The latest idea for peace in the Middle East (Don't get too excited)
Ever since the Six-Day War in 1967, both the international community, as well as the State of Israel have struggled to define the status of the areas of which Israel came into possession in the outcome of the war (Judea, Samaria, Gaza, Golan Heights, Jerusalem...).
There are basically 3 schools of thought on this matter:
The majority of the international community (as well as many in Israel) believes that these areas are Occupied Territories - areas that legally, Israel has no right to.
Israel's official position is that these areas (with the exception of Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, which were annexed) are not Occupied Territories, but Disputed Territories.
Alternatively, there are those that believe that from a religious perspective, a historical perspective, and an international law perspective, the Jewish People and State of Israel have every right to these areas, and as such, they are to be viewed as Liberated Territories.
Now that we have context, we can proceed.
Labor peace plan: Lease West Bank settlement blocs from PA
Labor Party Chair Amir Peretz's diplomatic team is formulating a platform calling for the long-term leasing of large West Bank settlement blocs from the Palestinians, adopting the model of Great Britain and China with regard to Hong Kong.
Using this model, the large blocs of settlements, Ma'ale Adumim, Gush Etzion and Ariel, would remain under Israeli control in exchange for monetary or territorial compensation to the Palestinian state.
So there you have it. Under the new "peace plan" proposed by Labor, if the settlement blocs are to remain under Israeli control / sovriegnty, it we will have to pay for that right, since really the land does not belong to Israel or the Jewish People.
In reality, this is a very logical statement from Labor's perspective. If we are occupiers, then the land does not belong to us, we are thieves or tourists, whichever you prefer, and we must pay for the right to stay on the land.
What will be interesting to see is how long it will be before Labor takes a few other logical steps:
* Why only lease the settlement blocs in Judea and Samaria? What about the Jewish communities built in Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, which the vast majority of the world refuses to view as belonging to Israel?
* Why not offer reparations to the "Palestinian People" over the suffering the Jewish People caused them in establishing the State of Israel (in pre-1967) boundaries? After all, it was the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 that the Arab world commemorates as The Naqba - The Catastrophe - and is a day of morning for Arabs throughout the world (including the Arabs of Israel - with Israeli citizenship)?
* Finally, if we are occupiers, and if we have been the cause of so much suffering the in the world - especially to the "Palestinians" then by what right do we have to remain here?
We'll save the last two for the next elections - one step at a time, right?