Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Whether one thinks he is serious or joking, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi's proposal to create a single Israeli/Palestinian state is actually the kind of out-of-the-box thinking that can square a circle.

Among the most intractable problems in that conflict have been the crazy-quilt arrangement of settlements and control of holy sites. By having a single country, if there were actually general support (and, interestingly, Israel and Palestine are two of the rare middle-east examples of a meaningful popular vote that can actually gauge popular support), everyone could declare victory. I know this won't happen but it opened my eyes to a path I hadn't really considered.

I am generally against combining separate peoples into a single political group but, in thinking about it, that may be more because historic examples have been forced (see: nearly all of sub-saharan africa) and lack popular support than because of some inherent problem. Legitimacy counts for a lot (but, here, is unlikely to overcome longstanding enmity).

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