Then What

Just as the news from Israel keeps getting worse on the surface, there are a lot of behind-the-scenes noises that sound like a two-state solution (at least in the West Bank) might be near. But let me look in to my crystal ball on this:

Palestine has almost no natural resources. It’s primary industry, in terms of GDP, would be tourism. That is easily disrupted by terrorism, should that occur. Even if Gaza is integrated into Palestine, it is only by leave of Israel (in fact if not in law) that Palestine would have access to the seas. Good behavior on the part of the Jordanians and Egyptians is absolutely required.

My prediction is that after the glow of any peace wears off, after the Nobel prizes are handed out, the stories instead will continue to focus on the refugee camps outside of Palestine on the one hand and on the economic disparity between Israelis (including the Arab ones) and Palestinians. I don’t think the Israelis will come out looking like the good guys in the end no matter what they do. Does anyone think that an EU membership is in the offing, for example?

Things will also stop glowing for Palestine. While there will surely be a hard core of people who will never let go of the conflict, there will be a lot of disappointment here too. Women’s issues and other civil rights issues will be exposed. There will be corruption. There will be strife between Christian and Muslim Palestinians. And my guess is that if any Jews try to stay in Palestine, they will be kicked out. Palestine will not be the enlightened European satellite that people think it will be.

A lot of this is my speculation, but most of it is just based on looking at the things as they are that will matter after the politics of a peace deal cease to matter. It’s not a rosy picture. But it should give some explanation as to why leaders on both sides aren’t in a rush to resolve the situation beyond just the evil motives ascribed to them.

If Israel had peace with Palestine and Syria, it would finally have to confront the fact of its being taken over by the Charedi minority. If Palestine finally had peace with Israel, it would have to confront the fact of failure with no one else to blame.