what do the 55% under 17 look forward to. Besides make work jobs for political support by Hamas and Fatah, I sure haven't seen any road map again here. And that is also all the 17 and under living outside of the West Bank and Gaza.
60+ years and instead of looking forward it seems like way too much time and effort has been spent looking back. What was lost. What might have been. The three solutions offered are homes that don't exist any more, scarce land and jobs for those who long to come home and anger that has no end in sight. Is that really all that you have to offer those millions of Palestinians under the age of 17 who are expecting a future.
It is not to late to back up, take a deep breath and really decide what it means to be a Palestinian state going forward. What does a Palestinian state need to really make that happen? What is really needed for peace in the entire neighborhood. Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. Do all their problems go away with a current peace plan? What has any one of them have to give up to make Palestine whole? Does any current solution in the neighborhood still not leave Palestine to be the poor stepchild of the region?
Take a few hours. Read my blog. I know it is not the answer. But it does focus on some topics and solutions that might possibly be missing from any current discussions to date.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Gary L. Tucker