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Israel/Palestine: The land belongs to (fill in the blank)…which land?

When people say things like “The land belongs to Israel” or “The land belongs to Palestinians” which land are they talking about? “All of it”? What does that mean? British Palestine? The 1967 borders? The 1947 borders? The former Islamic Caliphate? Which former Caliphate? “Greater Israel”? From the Indian Subcontinent to Spain and Morocco? Illegal settlements? Hebron where “Jews” and “Arabs” of all three Abrahamic faiths had lived together for centuries? Jerusalem, the most important city for both secular and religious Jewish culture and history, the third holiest city in the world for Muslims, the holiest for observant Jews, quite important to Christians, important to secular historians, and the site of much theocratically inspired carnage committed by many tribes, regimes, empires, and religions over millenia? Which land belongs to who?

The issue here is two or more people claiming ownership of the same piece of land because they is a sort of legal anarchy going on in the border regions. As long as they are separate people, separate nations, they need to be separate states with clearly defined borders that do not move or change. I think both sides kid themselves when they think that moving borders by any means other than political diplomacy is good for either nation’s security.

However, the more I think about the Palestinian statehood issue, the more I think that it should be said that at this point a two-nation solution is not really workable. I think to be realistic a three nation solution is what is required. Gaza and TheWest Bank cannot be one country with today’s borders and Hamas in power. As long as there is no Palestinian controlled land bridge between The West Bank and Gaza and Hamas is in power there is no way Israel could ever be insane enough to accept a Palestinian state that includes both regions. I don’t think Hamas should be recognized as the legitimate government in Gaza anyhow. Legitimate political parties don’t go around beating, kidnapping, and murdering the members of their rival parties.

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