How do you resolve the conflict between the Jews and Muslims in Palestine?
The first thing worth noting is that the Israeli-Palestinian
Conflict is not a conflict between Jews and Muslims. There are a
number of Muslims who fight in the Israeli Defense Forces. It is a
ethnic conflict in much the same way that Sri Lanka's conflict
between the Sinhalese and the Tamils was an ethnic conflict. The
fact that most Israelis identify as Jews and most Palestinians
identify as Muslims is part of their ethnic make-up but not its
As concerns resolution, a number of things would have to take place
before a long-standing peace (as opposed to a mere cessation of
hostilities) could take place. There are other requisites, but
there are the most important.
1) Mutual Recognition: Israel would need to recognize a completely
independent and sovereign Palestinian Government that would fully
control a certain amount of the former British Mandate of Palestine
(most likely Gaza and the West Bank). Israel would also have to
confer on this state the unambiguous nature of being correct and
necessary for Israel. Conversely, Palestine would have to recognize
the Right for Israel to Exist as a Jewish State occupying the
remaining amount of the British Mandate of Palestine (most likely
1949-Israel). Both sides would have to recognize the historical and
emotional value that the land also has to the other.
2) Regional/International Recognition: States that have adopted
attitudes strongly favoring one side at the expense of the other,
such as the Arab States would need to recognize the legitimacy of
both Israel and Palestine.
3) Israeli Reparation Payments: Israel dispossessed many
Palestinians of their property, either by malicious activities that
took place during the Arab-Israeli Wars or by Ben-Gurion refusing
to let Palestinians who left return after the 1948-9 War. Israel
needs to pay the Palestinian government reparations for the land
that was taken in this way.
4) Israeli Withdrawal from the Settlements: Israel must withdraw
from the Settlements to provide Palestine with a viable
infrastructure and complete sovereignty. The Settlers must return
to Israeli territory. The buildings, however, should be left as
partial payment of the above-mentioned reparations.
5) Palestinians Must Concede Right of Return: Recognizing the State
of Israel as a Jewish State is meaningless if Palestinians en masse
are allowed to Return to Israel. Therefore, Palestinians (and their
backers) must abandon the notion that they can ever return to
Israeli territory. Palestinians should leave the refugee camps and
become proper citizens in this new country of Palestine.
6) Jerusalem Must Be Shared or Internationalized: Palestine and
Israel both want Jerusalem and the only way to solve this is either
divide the city East/West respectively and divide the Old City or
Internationalize the City or some combination of
Internationalization and division. Neither side will rest until it
can assure its followers that its holy sites will be
7) Liberal Thought: Just in general, people have to be willing to
compromise and live with that compromise.