Tuesday, September 25, 2007

My Solution to the Palestine Problem

Israel, as it is currently organized, is manifestly unjust. In effect, it consists of the territory of Israel with a parliamentary democracy dominated by Jews and the occupied territories, the inhabitants of which have no representation in the parliament. This is akin to South Africa and its system of reservations or homelands for blacks, a fiction which facilitated the disenfranchisement of many blacks. If Israel and the occupied territories were organized without regard to ethnicity or creed, then there would be no legal distinction between the areas or between Muslim and Jew. Everyone, regardless of creed or kinship, would have a single vote.

This situation, where one man or woman has one vote, would not be acceptable to some Israelis because they fear that the parliament would become dominated by Muslims, in which case Israel would no longer be a “Jewish state”. They fear reprisals for the decades of repression of the Palestinians. They fear that property taken from Palestinians might be returned to them. The desire for a Jewish state is not “racist” in the sense that Jews do not constitute a race as we commonly think of that term, but it is pretty much the same sort of thing. It prefers one ethnic category over all others and affords unequal protection of the laws on the basis of ethnicity. I don’t say religion, because there does not appear to be any requirement that Israeli Jews be observant.

These fears are not irrational, and it would not be surprising for a Muslim dominated parliament to oppress the Jewish minority. Jews and Christians and others have historically had considerable disabilities as subjects of Muslim states. Accordingly, it is necessary in a united ethnicity and creed blind Palestine to have a mechanism to guarantee freedom of conscience and the free exercise of religion to all subjects of the state. The constitution of such a state must provide for limited government and guaranteed civil rights in order to minimize the influence of religious leaders and demagogues.

But such a constitution is not self-enforcing, as we Americans have learned to our everlasting sorrow; therefore, there must be an institution above parliamentary politics and majoritarianism with the power to enforce these guarantees. I propose a hereditary Christian monarch charged with preserving civil and religious liberty and with the defense of the nation. Let the nation be styled the Kingdom of Jerusalem and let it be ruled by an heir to the former kingdom of that name. I nominate the Duke of York.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You appeared to be intelligent, but in the final paragraph of your solution, you stated that a Christian Monarch should be placed of the "Kingdom of Jerusalem". First, it is well known that the Israelis do not wish for a King, and have not since Biblical times. Second, implacing a Christian Monarch would be a step backwards into the dark ages.