[Originally written as a Facebook on November 7, 2015]
Much of the turmoil involving the Middle East is rooted in the inability of Israel and Palestine to work out a two-state solution. Here is a Seven Point Plan to help solve this problem:
1) Reaffirm both states have a right to exist and accept the UN-mandated borders of sovereignty.
2) Have Israel dismantle its entire nuclear weapons stock.
3) Make Jerusalem an international city (something akin to how Washington DC is to America). This would assure freedom for all religions to worship this disputed holy land.
4) Relocate The United Nations from New York City to Jerusalem. This would add economy and much-needed respect to the region.
5) In the areas where the border conflict is greatest, either the West Bank or Gaza strip, establish a United Nations University of International Diplomacy. This would commit the world’s best academics to help bring forward meaningful solutions unique to the area, and also add economy and and create a much-needed measure of respect to the region. Also, importantly, age demographics of Palestine show a crucial need for education and jobs if children of Palestine are to have a future.
6) In the Golan Heights, where Israel borders Lebanon and Syria, Israel should abide by the UN Resolutions and return the land to Syria. Then, in the Golan, establish a United Nations International Peacekeeping Training Facility. At any given time, there are conflicts and wars all over the world. Having a highly-trained, inter-coordinated and well-organized rapid deployment UN force able to step in makes perfect sense, stopping genocide for example. Locating this facility in the Golan Heights would help to ease border tensions that have been infamous over past decades. It would also add economy and respect to the region.
7) Eliminate capital punishment worldwide to set the greatest positive example against violence.
Part of the problem has been the perception colonial powers like Britain, France, Russia and the US have raped the Middle East region of its resources, cared little for the region’s inhabitants and have supported one dictatorship over another in order to achieve self-interested economic gain. This perception needs to change and the steps, if taken, above would go a long way toward curing the terrible stains of history.