As the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict impacts lives of people around the world in the guise of the War on Terror and threatens to explode in a full-scale World War III with nukes and all that, one hears more talks about a Palestinian State. A single mixed state with equal rights. A Palestinian State along a Jewish State of Israel. But is the conflict about a Palestinian State? And if not, then what is it all about?
In an interview with CNN Amanpour Olmert said: "We want peace. We need peace. We want to separate from the Palestinians, ... We don't want to control the lives of the Palestinians. We want them to have their own separate state and we have to do everything in our power in order to bring it about."
The main reason that there is no peace is because in all the "official views" of political leaders around the world and among all the experts and journalists there is lack of clear understanding what the conflict is really about. And without a clear understanding it is impossible to resolve it.
In reality there are two separate conflicts involving different parties and which arose at different times. And neither of them about a "Palestinian State".
Conflict 1 is the result of the expulsion of under a million Palestinians from the Coastal Palestine, which became Israel in 1948.
This expulsion happened before the State of Israel was officially recognized and was performed by Jewish para-military groups which were considered at the time as "terrorists" and the responsibility for the "Partition of Palestine" and creation of the "State of Israel" was ultimately with the UN, which at that time was in practice the USA and the European Powers.
This expulsion has resulted in the expelled Palestinians becoming "refugees", and according to the UN Resolution 194, Article 11 these "refugees" should have been allowed to return to their original places of residence, or sufficiently compensated for the losses sustained.
This resolution had not been implemented, and the refugees had created various organizations fighting for "Liberation of Palestine", that is for liberation of the land from which they had been expelled in 1948, and which today is known as Israel in its borders established in 1948.
The cause of this conflict had been largely ignored and the conflict itself came to be seen as "Arabs seeking to destroy Israel because they hate it".
As today the number of the "refugees" and their descendants is around 4,000,000, to resolve this problem by any "negotiations" between the Palestinian Organisations and the Israeli Government is a practical impossibility, as it is beyond the practical possibilities of the Israeli government to implement such project. The only practical possibility of implementing this project today is for the USA and European Powers responsible for the creation of the State of Israel to pay each of the refugees sufficient monetary compensation and provide a full acceptable to them citizenship, so they can resettle outside of Palestine. The amount of the compensation should be such that the refugees could purchase a residence of good standard and have sufficient amount of the compensation left to live for the next 20 years without need for additional income at a good standard and to be able to set up in a business or acquire good education which would enable them to continue to provide livelihood for themselves after the period of 20 years.
This would have resolved the original conflict resulting from the way the State of Israel was created in 1948. And this cannot be resolved neither by any Palestinian Organisations, nor by the Israeli Government. Neither of them is either responsible for this conflict, nor is capable of undertaking such project. The responsibility and the capacity to implement it lies with the USA and European Powers. It should also be realized that today's "Palestinian Authority" (in the West Bank) has no control of the "refugees" whatsoever, because these "refugees" live outside of the West Bank. The fact that all the US and European "political leaders" do not see themselves responsible for this conflict, and expect it to be resolved by the Israeli Government and the Palestinian Authority "over the negotiating table" is a proof of their gross incompetence - they expect the impossible.
Conflict 2 has arisen in 1967 as a result of the occupation of the West Bank and some other parts of Palestine controlled by Jordan and other neighbouring countries. Resolution of the UN Security Council 242 required removal of the Israeli presence from these territories. This resolution has not been implemented up to now, and the continued Israeli occupation is the essence of this conflict.
But the Israeli Government and its supporters in the USA and Europe sought to use this occupation as a "bargaining chip" to resolve the conflict. They suggested to "recognize the West Bank, etc" as a "Palestinian State" in exchange for the Palestinians (the refugees of Conflict 1) "forgetting" their claims to Palestinian land.
So, this is who invented the idea of a Palestinian State - the Israelis and their US/European supporters. Call the West Bank a Palestinian State. Turn the Palestinian Liberation Organization into a Palestinian Authority. Make this Palestinian Authority protect Israel from the Palestinians. And all the Palestinian refugees will forget about 1948. - Dishonest? Criminal?
This did not work, because the Palestinian Authority (set up under this project) had no possibility to make the Palestinian "refugees" forget their 1948 claims. And substantial and powerful groups in Israel and in the USA/Europe did not want to give back the occupied by Israel West Bank. This, however, was not stated by the Israeli Governments and the US/European governments. Instead they were talking about a "two-state" solution, which was to be achieved once the "Palestinians and Israeli agree between themselves". This resulted in prolonged negotiations which have produced no results - nor were they capable of producing any results. But, in the meanwhile as the negotiations ("peace-process") continued, Israelis were establishing permanent settlements in the West Bank. And while US and European politicians were saying that these "settlements" are illegal and should be stopped, they did not make any practical moves to stop this activity, while still talking about "negotiations" and a "two-state" solution. Incompetence? Dishonesty?
But the idea of a Palestinian state was picked up by politicians and journalists with a belief that creation of a Palestinian state would solve the conflict. So, when politicians wanted to please the Arabs they would talk about a "Palestinian State within the pre-1967 borders". And then to reassure the Jews of their support for Israel, they would change it to a "Palestinian State within mutually agreed borders". So all the talk of a "Palestinian State", as far as the US/European politicians were concerned was just another political "stance" not capable of resolving the conflict, but allowing them to posture as "peace makers", while shifting the blame for the conflict onto the "negotiating parties".
As neither the UN, nor the Palestinians, nor the Arab States, and not even al-Qaida have the ability to make the Israelis withdraw from the West Bank, etc. The only practical solution comes from the Israeli desire, confirmed by Olmert in the Amanpour CNN interview, to "separate from the Palestinians". The Israelis do want a Purely Jewish State on all of Palestine - the Palestinian presence in that state is an obstacle to "pure Jewishness" . And the only way to achieve this legally, honestly and without conflict is to buy all of Palestine from the Palestinians and to provide them with an alternative citizenship of their choice. Again this is beyond the financial and legal possibilities of the Israeli government.
Then who should do it? The USA, the European Powers?
When the UN (USA/Europe) were effecting the Partition of Palestine to create the Jewish State, as a way of resolving the European Jewish Question, they divided it without having studied the issue they sought to resolve. The result was - they did not create a Jewish State that was capable to exist in harmony with its neighbours, instead they had created a conflict. And this conflict has come to haunt them. Today not only the Israeli Jews cannot live normal life, and not only the Palestinians, and not even the surrounding Middle East states, but the conflict now adversely affects the lives of the Americans and European themselves.
If they wanted to create a truly viable Jewish State, they needed to buy all of Palestine between the sea and the river (Jordan) from all of its non-Jewish residents. This was the only way of creating a Jewish State in Palestine without conflict. And this is the only viable solution to this problem today.
This would be implemented as a UN project recognizing the injustice inflicted on the Palestinians by creation of the State of Israel on Palestinian land and paying to them of adequate compensation for the crimes committed against them.
It is not cheap. There are some 8 million Palestinians in total. And the cost of paying them enough to make them leave Palestine (or abandon their claims to it) and settle elsewhere is 3 to 4 millions of millions USD. But this can be spread over 20-30 years. In which case it will be just a fraction of the US Defence Budget. So, it is financially feasible. And as much of the present US defence spending is due to the continuation of the Middle East Conflict - the US Defence Budget could be substantially reduced.
Buying all of Palestine for Israel would solve the conflict to the advantage of all the sides. The only obstacle is the Political Inertia - politicians (and journalists) live in the world of their "ideologies" and it is very difficult to change their minds - for them it means "giving up everything they stand for". This is the reality of Politics and of all Human conflicts.