avraham ravitz 88.
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This is MK Avraham Ravitz's (United Torah Judaism) first JPost blog; it is part of a new series in which prominent politicians from across the political spectrum debate hot issues on their own personal blogs.
No other country in the world is more focused on the present than Israel, yet its future is so unclear as to overshadow everything taking place in that present.
We all realize that we must find credible and valid answers to the conflict, some kind of compromise that can be accepted by both sides as the least of their conceived evils. This solution should be the best that can be found at the current time while we all leave our ultimate aspirations to be resolved by future generations.
It is not possible to deny a whole system of beliefs and opinions. It is difficult to separate ourselves from all those emotions that play such a central role in the conflict between our two nations. Ideologies are not altered by current circumstances. Most important of all, the human race cannot change religious principles that derive from Divine precepts any more than the absolute values of truth and justice can be changed into relative values.
These difficulties are the cause and root of the many wars and ongoing conflict between Israel and her neighbors, specifically the Palestinians.
I wish to emphasize that in the relative balance between Israel and the Arab states, it is only Israel whose very existence is threatened, and so in consequence, that of all the Jewish People.
Our generation must therefore carefully nurture its deepest convictions. We must study and teach our Jewish faith and beliefs regarding our relationship and emotional ties with the Land of Israel as well as our love for that Land. We must communicate all those longings that are part of our consciousness and that are rooted deep in our souls and hearts. We must make clear our aspiration to establish our nation under the Kingdom of Heaven, utilizing our unique spiritual message to guide all of our daily affairs on earth.
In light of this I would like to sketch here the broad outlines of a program, although we all know that the success or failure of a plan often lies in the small details.
I shall list the six main demands of the other side, and try to find the points with which we can acquiesce and suggest ways of achieving ends amenable to both sides.
1. The Palestinians aspire to a state of their own with territorial contiguity.
2. The Palestinians want all the territory in the West Bank held by Jordan prior to the Six Day War, as well as the Gaza Strip.
3. The Palestinians want refugees to return to the territory of the State of Israel.
4. The Palestinians demand the evacuation of all Jews living in Judea and Samaria and in East Jerusalem.
5. The Palestinians want us to remove all Jewish towns and villages over the "Green Line".
6. The Syrians want us to vacate the whole of the Golan Heights, including all residents of the Jewish towns and villages there.
Even in the unlikely circumstance that Israel agrees to these six demands, only some of the Arabs (the Palestinians and the Syrians) will agree to reach a settlement with Israel. Some will agree to full peace, some will agree to a truce, some will agree to a temporary truce, a hudna for a temporary period.
It must be emphasized that any agreement must be based on the assumption that both nations are interested in maintaining their own religious and cultural identity, their own form of government, societal norms and character, their symbols, anthems and dress and that each wishes to avoid any threat from the other party to their majority status which would constitute a threat to their very essence. However, among each national entity there is a minority population that wishes to continue to reside within the area designated for the other nation.
Therefore, according to this plan, a balance would be maintained between those minority groups whereby a similar percentage of the minority group from each nation would be permitted to live within the territory of the other nation.
Taking our current situation, where 20% of the population of the State of Israel is Palestinian, it would under this proposal be permissible for a Jewish minority of 20% to live in the Palestinian State. Obviously, the members of each of these groups would be able to hold dual citizenship or live by any other arrangement that would enable both Jews and Palestinians to maintain their link with the national entity of their mother state. This plan therefore avoids any necessity to evacuate people from their homes or villages. There would also be the option of land exchange by offering alternative land where any compensation is deemed appropriate.
Another option is for long term leasing (such as the one hundred year leasing of Hong Kong by China to Great Britain). This idea would be particularly appropriate for the Golan Heights.
It cannot be emphasized too strongly that the plan is contingent upon designing the appropriate conditions to ensure mutual security. This, of course, is a process that would require time. The quantity of weapons and ammunition in the new State would, naturally, be very restricted, and there would have to be political, security and economic cooperation between the two nations.
This plan could provide suitable pragmatic solutions for both parties if we concentrate on the truly important elements and postpone those that are irrelevant and which are at present primarily ideological.
Again, there are many, many details that will have to be clarified and agreed upon. However, with a real desire to put an end to the bloodshed and to reach the most important goals--peace and tranquility and the development of economic stability and good neighborliness--everything is possible.