Monday, August 29, 2011

Shared Lands, Two Sovereigns: An Alternative Peace Solution To The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Shared Lands, Two Sovereigns:

An Alternative Peace Solution To The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

(Draft by Rabbi Mordechai Martin Goodman)

1)      Any Jew or Palestinian, including Israeli settlers and Palestinian refugees, may move to and live in any city or town in Israel/Palestine.

2)      Israeli and Palestinian government buildings may be built and operated anywhere within Israel/Palestine.

3)      Both Israel and Palestine will write individual and overlapping constitutions.  Jews, Palestinians, and other groups will choose whether they want to be an Israeli national or a Palestinian national.

4)      Whether an Israeli national or a Palestinian national, Israelis and Palestinians will vote together in local elections, and pay local taxes.

5)      All national taxes will be equally shared by Israel and Palestine.

6)      All police forces throughout Israel/Palestine will be comprised of an equal amount of Israelis and Palestinians who will be partnered together from the level of patrol officers to police chiefs.

7)      Israel will maintain its IDF, but will not use the IDF for police action in Israel/Palestine unless called upon by both Israeli and Palestinian police chiefs in a given locale.  The IDF can be used in agriculture and infrastructure maintenance and creation. The agriculture and infrastruture force should be bi-national.

8)      All holy sites throughout Israel/Palestine, including The Temple Mount will be available to all go worship and pray, so long as the desire by anyone doing so is not meant to incite discord.  A bi-national governmental entity equally comprised of Israelis and Palestinians will be established so as to work out scheduling for holy site use with regards to holidays.

9a  Anti-incitement legislation will be passed by both the Israeli national government

      and the Palestinian national government. 

9b) A bi-national governmental entity equally comprised of Israelis and Palestinians

      will be established and given the power to order police forces to arrest those

      guilty of incitement.  Police forces can of course act independently as well.

9c)  Although hate speech, as opposed to threatening speech, will be legal, the bi-

       national governmental entity will also be charged of identifying, denouncing, and

       hopefully dissuading hate speech.


  1. It's an intriguing notion. I would definitely have to suggest that at least 80-90% of the useless irritating check points in the West Bank must be dismantled, and there needs to be a discussion about infrastructure - roads, bridges, etc. Because currently there's Israeli roads and Palestinian roads and only one sort is well maintained.

    Also there's going to need to be thoughts forwarded on pedagogy, although I think the hate speech clause is a great initial thought.

    Not bad for a first stab, watch the right wingers despise this. Vehemently...

    1. It is not the right-wingers we have to worry about, but the Palstinians. Their problem is not the lack of peace or the lack of a two state solution. Their problem is the presence of a Muslim state on lands the Muslims conquered from non-Muslims. See Articles Six and Eleven, Hamas Covenant

      They say " Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it" --the latter phrase refers to the Muslim Conquest.

    2. as a Palestinian who believes in the full rights of my people do strongly agree with this plan . I also believe this plan should be started off from the ground up. a movement of both peoples and all parties to be involved in. why do the left of Israel have the monopoly on making peace, my Israeli parter and I have spoken to many people on the ground in Israel and in Palestine.About a lot of these very same ideas ....

  2. I wonder about the practicalities but I love the vision. As we need justice for there to be peace, and with the prospects for other formulas not that great, we should be thinking outside the square.

  3. Dear Rabbi,

    Fantastic positive vision - genius in its simplicity - constructive in every way.

    This is a good base to work from.

    Ik zeg: doen! :)

    Sincerely yours,

    Wesley Felida

  4. I appreciate your novel idea- however it aint gonna work. Y ou cannot have a bi-national government- look at Lebanon- because when the balance changes you have a civil war.

  5. Dear Rabi Goodman:
    I find your proposals interesting and compassionate.I have to reflect more before endorsing it but i applaud your attempt at a peaceful solution, which is what i would wish for the area as well.
    I have to immediate concerns, the first is that the proposal will not work because both sides have too many people who talk peace with their mouths but their hearts are full of hate. But i feel proposals i have come up with are easily as naive as yours and i am more ignorant of the subject than you are.
    The second is that i have recently read that many orthodox Jews are opposed to a Jewish state because it is against the teachings of the Torah.if this is true perhaps the best solution would be to dissolve the state of Israel.
    I am aware that this is a naive proposition as well.
    I feel that for long term peace in the region several things are needed...
    1) those of us of other nations should press our governments to only assist with mediators and reconciliation programs. No support of military action for either side.
    2) Israeli people should press their government to give more land back to Palestine. There should be UN troops there to make sure the transfer is smooth.
    3)Muslims worldwide should be pressed not to support terrorism in any form.
    4)Jerusalem should be given neutral status and be run as a sacred heritage site.
    I am aware that these proposals are very naive as well. i cannot imagine either of our proposals being taken seriously, but i dont think that should stop us from trying.Someday i hope to become as optimistic as you seem to be. Shalom Rabbi, much respect, love and light, sincerely Rene Cyr

    1. " i have recently read that many orthodox Jews are opposed to a Jewish state because it is against the teachings of the Torah.if this is true perhaps the best solution would be to dissolve the state of Israel." Sure would like to know where you read THAT.

    2. In his hatful speech yesterday in Gaza, Hamas leader Khaled Mashal, while standing next to Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniye, declared:
      "Palestine is our land and nation from the (Mediterranean) sea to the (Jordan) river, from north to south, and we cannot cede an inch or any part of it".
      Kahled Mashal went on stating:
      "We will never recognize the legitimacy of the Israeli occupation and therefore there is no legitimacy for Israel, no matter how long it will take."
      This means that even if we wake up tomorrow morning, and miraculously find out that ALL Jewish settlements established in the West Bank after 1967 had disappeared, the Palestinian aggression against Israel WON’T STOP, because the struggle the Palestinians run against Israel is EXISTENTIAL in its nature, not political.
      It is NOT about houses or Jewish settlements established on 'occupied' territories. It is ONLY about Israel's very existence! – The continuous discussion about Jewish housing projects is meant just to divert attention from the REAL: problem – Palestinian existential aggression against Israel.
      Jibril Rajoub, from ‘moderate’ PLO, about some two weeks ago:
      ‘Fatah will not lay down Its swords until the refugees return, resistance is its strategic choice’.

    3. Martin: The issue of public education needs to be addressed if attitudes are to change. This education has to take two forms:
      a. an overhauling of the school curricula. The curriculum must be demilitarized, dehumanized depictions of people from other groups must end, and far more constructive and collaborative contacts between children from various groups must be developed.
      b. the media need to be overhauled. Incitement must be curtailed, stereotyped generalizations must be rebutted, respectful language, even and especially during disagreements, must be maintained.

    4. Anonymous: I note your concerns about the pronouncements of leading politicians on the Palestinian side. Israeli politicians, too, have be caught on camera speaking unacceptably. No doubt about it: the political class is a major part of the problem. This is why it is more important to work with at the grass-roots level, where many people on both sides are tired of living with bleak futures.

  6. No support of military action for either side? Tell that to Iran!