Palestine, 2015

This is a vision of the future Arab state as set out by a $2m study by one of America’s most prestigious think-tanks.

It’s a futuristic concept as stunning as it is implausible, under present conditions. A Palestinian businessman on the way to a meeting in Cairo steps on to a train at a clean, modern rail station in the northern West Bank city of Jenin – no longer ravaged by bloody conflict but peacefully booming with private-sector office and apartment construction.

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33 thoughts on “Palestine, 2015

  1. velvel is right on.
    This science fiction will cut a wide swath of land out of Israel. For peace, FLJCK the environment.

  2. claire,
    This article IS anti-Israel. Its doing what the media always does.
    Its builds a picture of a beautiful Arab growing economy after they have much of Israel; east jewrusalem, the west bank, Gaza….
    While they think back to the terrible past where ‘bad’ Israel didn’t allow them freedom of travel.
    It is “think-tanks” and articles like this that are trying with all thier might to pressure and force us to give our land to our enemies.

  3. Since the real purpose of the illegally occupied colonies to to exploit Palestinian labor (as client states and “globalization” partners do for the US in Latin America and China), is any reason whatsover offered for this new prosperity? Are the Underpants Gnomes decreeing that as soon as the medievalist Ay-rub morlocks abandon their foolish Ay-rubosity and embrace freedumb, they’ll just suddenly be freaking Ireland?! (Prediction: yes, that’s exactly what Flathead Fried Man would say. You know, just like as soon as we send jobs and technical expertise to the People’s Republic of China [in, say, cruise missile making] new and infinitely better jobs will instantly spring up from the ground to replace each lost one!! Just because!!)

  4. How can envisioning a viable Palestinian state be anti-Israel. In fact, I would argue that its the only thing that will save Israel in the long run.

  5. For a think tank they are pretty dumb… lets say that Jerusalem is divided in two as they say, and no more settlements in the West Bank and Gaza, thats fine with me… but wont that “super-duper railway” cutting through the heart of Israel, connecting the stupid notion that a state divided by another state could actually be posible, wont that railway be in a way a palestinian settlment????

  6. Yusul, I’d have to agree with you. When even the (right wing) prime minister of Israel supports the idea of a Palestinian state, it’s hard to see that as anti-Israel. Now, the article might be slanted, biased, or whatever, but I don’t really believe that envisioning a peaceful society next to Israel is harmful. It might be overly optimistic or idealistic, but it’s certainly a positive goal.

  7. Would the palestinian terrorists like to live in a country designed by the Great Devil U.S.A.?? And even if this beautifull ultra modern country were to be real, would these terrorists stop their actions against Israel?? Not a chance right…

  8. C’mon get off it – this study is not about Jews…
    Why is it so hard to be a little positive about this. Indeed, it would have made little more sense to conceptualise a full-picture scenario and include a comment or two about the benefits and changes the Israeli side will see through this dream. But just because a study has focused on the Palestinian agenda does not make it Anti-Jewish.
    In fact, a UJF website mention it in a news item –
    ‘Israeli Embassy spokesman David Siegel said the key to Palestinian success was ensuring Israel’s security, which would guarantee open borders and commerce, a point also highlighted in the Rand report.
    “The main issue is the free flow of people and goods, and Israel is committed to assisting the Palestinians in developing a prosperous economy which is contingent on good governance and the rule of law,” Siegel said.’
    How on earth are we suppose to solve this bloody mess if we don’t give a chance to some positive ideas and visions. What’s wrong with trying to deal with real issues like population, transport and employment. – These people will not go away. You can either keep them under worsening conditions, or try and think of viable solutions. The whole point of the study is to provide a solution to the continual integrity of a state divided by the presence of Israel – not instead of it.
    Instead of sprouting fearful, narrow-minded comments every time someone dares to explore ideas that might bring peace and – how pigheaded of them – focus on another’s plight in the process (excuse me but how long does it take any of you to travel across Israel – every word about the difficulties mentioned in the article are presently true), why don’t you lay out your wise and noble ideas on how to stop the blood-shedding. And save us all the Pretzelling – transfer is an idea that belongs to another era – you cannot make 3,000,000 people move or disappear, however powerful is your army or messianic convictions. So see if you can come out with an idea for peace, which does not include the layout for transport, or water, or buildings etc. Rand’s studies (which by the way include a companion study outlining the necessary changes in governance etc.) might be perceived as lacking a balancing footnote, but it aims to give hope, and lay a map to sanity. Give it a chance.
    “You can’t shake hands with a clenched fist.” (Indirah Gandhi)

  9. the basic problem is the fact that most modern jewish identities are uniquely based on israel and israeli references; hearing that israel is doing something wrong or unfair or what ever negative destroy those jews in their identities. even impossible for them to conceive that the occupied territories are occupied and that israel is stealing the land(s) of a other people, equal in rights to israeli jews.

  10. Michael,
    first off, there are only 2.4million Arab residents http://www.pademographics.com/
    the idea of the ‘ARC’ as a racist Arab-only highway and railway which in order to realize essentially says that Israel must be cut in half. The idea of segregation for peace is a contradiction. Peace is made through normalization, integration, and accepting the other’s right to exist.
    The ‘Palestinians’ are already doing the emmigrating themselves. Each month, a few thousand leave voluntarily. Being at the border crossing area between Jericho and Jordan (the main gateway out of the PA) for only a period of two weeks, it was undeniable that more leave then come back and this is confirmed by the Israeli soldiers permanently stationed there. I’ve also spoken to an immigration lawyer and he says business is brisk, but the high cost 7-$8000 is a major obstacle. If you want to help out, you can sponsor a family.

  11. Here we are at it again Josh 😉
    First – 2.4, or 3, or 6 (as the article points out) in some years’ time, what’s the difference? There are simply too many to ignore.
    Secondly, Israel is already cut and divided – in many ways – You cannot drive on some of the roads for security reasons; every time you want to enter the bus, or the shopping mall, or a cafe, you have to go through ‘immigration’. Outside Israel you are becoming an unwanted guest if not a pariah altogether. Part of the problem is that because of the enormous price Israelis too are paying for this tragedy, they are slowly but surely adjusting to living in their own jails, because security is the panacea by which a junta of generals have been driving govt. policies for generations with hardly a murmur – it is the magic word by which anything can be justified and any stupidity reign. It’s the classic ‘boiling frog principle’. If you spend enough time outside Israel, and then you visit, it suddenly hit you how abnormal the whole situation is. The Berlin highway went hundreds of KM. into East Germany for almost 35 years and they managed (and where they happy when it came down – yes) Parts of the Arc can be elevated or underground – if we can build a station in space, I am pretty sure we can build a corridor without too much trouble where both sides’ needs are met. As far as the ‘racist’ argument – are you serious? If you will care to enter the West bank – like all the other tourists – on a passport, and then proceed to travel to Gaza by the train… The idea here is not to segregate for peace but to normalise borders. Heck, even the backpackers made it into the Rand report.
    Thirdly, for a start, I wonder how many Israelis are leaving because they are getting tired of the ongoing saga of corruption and unfair distribution of resources or even sick of what’s going on in their name. I doubt it is thousands every month, but the point is they are leaving because they are not happy, and they are on the lucky side of the fence.
    So, hey, why don’t we make the Palestinians more miserable? Maybe if we really drive them hard – we can make another 1,000 so desolated they will also want to leave. So now, if we are really very cruel, we can count on say – 5,000 leaving every month (we can get the money by canvassing sissy soft Arab-lovers). Man, at this wonderful rate, and provide they don’t make even one more child (we can put something in the water), let’s see, hmmm,- at this rate it will only take 40 years. Shall we wait in the desert? After, Josh can do the Jericho walls… Why did no one think of it? It is so plainly more logical and reasonable then negotiating for peace and planning solutions like all those anti-Semitic think tanks.
    Tongue-in-cheek, brother, no harm intended. We have the freedom not to agree with each other, maybe it’s worth wishing the same for other people.

  12. Yusul: “How can envisioning a viable Palestinian state be anti-Israel. In fact, I would argue that its the only thing that will save Israel in the long run.”
    Yes indeed. Israel is not about to give up anything of its own. The territories have consistently been approached as a bargaining chip in a land-for-recognition/ne gotiation/peace scenario. Further, establishing settlements in territories that have never been poltically annexed (this, of course, does not apply to Jerusalem) was politically irresponsible. Ultimately and realistically, Israel desperately needs to divorce itself from the territories and the people that live on them.
    josh: “The idea of segregation for peace is a contradiction. Peace is made through normalization, integration, and accepting the other’s right to exist.”
    Except that it’s not segregation. It’s a separate national self-determination, wherein their poltical legitimacy is ours too. A Jewish state will write its domestic laws in Hebrew, while its foreign policy works to reintegrate the Jewish people in the region of its political, social, and historic origins.

  13. Velvel, Josh, Azek, digital and others who understand,
    You all understand the nonsense of this ‘vision.’
    You all notice that these visions are always in Israel the land of the Jewish people.
    We don’t find ‘visions’ of other peoples in America or in England. For some reason everybody loves having such beautiful visions of others living in our land.
    On the other hand, I’m telling you straight that you must understand that until the arabs are moved out this will never be solved not for us and not for the arabs living there.
    This is clear and simple vision – you don’t have to be a genious to see it.
    Meir Kahane said over 20 years ago “Its either Kahane or Arafat” ie don’t be foolish to think that there is a middleground in the end you will see that there is none because the Arabs believe Israel should be theirs and people like that will never willingly compromise.
    “Who is wise? One who sees the future” – [ethics of the fathers]
    That is why I respect Meir Kahane -what he saw is happening and he had the courage to speak out even while being condemned by our ‘leaders.’ That is why I have no respect for most other ‘leaders.’
    I will ask you and others who understand this to start speaking up.
    Mention the name of Kahane.
    Explain to people the contradiction and why we won’t be done with this until the arabs are moved from Israel.
    For more clear information read “They must go” by Meir kahane.
    Don’t be scared to speak out- this is our only hope. if slowly people wouldn’t be scared and would start speaking a little louder things will slowly change.

  14. The funniest parts of this thread were:
    (1)Though the current occupation stretches over the colonies as a kind of latticework, cutting off and surrounding hamlets, consistent with “poor Aryans are the real victims here” logic this exact model of “corridors” was used without cxomment. Surely it is really the Palestinians who are colonizing the Zionists. Damn redskins.
    (2)We (!) were the only people to actually attack or comment on this in any way, excluding hackademic talk for talks’ sake. Seriously. There is plenty of good thinking already on two-state; this hallucination would add nothing and it’s a waste of time to act as if it were the first two-state vision. There is excellent reason to believe that two-state solution can only be viable as a transitory stage to a racially neutral Levantine state encompassing both peoples; this is as relevant here as less thoughtful attacks on two-state (such as the laughable notion that Sharon or any foreseeable successor will let Israel be bound by a Palestinian road, the way his colonies are now by special Jewish roads). This hallucination is fundamentally one more example of an airheaded useless media, pasting Jesus on the cover every couple of months and airing unexamined bloviations of experts, as it waits consumption and excretion by the (responsible/moral/left ist) blogs. That is the real problem with it: it is not serious, it has nothing to it. It is like a forced meeting in Washington leading to a forced “agreement.”

  15. I for one would actually like to see a clean, well run railway station, a sleek and efficient bureaucracy, well-groomed and timely business men, booming private sector offices, PROPER apartment construction all free from bloody conflict…in Israel!
    Maybe one day…

  16. We don’t find ‘visions’ of other peoples in America or in England. For some reason everybody loves having such beautiful visions of others living in our land.
    Shmoe, come spend a day in Los Angeles, Alta California. We took California from the Mesicans and they want to take it back. Believe it or not, there is reality outside of your kahane books, regardless of how much i do or do not agree with them.

  17. shame on you : many of you are openly racist; you forget that palestinians are children, women and men; this place is the repair of jewish racists : yemakh-shmoynikes! you want for the palestinians what we were suffering in imperial russia.

  18. a yid please,
    In Russia we wanted to either be the best Russians and help Russia or to leave when they harmed us. They didn’t want us. We didn’t do anything to harm them.
    You compare that to the Arabs who want Israel to be dismantled?!
    I know that America took Mexico in fact they took the whole North America from Indians.
    I haven’t heard Mexicans wanting it back but in either case thats my whole point.
    The point is that the mexicans are ignored by the US govt. Its not even on the table. Foreign countries don’t say a word about it.
    Wheras by Israel we got all these foreign ‘friends’ trying to push us.
    Not only that, but the mexicans really were there first, whereas in Israel we were.
    So I ask both you Sausage and ayid to think clearly and compare apples to apples.

  19. Why is thinking of fair game racist?? Would you allow your neighbor to park his car on your lawn?? I really don’t think so…. or would you let him Cut through your living room to get from his bedroom to his kitchen? It’s fucking geography not racism!

  20. The reason we in the rest of the world are having “beautiful visions” is because you guys in Israel/Palestine have been the world’s biggest headache for over a half-century…please get over your ridiculous selves, all of you, Arab and Jew alike, its a stupid sibling rivavlry as the Bible would have it, and in all rivalries somebody has to be the bigger man….and actually lots of people spend lots of time trying to resolve lost of crises around the world so get your heads out of your asses and watch the damn news or something! The reason this is so publicised is that the rest of the rational (well maybe not) world would like this conflict to end…is that really too much to ask…its a shame that so many indigenous peoples have had their land stolen, it isn;t however an excuse for Isreal to say well so and so did this or that…we have to look at realities and how about morality for just a second…some of you people need go look for your heart, I understand the frustration the anger, etc, but thats not the solution and unfortunately the politics of the region seem to be based mostly on these notions….also the reason the West has held Isreal to standards that it might not in terms of the Arab actors is that Israel is supoosedly part of the Western community of Nations, you expect more of those you hold in higher regard, get it numbskulls? and furthermore only with the second Intifada have we seen significant anti-Isreali violence, so what was the excuse before, well that Arab States would attack and so forth, but Isreal needs to look at what it has done to create this situation just as the US should look at what it has done to create disenfranchisement with it minorities and the fallback of it foriegn policies…

  21. The reason we in the rest of the world are having “beautiful visions” is because you guys in Israel/Palestine have been the world’s biggest headache for over a half-century…
    Well, no, Chris, it’s because you in the West are obsessed with us. Idea: remove your phalanx of journalists from Israel and send them to Sri Lanka, or maybe Kashmir. Now that’s a real half-century of conflict. None of this thousand or two dead in years of conflict: serious casualties, there.
    Isreal needs to look at what it has done to create this situation just as the US should look at what it has done to create disenfranchisement with it minorities and the fallback of it foriegn policies… Good thinking. If only the Zionist Entity would just disappear, the Arab states would call off their war with it.
    Some fresh thinking, at last!

  22. the point I am trying to make is both sides must compromise, both must get past their victim mentalities. The use of violence on either side is abhorent and must be disavowed…and the real reason that the US and Europe are so concerned is frankly because the Middle East is more strategically important than Kashmir, Sri Lanka, Darfur, N. Ireland or any other place for that matter, unfortunately thats just reality. Why would you intepret the statement that “Isreal need to look at what its done to vreate this situation” as a gloss “if only the Zionist entity would disappear” this mentality is the problem on both sides, the Arabs so not have the right to suggest such a thing and neither do the Isrealis have the right to suggest that they have a right to all the territory from Sinai to S. Lebanon. THe comparison with the US or Russia, India or Russia is that any country which has occupied anothers land need to examine the situation in light of the displacement, poverty and repression that it is a part of directly or indirectly.

  23. Does someone really expect to have their opinion proved by comparing this ARC to the Berlin highway through East Germany?
    the irony of that comparision is too funny.
    Who’s making life miserable for the Palestinians? Yup, you’re right. The Palestinians themselves (without going into the stupid war they launched). They’ve received billions of dollars over the past ten years to invest locally, and what do they have to show for it besides some fancy Mercedes limos for the brass and some beautiful mansions for the elite? Virtually all Palestinians already fall under Palestinian jurisdiction. Put the blame where it belongs. Start demanding results from the Palestinians themselves instead of blaming everyone else.
    Israel has already bent over to compromise, we are still waiting for the Palestinians to budge. Some people think that the Palestinians were giving up the ‘right to return’, but last week’s ‘nakba’ celebrations and the multitude of Palstinians ‘we will never give up the right to return’ pretty much negates that somewhat ignorant attitude of yours.

  24. Josh, you are finding all this funny… Why – because it is a German example? Come to think about it, it is ironic indeed that we from all people, who suffered so many years of persecution, can so easily become abusers ourselves. Power corrupts and human nature is corruptible, and not even the high standards of biblical ethics seem to change that. You seriously think that it is not possible to build 50 km of railways in such a way that roads and people can cross unheeded? The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in Louisiana is almost 40 km. long and built over water. Its first span was built 50 years ago. The longest suspended Bridge span in the world is 9 meter short of 2km (Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, Japan). C’mon, the problem is not in the HOW, it is the WHY (duh, because we want peace?) and WHEN (like this century, please).
    Yes, Palestinian authority is shamefully corrupt (as opposed of course, to the Israeli government – all white lambs and lions of morality). So? Does that reduce our responsibility in taking the necessary steps we can take to try and get on with life? Blaming Palestinian misery on their leadership is not completely off-base – they could have made smarter decisions many times in the past – but it does not relieve us from the fact we now sit in areas of the land which regardless of history we need to share. They have their fanatics i.e. Nabka comment; we have ours. “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” (Einstein). Tit for tat as a survival strategy is mall-minded and futile. Do you want your grandchildren to be checking ID cards of their grandchildren? Something has to give. All their corruption, all their suicide bombers, all their hatred and anger and jilted pride, will not change the fact we are here to stay – not because we are right, but because factually we are stronger. So who has to be courageous and take the first step in reconciliation? The one who can afford to. Otherwise we are practically no more than marauding bands of Savannah dwellers and have learned nothing since…

  25. Michael B. You are a nce guy but here is where you and us differ:
    You feel OK giving Jewish land to others.
    You even feel that its not ‘really’ Jewish land and that the land is negotiable.
    We don’t agree with you.
    We feel that is IS Jewish land.
    We feel that our land is not negotiable.
    It really is that simple.

  26. Thanks Joe, ‘we’ are greatly amused…
    Indeed, we do seem to differ on that point. I assume you know the story of King Solomon and the case of the two women claiming to be the mother of a baby, and an outstanding verdict which brought forth the real mother’s love. You think the country should not be divided. I guess that’s an indication of who loves the land of Israel more. Alas, I think life is more important than land. And I might be wrong. But here’s a thought: What’s so cool in this tale is that the wisdom in Solomon’s judgement is life-affirming. It is not about who is right and who is wrong, but about the fact love for life is more important than ownership or possession.

  27. You are condemned to confront that which you abhor, and that which you identify with.
    Similar types of fanatical identification with the “good jew”, the bad “arab”–“our destiny” “our land”, etc.
    This is a human disease.
    Of course in GW Bush’s fanatical evangelical, unforgiving, violent, vengful God telos–both Isreali and Palestinian people will become ashes after huge mushroom clouds arrive.
    This will signal the arrival of Jesus and the ‘good’ Christian belivers will be brought up to heaven, a place full of blond angels and harps.
    Maybe Hitler will be there–if he asked for forgiveness and took Jesus into his heart before death.
    And the Jews and Arabs will spend eternity in hell–with each other.
    The cosmic irony here is delicious.
    No, you folks will be condemned to work out your paradoxical issues of identity. Like it or not–so sue me.

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