Palaver from Persimmon Crossingwith Warren Faulk
The Middle East conflicts have puzzled, confounded, brutalized and killed many men, women and children.
In the interest of transcending such conflicts, The Progress Report presents food for thought, in the form of creative approaches to the Middle East situation. One such approach is outlined by Fred Foldvary in this editorial.
Today we present another approach, by Warren Faulk.
Like Foldvary, Faulk proposes a plan that does not involve "X is right, Y is wrong." Serious conflicts are never resolved through crushing one side. If a person is unwilling to give up grudges, justified or unjustified, then that person is not genuinely capable of finding an end to conflict.
And also like Foldvary's plan, Faulk's plan revolves crucially around locations -- creating security of tenure for civilians, to establish a future environment safe for children, safe for all. How and where such a secure environment can be created is where the peace plans diverge most strongly.
See for yourself. And let's hear your reactions.
A Middle East Peace Plan
1. Why Seek Peace?
All of my life the Jewish people have been at the center of controversy. They have many enemies and some friends. Some of the friendships are heartfelt. Others are about political correctness. My own mother, born and raised in the deep South as a Protestant, managed to think badly of both Jews and Catholics even though she knew few by name and none closely. Prejudice operates like a contagious disease. I feel some guilt carrying over from my upbringing.
As far as the Jews and Israel are concerned, I am long past caring who to blame for the sorry condition we find ourselves in. I'm far more concerned that a Jewish State exist happily, than I am with any particular geographic coordinates. If it comes to the point that "the Jews are God's chosen people", fine. He will be able to find them whereever they are. It behooves the rest of us to see that there are some of them remaining to accept the assignment.
What will the assignment be? When will it take place? Where? Why should a Christian be concerned? ... I don't know. And I think that is my main motivation for seeking alternatives to repression of any race, religion or people. I DON'T KNOW. What I do feel confident about is that all have value. No group should be bent on destruction of another. None should be in a continual state of emergency. Any and all peaceful alternatives should be given full consideration.
2. The Options
a. Status Quo offers continued conflict and death until the end of time. Peace talks have not worked and I see no reason to be optimistic. The cat chasing its tail rise and fall of hostilities will surely escalate at some point to where Israel is either conquered, or attempts to extend its borders by conquest, allowing for a wide security/free fire zone. A zone of perhaps 100 kilometers or 62 miles for the sake of argument. This would entail the killing or displacement of many Arabs. A nuclear scenario is a fair assumption. Who would want to be the "winner" in such an event?
b. I wish that overlapping and cooperating governments could be established. It seems completely reasonable to me, but I am not one of the traditional adversaries. "They" have had decades to arrive at that kind of solution and it clearly has little chance.
c. The imposition of a superior government over both factions would probably result in a three way conflict and much destruction en route to failure.
d. I think the most practical solution is for the Jews/Israelis to move -- yes again. This time as a country, not just as individuals. What happened to them as a people in the 1930s and 40s wasn't fair -- or legal -- or even imaginable, but it happened. If they had been organized and moved more decisively with the cooperation of other nations, many of those lost would have survived. There is something to be said for survival. I fear we may be within a few decades of another very dark period. One that may actually become the 'final solution.'
3. The Plan
OBJECTIVE: Move Israel as we know it to a safe haven where it can prosper without undue fear for its survival.
International aid would gradually shift from present day Israel to the purchase and development of the new Israel.
On complete implementation of the plan the present Israel as we know it would cease to exist as a sovereign state. The new Israel would take its place. People who remain would have to cut their own deal.
Insensitive? Maybe. Especially if you have a viable alternative. I'd love to hear it. [The Progress Report interjects -- we too would love to hear viable alternatives.]
Expensive? What we are doing now is expensive and it isn't working very well. This plan provides for a gradual shift of aid from the old to the new sovereign state over the length of the plan. There would be a spike in spending to field a peacekeeping force for about 15 years. Beyond that, no outside aid should be needed. The new country should be self sufficient.
PHASE ONE: Five years
Research possible sites
Select a site
Effect a treaty with the present owner country
Sign the mortgage
Begin planning main exodous
Move in the planning group of engineers and administrators
PHASE TWO: Ten years
Establish a colony
PHASE THREE: Five years
Move remaining people and artifacts
4. The Objection
That Jews are entitled to a certain property defined by the present borders of Israel. That this title is conveyed by the Bible, tradition and other historical documents, etc. Well, OK. American Indians can make similar claims. Native peoples in South America and all over Asia can as well. Their dead will not rise too, nor will their living regain their traditional lands.
Israel's problem is real and here and now. She and her friends have an opportunity, another opportunity.
-- Warren Faulk
You should tell your people, and we should tell ours, all of us, all of us, to question whether land or places are more important than people's lives. And until we learn to do that there will be no peace.
-- Rabbi Israel Singer, of the World Jewish Congress, referring to the conflicts in the Middle East. January, 2002.
What's your opinion? How can future generations of the people currently in the Middle East grow up in an environment free from war and free from the threat of violence? Tell The Progress Report:
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