When the great pontificator, Secretary of State John Kerry, ended his 72 minute justification for the administration’s failure to veto the U.N.'s condemnation of Israel for building settlements in disputed territories, I shook my head.
Since its founding on May 18, 1948, 10 U.S. administrations have struggled with the problem caused by the United Nation's decision to drop a Jewish state into the middle of an Arab world.
Sure, the Jewish people had been living there for a couple thousand years, but they never had their own state. They lived among the Arabs in relative peace until a world full of guilt over the Nazi Holocaust decided to allow thousands of European Jews to settle in Palestine and create the state of Israel.
Whether this was a wise decision or not is moot. The fact is, it was done; we all must now live with the realities of the decision. It cannot be undone.
One of John Kerry’s remarks struck a chord. He said the Israelis can’t have it both ways.
They can either have a Jewish state or a democratic state, but they can’t have both.
This is the absolute crux of the problem. Calling Israel a Jewish state by definition excludes all but the Jews. And that won’t work in the midst of a sea of Arabs, or anywhere else, for that matter.
The failure to acknowledge this basic fact is the reason negotiations have failed miserably over the past seventy years. It’s why a single state solution would be unworkable.
So the only viable option is a two-state solution, something both parties have shown interest in achieving, although they could never agree upon acceptable borders.
And they probably never will.
So, working through the United Nations, we will have to force it on them; the same way we forced Israel on Palestine 70 ago. With the support of the U.S. and the U.N. Security Council, it could be done.
There is already general agreement on borders — 1967, land swaps, Israel to the east, Palestine to the west. An equitable partition is within our reach. We just have to jam the agreement down their throats. The threat of powerful sanctions from the US and others would assure compliance.
The Old City of Jerusalem would become something akin to the Vatican City — an independent enclave belonging to no one, accessible to everyone.
The model for this plan would be the Cyprus solution, implemented by the U.N. in 1974 and still in existence today.
Recognizing that Greek and Turkish Cypriots were like oil and water and could not mix, and following a Turkish invasion that occupied the northern third of the country, the U.N. established a military "Green Line" along the border of the divided country.
That Green Line is, to this day, patrolled and managed by U.N. troops.
All Turks living in the southern (Greek) part of the island were urged to move north, and all Greeks living in the northern (Turkish) part of the island were urged to move south.
Not everyone was happy with this solution, but it was forced upon both parties and the result was 43 years of relative peace on the island.
The same could be accomplished in Israel. Once a north/south border is established by the U.N., a Green Line would be created and all Israelis would be moved east of the border and all Palestinians would be moved to the west.
If we accept that Jews and Arabs can’t live together, they should be forcibly separated.
Peace would be reestablished in the region.
Fred Rustmann spent more than 24 years in the Central Intelligence Agency, serving as senior CIA officer (chief of station) in country for two assignments. Rustmann founded the CTC International Group, Inc. He is the author of three books: "CIA, Inc.: Espionage and the Craft of Business Intelligence," "The Case Officer," and "Plausible Denial." For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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