The Flinchum File

Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions
Subscribe to the Flinchum File
View Archives

Two-State Solution ?

What do mothers do when two kids are fighting?

In Virginia Beach, where I live, there is a north-south orientation. The urbanized and developed northern part is separated by a “green line” from the rural, undeveloped southern part. The point is that there is a relatively clear separation.

Many pundits argue that the only solution for peace in the Middle East is the two-state solution, separating the Israelis and Palestinians into individual autonomous nations. To implement a two-state solution, you’ll have to divide the Israelis and Palestinians into the two states, but there is no “green line” to separate them. You often find an Israeli neighborhood right next to a Palestinian neighborhood. Friction is daily. Does each neighborhood become its own nation, or do you start relocating people?

I’ve never seen a believable analysis of the cost of the almost 80-year-old and never-ending Arab-Israeli conflict. There’s the military & reconstruction costs, which is the easy part. Then, there are the social costs of missed opportunities – loss of lives, loss of careers, and the loss of future taxes not paid by the killed. If it is less than a trillion dollars, I’ll eat Netanyahu’s hat . . . The question is how many trillions?

I’m not the first person who suspected the people of West Texas think somewhat “out-of-the-box”. However, they are very aware of their wide open spaces of barely usable land, which is largely dry and arid with many things that can stick you or bite you. Some have even noticed it is very similar to the land in Israel and Palestine.

Years ago, a Texas professor did the arithmetic and estimated we could give the Palestinians twice as much land as they currently have and selectively relocate one Palestinian neighborhood to west Texas and put them into trailers or concrete homes for about $100 billion. They could be self-governing as a city in Texas or as an independent country on the Rio Grande. We’re a big country, and we’ve got the space. Maybe, other Arab nations would then adopt a similar relocation of Palestinians to safe areas in their countries.

Are there a million problems implementing such a bold approach? Absolutely. One of those problems is that we don’t want to establish a colony of terrorists inside our border. That’s critically important, but we already keep terrorists out every single day. Technology could help control a “Special Rights Zone”, where some constitutional rights would be suspended for 25 years or so.

Remember: we’re America and can figure out tough things. Ask NASA.

Besides, what’s the alternative to wasting more trillions – all of which is added to the national debt? People who have hated and killed each other for the last 80-years are not going to be trusting nor “make-nice” just because we ask them to “make-nice” . . . but maybe if the daily friction could be reduced? What do mothers do when kids fight – she separates them!