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Tuesday, August 31, 2004


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I'm constantly puzzled by the often repeated assertion that once the wall is built, a two-state solution will be impossible. As it stands right now, a two-state solution is impossible. Once the wall is built and Israel pulls away onto its own side, the people of the West Bank and Gaza will be free to build their own society, without the iron grip of the Israeli soldiers that currently prevents such progress. There will be no need for peace negotiations, because no Palestinian attacks will be possible. Thus, no Israeli retaliations will occur. Nor will an Israeli settler be able to invade Palestinian land with IDF protection. The land behind the wall will be the country of Palestine. Whether the Palestinian people decide to remain angry and bitter, or work together and build a productive society (as the Israelis once did), is their choice. The two-state solution is entirely possible with, and indeed possible through, the seperation barrier. The argument that peace will be impossible when coupled with an object that stops war is nonsensical, and a mere smokescreen to cover the attitude that Israel must make every sacrifice.

John S Bolton

They should build it quickly and work out the fine points afterwards. Openness to aggression is not a proper human value. Israel is among the top few countries for scientific-paper citation indicators; this points to a high value worth preserving. Civilization has superior right over mindless aggression. Israeli investors need assurance that palestinian laborers will not flood back in periodically, before they make any major investments in labor-saving technology. If it is still wanted to use palestinians to carry the hod, on the other side of the fence, to build more accretions of settlements, that will remain possible. Is the rage of the left against this barrier perhaps also about the way it shows how replaceable and often unnecessary the menials are in today's advanced societies?

Mark Madsen

Everytime I read about the wall, I have an incredible sense of finality -- of future solutions rendered impossible. No two-state solution is going to work -- there's virtually no infrastructure possible in a fragmented Palestinian state, so any two-state solution possible is an unstable equilibrium.

Sadly, however, it seems like the minority that believes in a multicultural one-state solution is shrinking even further, and will likely be gone if the hard-liners on both sides are allowed to continue.

IMHO, the elusive one-state solution is the only one that secures the area long-term. After all, we're talking about an area the size of, what? The Bay Area? How can you possibly create both security and a stable economy in such a small area with two sovereign nation-states interpenetrating each other's territory? A two-state solution is a mirage, a fantasy that looks good from 10,000 miles away but fails utterly up close.

But the rational solution may be impossible, a thing of the past. In which case, the wall will create a meta-stable equilibrium, separating the hard-liners from each other, allowing a future generation to decide if moderates could possibly figure out a solution that eludes the generation in power which still remembers the events of 1948.

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