The Fourth Way is the Best Way – Voluntary Relocation

By Israel Zwick, CN Publications, June 6, 2007

In his op-ed column in the NY Times on June 6, 2007, Thomas Friedman made some astute observations about the prospects for Arab-Israeli peace. The article was aptly titled, “What a Mess.” Friedman noted that the three methods that were tried so far have all failed. Land for peace, favored by the Left was discredited by the failure of Oslo. Permanent occupation, favored by the Right, was rendered impossible by Palestinian militancy. The third way, unilateral withdrawal, was discredited by the debacles in Lebanon and Gaza. So the solution to the mess can only come about via a still undetermined “fourth way.”

Mr. Friedman, who has a long and deep involvement with Middle East affairs, should know that a fourth way has already been proposed over 20 years ago and offers the best possible solution. However, it is still considered to be too politically taboo to be placed on the table. This plan involves voluntary relocation of the Palestinian Arabs, while the remaining Arabs in Israel and the territories will form a commonwealth government that would be in federation with Israel.

There are a number of variations to this plan but the essential elements are as follows:

    1. All Arabs living within the 1947 boundaries of Palestine as well as those living in the UNRWA refugee camps would be offered a compensation package to end their refugee status and allow permanent relocation. The package would include a $50,000 cash payment per family, compensation for their property, and free transportation to any country of their choice that is willing to take them. The 22 countries of the Arab World must participate in this process and be willing to absorb some of the Palestinians and contribute to resettlement costs. Recent polls have suggested that a large portion of the 4 million Palestinian “refugees” would be willing to consider such an offer. To avoid discrimination, Israeli Arabs should be offered the same opportunity. This stage of the plan is expected to take about three to six years for completion. It would be financed by the same donations that are now funding the Palestinian Authority, UNRWA, and UNICEF.

    2. The current Palestinian Authority and all of its militias will be dissolved. It is widely recognized that the PA established by the Oslo Accords has been a failure. There should be only one central security apparatus and no private militias. No country can tolerate gangs of armed gunmen who make their own rules and carry them out by force.

    3. In place of the PA, the remaining Arabs living in the 1947 Palestine boundaries, and those that are allowed to return, will form a new commonwealth government modeled after Puerto Rico, which has been “occupied” by the United States for over 100 years. Gaza, Judea, and Samaria will be annexed to Israel but the Arab areas will become a self-governing entity. Security arrangements, passports, monetary system, and international commerce will still be monitored and controlled by Israel. Otherwise, the Arabs will govern themselves with their own mayors, judiciary, parliament, and civil police force. The Arab areas will be function in confederation with Israel, in peaceful coexistence with mutual cooperation. The Arabs will be allowed some form of representation in the Israeli Knesset.

The advantages of such a plan are as follows:

    1. There will be no more Palestinian refugees or refugee camps. All Palestinians will have a permanent residence and citizenship in Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, other Arab countries, or other locations of their choice.

    2. The Left will be satisfied because there will be no more “occupation” of Palestinian Arabs. All Arabs living in the 1947 boundaries of Palestine will have their own government. Israel will still control security arrangements and the military.

    3. The Right will be satisfied because the historic lands of Israel will remain a part of Israel. Jews will be allowed to remain in communities in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.

    4. The Palestinians will be satisfied because they will have the best of both worlds: self-government and the privileges of association with Israel. Puerto Rico has benefited from this type of arrangement and is not complaining about “occupation.” Those that aren’t satisfied will have the opportunity for voluntary relocation with compensation.

    5. The US, EU, and UN will be satisfied because there will be peace and harmony in the Middle East.

As Thomas Friedman acknowledged, the three ways that have been attempted so far have failed to bring peace to the region. So it is time to dismiss the political taboos and try an innovative fourth way, such as this plan, which has the ability to satisfy all the interests in the conflict. Variations of this plan have been floating around for the last 30 years. Perhaps it is time that they be seriously considered.

June 6, 2007 | 10 Comments »

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  1. seems like jews are most argumentative and delusional people wo ever lived. Must be a genetic trait. fact: there are about 4.5 million arabs in west bank and gaza. Fact: accordingto all polls in territories over ast two years more than 76% support armed conflict with israel, for purpose of destroying israel. Fact: when given a chance to have an independent state they refused and attacked israel. Fact: when israel was attacked with saddams scuds, and hizzbolas katushas over 90% cheered them on even giving out candies and sweets in the streets to all passerbys. Fact: When they had afree and open election for the fist time they elcted by large majority Hamas. Fact: links between Hamas and al queeda and Iran are only pssible due to common muslim ( sunni or shia),desire to destroy israel. This desire seems to have superseeded mutal emnity between sunni and shia and differnt muslim national states such as saudi arabia and Iran.Fact: whenever a pali leader critisizes violent Pali action against Israel they always add a disclaimer that it was not in the intersts of the palis., in otherwords not now and not yet not that it was the wrong thing to do because they do believe it is the right thing to do. No arab in their long history has ever kept an agreement not with freind and certainly not with foe.

  2. This plan is NOT from 20 years ago, and NOT from even 30 years ago. It is from over 60 years ago (before there was even one “Palestinian refugee.”)

    Not only that, but the plan was carefully drawn up by the man known by historians as The Great Engineer. It was NOT proposed as an Israeli scheme (there was no Israel at the time), but as a means to improve the plight of the Arabs of Palestine. The Great Engineer was also known as The Great Humanitarian and he, being a true peace-loving Quaker, made the proposal soley out of consideration for relieving the plight of the Arabs of Palestine. Read on…

    For Hoover’s plan to have it’s best chance of being implemented, it CANNOT be advocated by a “West Bank Jewish Settler.” It’s got to be adopted and pushed by 1. Arabs themselves, and, 2. TRUE liberal humanitarians who are really concerned about the welfare of the Arabs of Palestine. See if any of you readers can find a serious good-hearted truly liberal candidate to
    run with it.

    [Golbert note:] Mind you, the world has already come up with a fourth way: dismantle the State of Israel and let the Arab Nazis murder us all and hunt down the Jews in the rest of the world (God forbid!) That is what their idea of a one state solution means and anyone listening to what the Arabs say knows that is true. Both Fatah (the decisively dominant component in the PLO) and the Moslem Brotherhood, which is the progenitor of Hamas, Hezbollah, Al Qaida and every other Islamic terrorist organization) were all founded by Arab Nazis, literally: the infamous Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin Al Husseini and Hassan Al Banna.

    Since that is a proposal acceptable to the “civilized” nations of the world, there is no reason not to propose a fifth way: the killing all the terrorists and the removal of the rest of the Arabs from all of Israel, including Judea, Samaria, Gaza, the Golan Heights and all of Jerusalem.

    If the fourth way does not shock the world, there is no reason why this fifth way should either.

    Then the way has been cleared for the moderate Hashkem proposal: voluntary assisted resettlement, coupled with the right to sell, buffer zones and virtual citizenship including local self government for those
    ineligible to serve in the IDF.


  3. There is also a fifth way, that being the Hashkem way of voluntary assisted resettlement, coupled with the right to sell, buffer zones and virtual citizenship and local self government for those ineligible to serve in the IDF.

    And there is a sixth way, still too un-PC to mention. In short, when all else fails, follow the Instructions.


  4. Randy and Yamit, you are both too negative which leaves little room for hope to spur on efforts to try something new.

    Talking about getting the Palestinians to move from the region is premature. That should be an end goal while the primary goal is is change attitudes by opening eyes to reality.

    The Palestinians as the Arab proxies in their ongoing battle of new strategy and tactics against Israel have become a two edged sword for the Arabs.

    On the one hand they indeed serve the Arab grand purpose, but on the other the Arabs have created a monster that has bitten them more than once in terms of the instability they breed such as within Jordan, Lebanon and the worrisome situation in Gaza where the Palestinians have become a magnet for radicalism and that radicalism targetting Israel threatens to target Egypt and Jordan if it hasn’t done so already.

  5. all of you are right: all the educated and skilled will leave first and they are they easiest to relocate. tens of thousands have left on their own and almost all the christian arabs have left due to muslim terror against them. any transfer policy would be contingent on third countries willing to accept them and I think this is the biggest bottleneck of the proposal. None of the arab countries want them as the palis are hated there no less than the jews if not more.I used to think that jordan would be natural place to put them but then jordan has an army that could be expanded and used to threaten israel not with kassams and suicide bombers but with modern army and weapons without even having to work hard to buid up, its there. So while we agree that transfer even with compensation is best way to go who will take them 3 million or so within a few years is the big question I am open to any solid suggestions. The fifthway is we force them over the borders and let the world take care of them but that hasent worked either and Israel would relly become a poriah state in the eyes of the world. Ajewish agency for the resettlement of arabs is interesting but that might be a long an tedious affair and the left will resist it even going to civil war. I think a pilot project should be set up quietly and if it seems to work expand it also quietly, something along the lines of american witness protection principles, we might have to move whole extended familys at one time in order to protect them from extremists.
    It is interesting that freedman the grat believer in arab promises and one who fosterd saudi peace initiative on us has thrown up his hands in despair. I could have told him the outcome 20 years ago but he let leftist liberal conception to trump clear thinking and viewing things as they are not what he would like to see and I am not world renowned commentator.

  6. The fourth way works already, but on a very small scale. Tens of thousands of Palestinians have left the country for Europe and America, and they will never return. The trouble is that to make this mechanism work on a larger scale, you need to assist the people who want to leave by helping them get a residential permit, an income and a flat abroad. The Jewish Agency and similar bodies with a century of experience in this business should establish a secret branch to silently promote, organize and finance a “paliya”. With sufficient funding it would be a guarateed success and a win-win operation.

  7. Palestinians leave voluntarily? This won’t happen, the Arab states want them there for an occasion against Israel. The Palestinians are Islam’s foot in the door.

    Float this in the ME and you have every nation vehemently against it except Israel. This would been seen by Islamic and Arab people as an Israeli victory and anyone who would voluntarily leave would be viewed as selling their souls for gain.

    In think this forth way might work if you could get there, but you will never get there without uprisings within in Arab lands, incitements within the Palestinian communities and the possibility of regional war before it is over. It will be resisted that greatly. The Palestinian presence in the land serves the Islamic cause, is central to Islam’s claim to Israel, and is used to justify aggression and the removal of Israel; Islamic and Arab nations and people will not give that up.

  8. This is better than the 2-state delusion, but oddly fails to acknowledge the underlying Islamic motivations of both many Palestinians as well as the broader Islamic ummah, which will not be appeased until land ever under Islamic control is returned to them, particularly Jerusalem–therefore will not be satisfied until Israel does not exist. This concept is not one for “extremists” only, but traditional Islam. It’s just not about wanting “self-government and the privileges of association with Israel.”

  9. Correction on mathematics, not that it would mean anything.

    The Puerto Rican population is 1.3% of the American population and not 13%. The proportional base number of Palestinians in Israel would then be 71,500. Taking 29% of that figure to represent the number of Palestinians that do not harbor a death wish for Israel, brings the number of Palestinians and Arab Israelis that Israel could safely have within their borders, would therefore be 20,735.

    As the paradigm T. Friedman and Israel Zwick speak of would not fly in my view with the greater number of remaining Palestinians, one certainly cannot expect a monetary inducement would be enough to have all Palestinians and Arab Israelis leave for other countries, but for 20,735 being left in Israel.

    The mathematics of the paradigm are interesting to contemplate.

  10. The correct link to this article is:

    I was surprised reading this article to learn that variations of the new peace paradigm I thought I had dreamed up all on my own has already been bandied about for the past 20 years.

    This 4th way that T. Friedman speaks of to allow the remaining Palestinians to form some kind of autonomous status within Sovererign Israel, somewhat akin to Puerto Rico’s relationship with America would however only work if most of the Palestinians did leave and those remaining were constituting relatively small numbers.

    If the ratio of Israelis to Palestinians are to be in keeping with the ratio of Americans to Puerto Ricans,
    the following census information is useful

    As of 2007 the population of Puerto Rico is estimated at 3,944,259 while as of 2007 the population of the United States is estimated at 301,139,947.

    That translates into the Puerto Rican population being about 13% of the American population.

    Using 2005 reported Israeli census information, Israel was comprised of 6,990,700 people, of which 5,313,800 were Jewish (76 percent of the entire population), and 1,377,100 were Arab (19.7 percent) according to data published by the Central Bureau of Statistics.

    Assuming the Jewish Israeli population has increased to about 5,500,000 people, then in order to use America’s relationship with Puerto Rico as a guide, then the number of Palestinians and Arab Israelis remaining after those induced with cash to leave, do leave there should be no more than about 715,000 Palestinians/Arabs remaining within Israel, Gaza and the West Bank.

    There is however no history of Puerto Ricans trying to kill and maim Americans as there has been of Palestinian/Arab hatred of Jews and Israelis along with a long history of their acting on their dream to murder Jews and destroy Israel.

    One must take that factor into account as well and to that end, relying on the most recent polls it suggests that about 2/3 – 75% or say 71% on average of the Palestinians want Israel and Jews dead and gone.

    This history of hatred I submit should also be factored into determining the number of Palestinians that Israel might safely allow to remain within Israel including Gaza and the West Bank in this 4th way paradigm.

    That should be about 207,350 Palestinianians which represents the average percentage of Palestinians – 29% who are not pro eradicating Israel and murdering Jews and the formula is therefore:

    715,000 Palestinians X 29% = 207,350.

    Somehow I just don’t see that happening by doing a deal over the table. I still prefer my approach to achieve the paradigm of the 4th way.

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