From MESH Admin
Israeli Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Giora Eiland served as head of the Israeli National Security Council from 2004 to 2006. He is the author of a new paper, “Rethinking the Two-State Solution” (The Washington Institute for Near East Policy), in which he argues for exploration of two other alternatives: the “Jordanian option” and a “regional approach.” Regarding the latter, Eiland writes:
Because Israel and the Palestinians have to share a parcel of land that is too small for both of them, neither can make substantive concessions, creating a zero-sum game that could lead to a true dead end. The only real contribution that the Arab countries can offer is exactly what the Israelis and Palestinians need—more land. The regional approach proposed in this paper involves a multilateral swap that would produce net gains for all relevant parties. For example, this solution would triple Gaza’s size—the only way to offer a real prospect for the poor population of that area, and the only way to shift public opinion away from Hamas and toward a plan with real hope.
Eiland’s idea is not new. MESH has already featured a discussion of an even more ambitious regional land swap, and another on a trilateral swap involving Israel, Egypt, and the Palestinians. But until now, land swaps have been championed most vigorously by geographers. Eiland may be the first ex-official to propose them, even providing a map of a three-way scenario. (The map may be enlarged by clicking on it.)
Update: There are comments on this post by Nabil Fahmy, former Egyptian ambassador to the United States, and Marwan Muasher, former Jordanian foreign minister and ambassador to the United States, as well as by MESH members.
Comments are limited to MESH members and invitees.
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