I couldn’t sleep, so why not stay up and solve the middle east crisis. (Point of order: who long can a crisis be a crisis before it becomes normality?)

First of all lets dispel the idea that the situation is so complicated that no solution can be found. Conflicts are complicated but peace is simple. People who are in conflict want to give their side justice by sharing pain with its enemy, and as both sides keep killing each other, it fuel the conflict with fresh need for revenge. No matter how many enemies you kill, the dead wont come back, the ruins wont turn whole, and the pain wont go away. What has been done can not be undone. History doesn’t matter because peace is about leaving history behind and see to the future.

Peace efforts in the middle east has been based on the idea of untangling an Escher drawing, by finding a solution that both sides can agree on. The thing is of course that the two sides don’t agree.

As outsiders, we have two options on how to deal with this conflict, and this is taken straight from the strategy that kindergarten teachers use to break up kids that fight everywhere. Option one: lock them in a room and let them go at it without waking up the napping kids. Option two: lock them up in separate rooms (with the option of taking the red toycar, so that no one gets it). As any kindergarten teacher can tell you trying to mediate between two hysterical four-year-olds is not a third option.

In Israeli/Palestinian terms option one would mean, stop all diplomatic relations with both sides, stop all aid to both sides, enforce trade sanctions on both sides, grant asylum to anyone who wants to leave under the condition that they leave the conflict behind, halt all mediation attempts and then divert all these resources to people who actually want to have peace. This is a pretty bad solution, but at some point the world has to stop this from dominating the agenda and turn to other problems such as global warming and other conflicts. 

The second option is to simply separate by force. In a civilized society when two sides have a conflict, we don’t let them go at it, we have a third party, a judicial system come in and solves the problem. While the judicial system lets both sides express their grievances, it will alone make a judgement, a judgement that then will be enforced. There is no point to a judicial system that cant enforce a solution that one or both parties aren’t happy with. Laws that you can opt-out  doesn’t work. UN, EU, Russia, USA and China are all powerful enough to by force be able to destroy any settlements or walls on occupied territory, monitor the influx of weapons to both sides, sink any ships blockading Gaza and dole out unprofessional responses to any side that takes to arms. With that kind of force the world could pick and choose any solution it wants and then just implement it. Its just a matter of having the guts to do it.

Right now, the world is not taking control over the situation, but is happy to let the situation control the world. Staking your money, time and reputation on something you don’t take control over seams stupid. It strikes me as baffling that the united states would so casually let a 3rd party that they have no control over act in their name (with their guns), especially one that repeatedly acted in the direct opposite of US interests and was the major cause that led terrorists to 9/11. Few things have been as damaging to the United states as its military support of the Israeli apartheid system. It takes a leader with guts to either take control or relinquish it, but until its done we will all be held hostages by Religious zealots, racists and murderers.

The real solution of course is very simple: People should be free to live where they want.

Lets say it again, just because its so beautiful: People should be free to live where they want. We don’t need a one or two state solution, we need a solution where people of any religion or race are respected and have equal rights disregarding of what side of the border they are on. Like all foreign policy, this is a matter of internal policy. Today Israel is an apartheid system, while Palestine is a authoritarian system, and this is the problem rather then the relation they have to each other. Jews should be allowed to settle on the west bank and become Palestinian citizens, just as Arabs should be allowed to settle in Israel. If you don’t like your new neighbour, you have the right to move yourself, not move anyone else. What is required is respect for the people who live around you. Mixing people is a good thing, that’s why they should merge rather then push each other out. “ein reich, ein volk” is not a solution. The name of the country you live in doesn’t matter, what it stands for does. No one has the right to their own country, because all countries are shared.