Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Tikkun Israel/Palestinian Peace Plan -- Michael Lerner (comments)

Following this post is the complete presentation of the Tikkun Israel/Palestinian Peace Plan by Michael Lerner. I found this peace plan by Michael Lerner to be outstanding.

In principle I agree to almost everything he has written. The one major difference I have is the wording about Israeli citizens in the West Bank "having" to become citizens. I believe this should be a choice of all people in all countries to be allowed to choose the citizenship of their wishes. Much as those of retirement age in many countries in Europe setting up home in a foreign land without giving up citizenship. Those of an age with children living in the areas to become home to the Palestinians might indeed choose Palestinian citizenship in order to contribute to the decision making process as to schools, zoning etc. Others would do it perhaps to establish the return to the friendship and close ties of Jewish, Muslim, Christian and other religious groups that were the normal course of living throughout much of the Arab World for centuries. Indeed much of the Tikkun Plan covers such hopes and ways to implement such harmony between peoples.

I would wish some formal system covering the territories of both countries to allow for access for any citizen of either country to the medical services in their local area under any plan established by their respective home countries. This would also include any transfer of patients to major medical centers in either country if this is found to be necessary.

As readers of this blog know, I do not believe that the northern West Bank of current Palestine should be a part of any Palestinian homeland but instead remain as a sovereign part of Israel with both current Israeli and Palestinian citizens being allowed to remain and have the right of free choice as to citizenship. This would thus also apply to all those who choose to remain in what becomes part of the Palestinian homeland from the southern portion of the West Bank as well as the two cities of Jerusalem and al-Quds. As readers of this blog will know I think that the peace process will only truly have a chance of long term peace if this is the case. It is also my contention that for the Palestinian people to have long term economic and social success living in a sovereign nation that is completely under their control this is their chance. I also believe that the Palestinian people should be asking for other areas of Israel that are much more important to their long term success for all Palestinians, especially those who have been displaced out of country. This is most graphically illustrated by my thoughts that all of the very southern tip of the Negev should be part of any land for peace swap.

As my plan also includes the addition of lands of neighboring countries the citizens of these areas would also have the same choice of citizenship. (This area might change dramatically with events of the Arab Spring. A separate posting will discuss this issue.)

My final comment is not in anyway a disagreement. In fact I agree whole heartedly with section #5. My comment is on funding. I propose that the proceeds from the newly discovered gas fields offshore from Israel and Palestine be used solely to provide money for a fund to help those displaced and their descendants from both sides. This could be used initially to provide or upgrade housing. It would also provide funding for the creation of jobs for both groups. Over time it would extend to helping further the education of descendants in universities and trade schools. The fund could also be used to further cultural centers throughout the region. I would also add that I feel that some portion of the fund also be used for the rebuilding in Lebanon. I would also hope that preferential hiring and training for many of the jobs associated with this newly created gas industry be given to both of the displaced communities and their descendants.

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