The Middle-East holding hands and working together?

Complete naivete or the only solution?

The Myth of Defensible Borders | Foreign Affairs

It doesn’t seem to say on the site, but Google tells me that Omar M. Dajani is a law professor at the University of The Pacific (yeah, I hadn’t heard of it either) and a former PLO negotiator and Ezzedine C. Fishere is an aide to the Egyptian Foreign Minister.

Either way, what they are proposing is interesting to think about. Basically, they want:

  1. A US-led regional security apparatus, involving Israel coordinating with Turkey, Jordan and others in order to combat terrorism and Iran.
  2. A “multinational peace-implementation force” – basically, an extension of the above organisation, focusing on building-up Palestinian infrastructure and kind of taking over the job from the Israelis, so that the IDF can withdraw from the West Bank.
  3. Integrating Hamas into the agreement, under the assumption that legitimising them in this way would force them to become more moderate due to the accountability that it would bring and since they aren’t going anywhere regardless.
  4. 1967 borders with land swaps and an immediate withdrawal.

I’m not entirely convinced that their model is viable at this point in time. They have kind of glossed over a huge amount of conflict between all of the sides here. I don’t think that the Arab public would accept a US-led force such as they propose, or working with Israel on a level high enough that the Israelis would be satisfied that their security was guaranteed.

Hell, I’m not even convinced that Jordan and Turkey could work closely together without fireworks. The Middle-East is not a friendly place, I’m very skeptical about anyone ever working towards the “common good”.

That said, the idea of a regional solution may not be too far off. Abbas definitely knows that he can’t make any major moves without the involvement of the Arab League. Dajani and Fisher may be a little too ambitious, but it could definitely be a good idea to involve the Arab League in the peace process more formally, if they would agree to it of course.


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