Thursday, July 20, 2006

Brainstorming Out of ME Conflict

It's better than just sitting there getting bogged down in despair over the Israel/Lebanon/Syria/Iran/Palestine war. Sure, we can't do anything about it, but it feels good to at least try.

Mike Brisgeek comes out strong with a couple of suggestions. Several months ago he posted about Edward de Bono's lateral thinking solution to the Israeli/Palestinian problem: let each side vote in the other's elections so extremists can't get elected. I thought it an intriguing idea, but didn't dwell on it. Now I think it's a brilliant idea.

But there is a further problem. I know one of the obstacles to peace is that the Palestinians demand the right of return. Israel is rightly concerned that the returning Palestinian's majority would create a democratic way to be rid of Israel. But that need not be. Shouldn't it be possible to create a constitution which guarantees the existence of Israel, the rights of Jews and Muslims, proportional representation, and an amendment procedure which would protect Israel from being voted out of existence? Combine that with allowing Palestine and Israel to vote in each other's elections, and everyone's rights should be fairly well protected.

Of course there would still be extremists working to destroy one side or the other. Decades of bloody war have ensured that. But when people have peaceful and effective means of improving their lives (democratic participation, for instance) they will give less support to the extremists.

And if all else fails, have a rant (like the Fifth Column) and move whole populations about like pieces on a gameboard. Why would this work any less than what's going on now? Okay, that's not really constructive, but it's reflective of the frustration at a lack of a solution by now.

Any other constructive suggestions?

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