Currently some Israelis are proposing the annexation of territories, captured in 1967, which lie on the Israeli side of the wall. Ariel Sharon , as Prime Minister, assured that the barrier had been built solely to prevent military incursions. Imbued with that pledge, it has brought a pax muralis along with the hope of its becoming unnecessary. Promoters of annexation could not put it more clearly: they intend to slip this by him as he lies in a coma.
In hindsight, Sharon should have emphasized his point by placing sealed gates along its length. If he could hear these Israelis now, would he rise up from that coma?
First Stage (Acknowledged Claim)
- Sealable gates are embedded at proper points along the wall.
- Israelis living in the disputed land decide whether or not they will become citizens of Palestine. All affected residents could remain under Israeli suzerainty, but those who choose the State of Palestine would, henceforth, vote and campaign exclusively in those Palestinian elections which regard national issues.
- Palestine is recognized as an independent state.
- To be open for all peoples at peace with Israel and for its own protection, a portion of Jerusalem would need to be sealed off. Frankly, I don’t know how easily and aesthetically that could be done. However, if done, a tunnel would then be dug between Palestine and the Old City and checkpoints installed.
- With peace acknowledged by both sides, the embedded wall gates would themselves be opened as checkpoints, and Palestine would regain the remaining occupied territory except for that portion within sealed-off Jerusalem. Those living in the effected area who are not Palestinians would either obtain visas or exit the expanded country.
- The primary purpose of all checkpoints would be to restrict the flow of weaponry and of those who for one reason or another lack access to Israel proper.
- The Jerusalem exception also exists to accommodate two, demanding realities: a need for multicultural access and, in this context, an inherent vulnerability of Israeli stewardship. In fact, without this exception, peace would be impossible. Nor could Israel even be allowed to annex that portion of the exception which it then occupies.
In time, Israel and Palestine may become as close as Canada and the United States, or simply close enough. If the exception has not by then become somewhat independent of its two neighbors, a refinement in its status would surely be attainable.
* A Palestinian name-switch could help. Perhaps the people of Palestine are too caught up with those ancient what’s-in-a-names. The Arabs were a cousin people to the Hebrews, not to the coastal Philistines. Still almost everyone on Earth is descended from people who sojourned where now there is Israel. I am no citizen there, but surely someone else has considered, The State of Ismael.