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The discussion is dominated by utopians. Some want the Palestinians to vanish off the face of the earth, some the Israelis. Some avoid issues by coming up with proposals that will never be acceptable, I argue that is why they are proposed - to maintain the status quo.

Right now we have to areas administered by Israel: Gaza and the West Bank. Those in these areas don't like Israel and vice versa. These areas are not economically viable and are sustained by foreign aid.

They can't have their own military or foreign policy and there are severe restrictions on the type of development they can engage in.

All I'm suggesting is that the administration of these areas be turned over to fellow Arab states, who more closely match the social and demographic makeup of these residents.

Discussions of borders, Israeli settlers within the region, etc. are details, and people focus on them as yet another way to avoid discussing the larger principles involved.

Not mentioned by all the anti-Israeli commentators is the horrific conditions of Palestinian refugees kept in other states of the region. Neither is their any discussion of the economic and social discrimination practiced on their own populations. Sunni, Shia, Jews, Christians, Kurds, etc. are all mistreated in one place or another.

Show me an Arab state which has a democratic government, treats its citizens well and has a decent level of economic parity and development. If they can't provide for their own populations then where do they get the moral authority to criticize others.

This does not absolve the misdeeds of the west or any other state, two wrongs don't make a right, but lets be honest here, focusing on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is still a way to avoid the fundamental problems of the middle east.

Add in the religious and nationalistic jingoism and you have a situation which seems unfixable. Rehashing old arguments isn't going to lead to any progress.

Policies not Politics
---- Daily Landscape

by rdf (robert.feinman@gmail.com) on Wed Jan 7th, 2009 at 12:43:20 PM EST
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