Federalism Might Be What a Fractious Middle East Needs Most

Sept. 8 2017

In a recent conversation with Mordechai Kedar, an Iraqi Sunni activist living in Europe argued that the best way forward for his own country is what he terms “the emirate solution.” His proposal, modeled on American federalism and Switzerland’s division into cantons, would divide Iraq into small, relatively homogeneous emirates, each with some degree of internal autonomy. Kedar lays out the case for this plan, and suggest it could be applied successfully elsewhere in the Middle East:

Each emirate would lead its own life and refrain from interference in the policies of the other emirates. It would be ruled by a local sheikh who originally stood at the head of the families within the emirate’s borders, following the population’s social traditions. This . . . will create harmony, stability, and peaceful relations with neighboring emirates for the good of all the citizenry.

The “emirate solution” will also grant self-rule to the Kurds of northern Iraq, making the establishment of an independent Kurdish state unnecessary and preventing the certain violent antagonism of the Iranians, Turks, and Arabs to its existence and the ensuing hostilities.

For illustration’s sake, let us recall that the Kurdish region of northern Iraq is surrounded by countries that do not share the Kurdish dreams of independence, and has no corridor to the sea. If the neighboring countries allied against the Kurdish state, should one be established, preventing goods and people from reaching it, the Kurds would have no way of leading normal lives. How would they export oil and other products in that case? How would they manage to import necessities? . . .

Interestingly, that same emirate solution could most definitely be applied to the seven cities of Judea and Samaria in addition to the Gazan emirate established a decade ago. I am not a fan of Hamas, but Gaza is a state from every practical point of view, and Israel must find a way to deter effectively the jihadist gang that has taken it over. Establishing emirates in Judea and Samaria will grant the people there stability, prosperity, and quiet. It will give Israel peace.

That same solution could solve Jordan’s problem as well. It can be divided into a Palestinian emirate, perhaps more than one, and a Bedouin emirate. The king would be a symbolic figure as is the queen of England.

Read more at Israel National News

More about: Iraq, Kurds, Middle East, Palestinians, Politics & Current Affairs

The EU Violates International Law, Steals Palestinian Land, and Then Demands Compensation from Israel

Nov. 17 2017

Last month, the eight European countries that make up the West Bank Protection Consortium sent a formal letter demanding €30,000 in compensation for two classrooms with solar panels that Israel dismantled in August. The letter, as Ruthie Blum explains, ignores the fact that the structures, located in part of the West Bank called Area C, were built in violation of international law:

[The 1995 agreement known as] Oslo II, which created the Palestinian Authority (PA), divides the West Bank into three geographical sections—Areas A, B, and C—and specifies which government controls each. Area C is under the military and civil jurisdiction of Israel alone. . . . Yet, for years, there has been non-stop building in Area C, . . . in a transparent effort to populate Area C with Palestinians. . . .

[The] Middle East analyst Bassam Tawil [has] noted massive “behind-the-scenes” Palestinian construction, the goal of which is “to create irreversible facts on the ground” and completely encircle Jerusalem. He points out that while Israel is condemned for any and every attempt to build housing in the West Bank and Jerusalem [which it never does in Area A, assigned by Oslo to the sole jurisdiction of the Ramallah], the Palestinian Authority has been undertaking, with impunity, a “colossal” construction project that is “illegal in every respect.” . . .

On a recent tour of the area, [another] Arab affairs expert, Khaled Abu Toameh, explained that this ongoing construction, funded mainly by the EU and Qatar, is made possible through the “confiscation” of privately owned tracts of Palestinian land by unlicensed contractors whose interest is solely financial. . . All they want, he said, is to line their pockets at the expense of helpless landowners, who are told that they must sacrifice their property to help the Palestinian Authority populate the area for political gain against Israel. . . .

It takes particular gall for European Union representatives to express “humanitarian” outrage at Israel for razing illegal structures in the West Bank—while the EU is in league with Palestinian criminals who have been brazenly stealing Arab-owned land.

Read more at Gatestone

More about: Europe and Israel, European Union, Israel & Zionism, Palestinian Authority, West Bank