Saturday, February 18, 2017

"The Gaza strip could be the Hong Kong of the Mediterranean" Political Analysis by Miguel Ali.


(political analysis by Miguel Ali)
I have an array of opinions on the Palestinian-Israeli deal being discussed by Trump and Netanyahu. I'll condense this into small points - this is an issue I've often had to comment on as a political pundit. My opinions are going to be controversial.
I will also be detailing below the ideal peace deal between Palestine and Israel, based on my knowledge of history and current issues.
Of note - as an American, I love Israel because they have been a top ally, through thick and thin (especially during the Cold War conflict). We would not have won the Cold War without Israel. I would love to see a vibrant Palestinian community take foot. The Palestinians have a culture that is based on diversity and trade - bringing them in as global players would be great for all parties. POINTS:
1. Palestinian Leadership Idiocy: Thanks to George W Bush and Ariel Sharon, the Palestinians were given the Gaza Strip. The Gaza Strip is arguably the most attractive piece of land on the Mediterranean. As Speaker Newt Gingrich once told me, this is a strip of land, with a natural harbor, that could become the Hong Kong of the Mediterranean. If the Palestinian leadership had vision, the ideal peace plan would have been:
a. Consolidating in the Gaza Strip, and declaring it as its own country of Palestine.
b. Give the West Bank to Israel in exchange for more land next to the Gaza Strip. With Palestine's booming ports, and docking prices that heavily underbid those of Greece, additional land would be needed for all the warehouse storage Palestinian companies would soon be building. Palestine would rival Greece as a top harbor in the region.
c. Palestinians in the West Bank get Israeli citizenship under the current terms offered to Muslims/Arabs (3/5 individual vote) - they also get Palestinian citizenship.
d. Palestine gets $15 billion in aid, specifically to build the finest port and harbor system in the world, along with a highway system to connect outer-Gaza Strip to the coast line (such a project also puts Palestinians to work, immediately - much better than just giving aid to the leadership, who will then transfer it to bank accounts in Europe).
e. Establish a Palestinian bank, with an FDIC, so loans (particularly small business loans) become popular.
f. Palestinian's are proud stewards of the Islamic monuments in Jerusalem. Agreement is reached that Israel will always uphold committee of six members (3 Israelis, 3 Palestinians) to review religious rites in Jerusalem. Jewish sites are now fully opened to all religions, as are Muslim sites. Agreement is notarized by the UN that no Islamic holy sites will ever be bulldozed or touched, with the exception of re-fortifying sites.
Palestinians were arguably the glue that held the Islamic Empire together - the bridge that kept a cohesive trade between Arabia and North Africa. Palestinians are incredibly entrepreneurial. This should have been a peace deal that put the Palestinians back into that position of business prowess - the truest celebration of their wonderful culture.
2. Muslim & Arab Idiocy: For those who are fans of an Independent Palestine, that dream has temporarily died. The best chance that Palestine had was with W Bush and Ariel Sharon. Rather than play ball with those two men, the global Muslim community did more to antagonize Bush and Sharon, rather than jump on board when they gave the Gaza Strip to the Palestinians (with encouragement to declare an independent state and fortify). Had the Muslim/Arab community been more in-sync with Bush and Sharon, many of the points on the peace plan above could have been brokered and agreed upon quickly. I can say this because I have Muslim heritage - Muslims were upset at W Bush (when in fact he was the best thing to happen to Palestinians in the last 50 years), and what were these actions supposed to lead to? What was this irrational hatred supposed to culminate towards? Global Muslim and Arab leadership should note this, and attempt to not continually practice the skills of stupidity.
3. Explanation of GOP Bigotry: After watching their GOP President (W Bush) give so many concessions to the Palestinian cause (followed by watching effigies of him burnt in Muslim countries) - can you really now blame the GOP grassroots for turning towards ultra-bigot Trump?
4. One State Solution: I'm actually open to the one-state solution. Palestinians deserve better leadership than what the current Palestinian or Arab World leadership has to offer. Is Anwar Sadat seriously the last Arab leader to show true intelligence and vision (well over 35 years ago?). One reason peace isn't happening is because Palestinian leadership is continually shown to be profiting off of not having peace (wouldn't surprise me if that's happening now). In addition, at this point.... I honestly think Israelis would be more interested in seeing Palestinians excel than the global Arab leadership (especially if Israelis knew that Palestinians are now members of the country). I would be sad, because an independent Palestine, based out of the Gaza Strip, could be game-changing for the Arab World (in a great way). But I also know that the Palestinian culture will do just fine in Israel (and if anything, excel much further). It would sad that all Palestinian citizens do not get a full vote, but Israel is trying to avoid what happened in Lebanon, where a Christian country quickly became Muslim. For that matter, Israel is NOT a democracy. Not a bad thing. Let us just be clear that Israel was made to be a Jewish sanctuary and place of empowerment, not a democracy (and it's doing pretty good at following through on its promise).
5. Palestinian Leadership: I've never seen a larger cesspool of incompetence than the Palestinian Leadership. And I've seen a LOT of incompetence (I use to be a grassroots Republican).
6. Israeli Bigotry: Israel is not bigoted against Muslims. Israel's participation in bringing down the Soviet Union liberated five Muslim nations. If you ask the common Israeli if they are proud of being responsible for the independence of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Krygyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan - they would proudly answer "yes."
Nonetheless - I am a forever optimist. The vibrancy of the Palestinian culture, along with positive intentions of the Israeli community, will guarantee that we somehow see a good resolve to this (it may take removing Palestinian leadership to see it).
(Migeul Ali is a film director, tech start up entrepreneur, and political pundit. This was first posted through Facebook)
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