Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Ideas for Solving the Palestinian-Israeli
By Jack Barry
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, November 3, 2014
following is a letter to the Editor by Jack Barry, an Al-Jazeerah reader,
offering his ideas of how the Palestinian-Israeli conflict may be resolved.
As readers may notice, these ideas do not address the other basic final-status
issues, particularly the rights of the Palestinian refugees to be
repatriated and compensated.
For almost 66 years, the
international community has struggled to find a solution for the increasing
growth of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Despite the rhetoric,
political disinformation, and emotional turmoil, the solution is relatively
simple. It just takes political leadership and courage that is today missing
in both Israel and Palestine. Only an outside third party can provide a
solution - not one nation but the concert of nations.
and Palestine should be recognized as independent states with borders that
adhere to the 1948 UN resolution.
The over 382,000 Jewish settlers
who reside in the West Bank – little over 14% of the population of the West
Bank – should be free to continue to occupy their settlements in the West
Bank. They will be, however, citizens of Palestine not Israel – and thus
subject to the political and security administration of the Palestinian
government. Similar to the over 1,658,000 Arabs who live in Israel, they
will be accorded similar protected rights as Palestinian citizens. This
would hopefully avoid the horrors and long-lasting hatred that the forced
migrations in India and Pakistan engendered.
Jerusalem is a more
difficult decision. As the spiritual holy city of three major religions it
holds special status as a historical and religious heritage city. No one
group or religion can rightly claim Jerusalem as their undivided capital or
territory. Jerusalem should come under a special UN commission empowered to
provide security and administration of the city and its holy sites. The city
will be again divided into its four historical quadrants – the Jewish
sector, the Arab sector, the Christian sector, and the fourth would be both
the Armenian and other religions sector. Citizens would be limited by their
professed religion or nationality to live in one sector and not any other.
Occupants of the Jewish sector will be citizens of Israel and Israel
can enjoy that sector as its capital. Occupants of the Arab sector would be
citizens of Palestine and Palestine can enjoy that sector as its capital. No
country or religion can claim the other two sectors as part of their
citizenship or as their capital. But all of Jerusalem four quadrants would
be an open city under UN security and administration.
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