Series: A Usable Peace Plan
Israel would “suggest” an economic plan for the region to include Jordan, Judea, Samaria Gaza and Israel. It would call for a simultaneous development of certain necessary areas into industrial zones and agricultural zones where feasible. This would be based upon the United Nations playing a requested role of advisor. However, the actual work would be done by a commission of multi-national or large corporations who would be solicited to provide industrial teams to insure that the factories are, in fact, built and run at competitive levels of efficiency. Both Jordan and Israel would be required to cooperate and provide expertise.
Major funding would come as grants through the U.N. and subsidized by the major nations. I believe it would take $50 billion to restructure the entire area. These funds would be made available in yearly phases so that growth could be handled in a progressive and orderly fashion. Part of the formula would require that previous debt be re-financed and placed as grant funds. Israel’s debt for restocking after 1973 and giving up the Sinai would therefore finally be retired. A new water plan to truly make the Jordan Valley on both sides of the River green, should be one of the first major utility construction projects. This could come from several sources:
- The Med/Dead canal project could be revived.
- A Beit Shean/Jezreel Valley canal from Haifa to the Dead Sea, along an existing natural shallow depression, would provide hydro-power, desalinization, recreation areas, and increased moisture into the Jordan Valley from evaporation.
- Piping water from the Litani River (Note! I am aware of the problems in that area, but perhaps it could be worked out.)
Israel would generously offer to provide road access from Jordan through Israel to Gaza and the Sea. While I do not believe Gaza has deep water facilities, they could be built. The Gaza area with its surplus of workers could be made into a small Taiwan with a major port. The manufacturing facilities must have some linkage with the other two partners establishing an operating inter-dependence, to insure continued peaceful coexistence. Naturally, the Arab boycott would cease forthwith in any form or manner.
Capitalization of the area would be a cheap price for the West, considering that, not only would new markets open up but the area would itself become productive. Israel would benefit greatly since it could accelerate its high tech R&D into a profitable production mode.
The Jewish towns and villages must remain as a functional part of this territory operating as an autonomous entity. Industrialization of Judea, Samaria and Gaza must have a mix of Jews and Arabs in order to keep the region de-militarized and therefore stabilized. There can be no doubt that, if the area becomes entirely Arab, under the control of the PLO, it must and will arm itself. An armed and trained populace will be more likely to make war, and will become a threshold of entry for any consortium of Arab armies who would flood down through Jordan.
The military risk is unacceptable, particularly since we have seen demonstrated the effectiveness of shoulder-fired weapons against Soviet aircraft and armor in Afghanistan. Israeli aircraft would be unable to overfly the area to delay any invasion. Our armored corps would itself be delayed as it was forced to fight through and past armed villages and mined roads. No nation has been able to effectively demilitarize a zone not under its control. With the unregulated proliferation of SA7 – SA16s and Stingers, that task is impossible.
Judea, Samaria and Gaza would have to be patrolled by combination teams of Jordanians, Israelis and Palestinian policemen anti-terror forces. Perhaps the formula could change after 10 years of PEACE THROUGH INDUSTRIALIZATION.
There are many ventures that could be undertaken with sufficient capital. A package deal could be offered by international bankers guaranteed or subsidized by their respective governments or a consortium of governments through the World Bank. In order to secure such loans, three partners would show an operations’ business plan.
The partners would be Jordanian, Israeli, and Palestinian. While a plant could be located on one agreed spot, it would be preferable if three cooperative plants be built, one in each area. Each plant would produce part of the finished goods and sold abroad through a marketing agent. Profits would be paid into a banking escrow and divided equitably. Major corporations would agree to place orders for finished goods on a priority basis from such cooperatives. They, in turn, would receive certain tax benefits from their respective governments.
The picture that must be presented to the Americans, Europeans, Japanese, etc. is one wherein there will be a positive cash flow and not merely a great sink hole of lend-lease payments that never stop. It is just such a plan that will make the West overlook the objections from the Arab nations or Jordan itself.
If it is rejected, the West will be irritated with the Arabs and not with Israel for interfering with the profits of world trade.
PRESENTING THE PLAN
Prime Minister Shamir, with a business team, must present the plan in a comprehensive and conciliatory manner. It must be demonstrated that this is our back-to-the-wall proposal. We are demonstrating that we are willing to live with the Arabs, but they too must be forthcoming and we expect the West to help economically and provide real technological assistance, i.e. experts, engineers, production analysts, marketing experts, et al.
Israel will offer its considerable expertise in construction, agriculture, R&D, integration of mixed populations, etc.
But the point must be reiterated that Israel cannot merely accept the face of the PLO speaking of peace. We must see the face of the Arab nations speaking through Jordan that puts some kind of assurance on the package.
It is my view that once 100,000 Palestinians settle in Jordan where they become the definitive majority, a critical mass, the balance of their people are likely to follow. I feel certain that, given time and the natural flow of events, Jordan will indeed become the spacious home of the Palestinian people. The wild card of Syria may be somewhat contained since the Palestinians would not like the idea of being absorbed by Syria as it has threatened to do numerous times. I do not believe that a strong Jordan will allow Syria and Iraq to sweep through on their way to attack Israel. Once there they would never leave and the Palestinians would again be serving other masters…as in Lebanon.
The PLO will, no doubt, continue to arouse the masses and there will always be terrorists because some people simply must join such movements.
The concepts I have proposed are deliberately sketchy because there are many gaps which must be filled in by experts. However, the overall concepts are workable or at least workable to the extent that Prime Minister Shamir and Foreign Minister Arens can offer a cogent unified plan in their next visits to the U.S. Although I realize diplomacy often precedes such meetings, it may pay to drop this publically on the world and President Bush, in particular, as a complete surprise. Naturally it would come as a thick book of detail that will take a month to read – absorb – and another five months to argue about. Charts, slides, graphs, maps, topographical drawings of the land, etc. should accompany the presentation.
It is, of course, imperative that you lobby our friends to support the Israeli Peace Proposal. Congress should be informed and loaded with information, and along with the media be given special treatment with photo opportunities, drawings of industrial areas, helicopter tours and views from the air of the vast lands available in Jordan, compared to the scant land in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Give them handouts that easily make into a story, i.e. the access Jordanian/Gaza road – the water project – successful industrial zones like Tefen, etc. Invite European and Japanese economists and entrepreneurs to analyze and make recommendations.
Major political figures should be encouraged to make positive statements in order to give momentum to the idea.