As the Palestinian people approach the U.N. for full membership and recognition of sovereignty, and the U.N. giving a time table for Peace Talks for the next month, with a three-month deadline for regional distribution, I decide to publish this article, and map, early (I was planning on releasing it on Christmas).
Firstly, the citizens of Israel and Palestine must make for themselves a solution to their conflict. It should not be dictated or manipulated from outside forces. It should not be a U.N. Solution, a U.S. Solution, an Arabian Solution, or a Israeli Solution. It must be a Israeli-Palestinian Solution.
With that said, I would like to offer my perspective. What I feel is the best solution. With what knowledge I have on the subject.
It seems like a two-state solution will not end conflict. Nor would a regression to Pre-1967 borders. As long as each party believes they deserve the right to the holy land of Jerusalem there can be no bargain that does not give both parties (and even the third party of Christians) access to what they believe is their holy land.
The solution to me seems straight forward. Unite the lands of Israel and Palestine into a single Federated State, with districts drawn on already established regional lines, giving both Jewish and Palestinian Populations independently governed states within, with Jerusalem as the federal capital.
As it stands, if nothing changes, there will be a single-state, and it will simply be called Israel with Palestinians being disenfranchised.
An Israeli-Palestinian Constitution
Make no official national religion, protect minority and individual rights (with a Bill of Rights), and move forward in a democratic-republic manner. Have the state be bi-lingual (Hebrew and Arabic).
At first there would be ethnic centric parties vying for power, eventually parties based on ideology, ideally centered on national unity, would emerge.
Customize the required vote to amend the constitution to protect against ethnic majority influence; if 70% of the population is of one ethnicity, make a 75% majority be required for Constitutional Amendment, so that the ethnic minority feels secure..
With a “united” single state, neighboring Muslim states could not vilify nor threaten the existence of the Israeli-Palestinian state without threatening their own people. In turn, the Jewish population could not scape-goat their Muslim neighbors as a justification for militarization and oppression.
To add further consultation, the citizens of the Golan Heights could vote on whether to remain a part of the Israel-Palestine Nation as an independents district, or return to Syria. While election results would be disputed by the “losing” side, at least a public forum would have been held.
In addition, as a by-product of the process, the state would become an example of representative democracy for the region (and world), and a leader in Peace, rather that a catalyst for conflict. This transition would not only positively effect the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, but positively effect the Middle East and the World as a whole.
1 State – 30 Districts
I created this map, combining the current sub-districts of Israel with the districts presented by the Palestinian Government. This creates 30 districts, with Jerusalem City as the National Capital or Federal District, and the Golan Heights being allowed to return to Syria if they so choose. I apologize if I got any of the district names wrong, it was rather difficult to find solid information and maps on even the current districts of Israel.
What we are given are 16 Districts from current Palestine, 15 (to 16) Districts from current Israel (depending on whether Golan is included) and a Federal District of Jerusalem City to act as the Capital. I did not make up any of these districts, they are all currently in existence and recognized by their respective parties. I am unsure how the population is distributed exactly, and how a representative legislative body would look in accordance, perhaps this is something for a later article.
Further Reading: Charter 08 (Chinese Federalism)