Friday, November 30, 2012

The Two State Solution: Israel And Palestine


No national boundaries are forever.  Just look at a map of Europe now versus prior to World War II. The strength and vitality that build nations and empires get sapped from complacency and abuse over time.  New realities are continually occurring.  With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that the UN has moved Arabs who call themselves Palestinians closer to becoming a new nation.  A nation of violence and extremism, but a nation nonetheless.

It should also come as no surprise that Israel is laying claim to some of the territory that might become part of Israel having taken control of it decades before in a war foolishly started by its Arab neighbors. The West Bank is not something that Israel is about to give up... United Nations or not.

From the Chicago Tribune:

Israel to expand settlements over UN's Palestine vote - media. 
JERUSALEM, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Israel plans to build 3,000 new homes for its settlers in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem in defiance of a U.N. vote implicitly recognising Palestinian statehood there, Israeli media reported on Friday. 
The Ynet news site said the move had been approved by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's inner council of nine senior cabinet members on Thursday, as the United Nations General Assembly upgraded the Palestinians to "non-member observer state" from "entity" - a resolution Israel and Washington had opposed.
The Haaretz news site carried a similar report, describing the new homes as a part of a "construction wave" planned byIsrael, which deems all of Jerusalem its undivisible capital and wants to keep swathes of West Bank settlements under any eventual peace treaty with the Palestinians.
Given the present situation, this post is worth re-posting here.  At the time, Israel was less forceful about the West Bank being permanently part of Israel, but that was before statehood for Palestine was a serious consideration.  Now the situation is a little more thorny.  Rather than giving up the West Bank and absorbing Gaza as described below, the opposite may be the only possible reality outside of war.  In return for statehood and possibly some additional Israeli land north of the Egyptian border, all claim by any Arab contingent to the West Bank would have to be relinquished and the West Bank would be permanently annexed as part of Israel.

What will not happen is what was described below... an East Palestine [West Bank] and a West Palestine [Gaza] for the reasons cited below.

SUNDAY, JUNE 07, 2009.

Creating Palestine.


President Obama'sgive-and-take speech in Cairo brought to mind a situation that somewhat parallels the Israeli-Palestinian issues... the partitioning of British India into India, West Pakistan and East Pakistan plus additional territories to the east. The portion of Pakistan known as East Pakistan split politically from West Pakistan to form Bangladesh. It was geographically untenable to have one political entity split by a hostile nation, India. [maps source]

When one looks at Israel and Palestinian-occupied territories, there is a very similar situation that is unlikely to be the solution in President Obama's speech. The Golan Heights is likely to become part of Syria in any long-term solution... or perhaps split in half to provide Israel some security from bombardment from that vantage point. The West Bank may serve as a general geography for any future Palestine, but there may be some territorial cessession to Israel to swing that deal. Finally, the Gaza Strip is wholly untenable as part of a new Palestine. It is isolated between two forces that have little love for a Palestinian presence: Israel and Egypt. [map source]

It is likely that Gaza will have to become part of Israel and that the present occupants will have to be resettled into the West Bank or agree to Israeli rule. Israel would probably prefer that the Palestinians in Gaza move out. There may be a remote possibility that an agreement can be worked out with Egypt to create a "neutral zone" administered by Egypt with Israeli military rights.

The Golan Heights will probably remain as Israeli-occupied and a separate agreement worked out at some future point when Arab and Iranian actions show Israel that any agreement can be trusted. This would include a repudiation of the "destruction of Israel" mantra by the Palestinians and Iranians.

All of this would require significant "give and take." And even if all of this happened, any subsequent attacks on Israel from Palestine or any other Middle East country would be sure to dramatically change the political geography again.



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There is always an easy solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong.
Henry Louis Mencken (1880–1956)
“The Divine Afflatus,” A Mencken Chrestomathy, chapter 25, p. 443 (1949)
... and one could add "not all human problems really are."
It was beautiful and simple, as truly great swindles are.
- O. Henry
... The Government is on course for an embarrassing showdown with the European Union, business groups and environmental charities after refusing to guarantee that billions of pounds of revenue it stands to earn from carbon-permit trading will be spent on combating climate change.
The Independent (UK)

Tracking Interest Rates

Tracking Interest Rates


SEARCH BLOG: FEDERAL RESERVE for full versions... or use the Blog Archive pulldown menu.

February 3, 2006
Go back to 1999-2000 and see what the Fed did. They are following the same pattern for 2005-06. If it ain't broke, the Fed will fix it... and good!
August 29, 2006 The Federal Reserve always acts on old information... and is the only cause of U.S. recessions.
December 5, 2006 Last spring I wrote about what I saw to be a sharp downturn in the economy in the "rustbelt" states, particularly Michigan.
March 28, 2007
The Federal Reserve sees no need to cut interest rates in the light of adverse recent economic data, Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday.
The Fed chairman said ”to date, the incoming data have supported the view that the current stance of policy is likely to foster sustainable economic growth and a gradual ebbing in core inflation”.

July 21, 2007 My guess is that if there is an interest rate change, a cut is more likely than an increase. The key variables to be watching at this point are real estate prices and the inventory of unsold homes.
August 11, 2007 I suspect that within 6 months the Federal Reserve will be forced to lower interest rates before housing becomes a black hole.
September 11, 2007 It only means that the overall process has flaws guaranteeing it will be slow in responding to changes in the economy... and tend to over-react as a result.
September 18, 2007 I think a 4% rate is really what is needed to turn the economy back on the right course. The rate may not get there, but more cuts will be needed with employment rates down and foreclosure rates up.
October 25, 2007 How long will it be before I will be able to write: "The Federal Reserve lowered its lending rate to 4% in response to the collapse of the U.S. housing market and massive numbers of foreclosures that threaten the banking and mortgage sectors."
"Should the elevated turbulence persist, it would increase the possibility of further tightening in financial conditions for households and businesses," he said.

"Uncertainties about the economic outlook are unusually high right now," he said. "These uncertainties require flexible and pragmatic policymaking -- nimble is the adjective I used a few weeks ago."

December 11, 2007 Somehow the Fed misses the obvious.
[Image from:]
December 13, 2007 [from The Christian Science Monitor]
"The odds of a recession are now above 50 percent," says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's "We are right on the edge of a recession in part because of the Fed's reluctance to reduce interest rates more aggressively." [see my comments of September 11]
January 7, 2008 The real problem now is that consumers can't rescue the economy and manufacturing, which is already weakening, will continue to weaken. We've gutted the forces that could avoid a downturn. The question is not whether there will be a recession, but can it be dampened sufficiently so that it is very short.
January 11, 2008 This is death by a thousand cuts.
January 13, 2008 [N.Y. Times]
“The question is not whether we will have a recession, but how deep and prolonged it will be,” said David Rosenberg, the chief North American economist at Merrill Lynch. “Even if the Fed’s moves are going to work, it will not show up until the later part of 2008 or 2009.
January 17, 2008 A few days ago, Anna Schwartz, nonagenarian economist, implicated the Federal Reserve as the cause of the present lending crisis [from the Telegraph - UK]:
The high priestess of US monetarism - a revered figure at the Fed - says the central bank is itself the chief cause of the credit bubble, and now seems stunned as the consequences of its own actions engulf the financial system. "The new group at the Fed is not equal to the problem that faces it," she says, daring to utter a thought that fellow critics mostly utter sotto voce.
January 22, 2008 The cut has become infected and a limb is in danger. Ben Bernanke is panicking and the Fed has its emergency triage team cutting rates... this time by 3/4%. ...

What should the Federal Reserve do now? Step back... and don't be so anxious to raise rates at the first sign of economic improvement.
Individuals and businesses need stability in their financial cost structures so that they can plan effectively and keep their ships afloat. Wildly fluctuating rates... regardless of what the absolute levels are... create problems. Either too much spending or too much fear. It's just not that difficult to comprehend. Why has it been so difficult for the Fed?

About Me

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Michigan, United States
Air Force (SAC) captain 1968-72. Retired after 35 years of business and logistical planning, including running a small business. Two sons with advanced degrees; one with a business and pre-law degree. Beautiful wife who has put up with me for 4 decades. Education: B.A. (Sociology major; minors in philosopy, English literature, and German) M.S. Operations Management (like a mixture of an MBA with logistical planning)