By James G. Mason
Those who have called me “radical,” in the past
are going to nod their heads and say, “I told you so,” after this
proposal. Like most of
the political world, I’m desperate for a reasonable solution to lasting
peace in the Middle East. But
“reasonable” ideas should be reserved for situations in which reason
can realistically prevail. This
is not the case in the Middle East. I
feel deep sorrow when peoples kill each other. I feel pity for those who can’t
resolve their differences. Because
one of the most sensitive subjects in the world for any opinion writer is
what, where, when, how to do with, at, for, about Jewish people; here’s
the part where I have to de-anti-Semite my view: I have nothing against
the Jewish people. I live
with and am in love with a Jewish woman.
There are two Jews in my family, my German ancestors were Jewish. I see no reasonable differences
between the Jewish ethnicity and any other human ethnicity. To be fair, I have nothing against Arabs and Palestinians
I’m also an atheist and so I’m embarrassed when
humans take-up beliefs and become indignant about “rights” that evolve
from those beliefs, and then proceed to kill each other over them. I would agree the following would
be radical proposal if the problem had just begun, if there had not
already been three thousand years of blood baths on this very land we
call “holy,” i.e. the ruthless army of David, the actions of Ramses,
the Roman conquests, the Christian Crusades. Already in the last four decades;
several accords, hundreds of meetings, dozens of broken agreements and
thousands of innocent deaths. It
would not be a radical proposal if all this death and failure to get along
were not over something as trivial as a section of dry land the area of
Rhode Island. The land under
the political borders called Israel and the occupied territories has seen
more blood spilled per square mile than any spot on this Earth.
I say let all current occupants, of this land worth
dying and killing over, have 1 year to gather their belongings and get out
for good. Neighboring and
other countries can agree to accept a fairly distributed amount of
emigrants of the disputed land. A
U.N. force can be in charge of rounding up every man, woman, and child,
and all wildlife from the region.
Then irradiate the Middle East. The nuclear powers of
the Earth should agree to jointly explode nuclear devices over all land
from the south of Lebanon to the West Bank of Jordan to the Red Sea. Destroy all opportunity for a
human to thrive on this land for hundreds of years. Melt the so-called “sacred
lands,” that these disagreeing peoples have been willing to kill and die
over for decades. Turn the
Temple Mount into a mound of glass. Change the surface of Jerusalem into an indistinguishable
mass of lumpy melted and radioactive rock so unrecognizable it will matter
not who gets the east side and who gets the west side. The children can have a “time
out” while their land is ever so slowly recovering from radiation and
perhaps their children’s children’s children’s children’s
children’s great grand children can later reoccupy the sand and rock
that so many have died over for centuries.
Is this a violent option to end violence? No. Approximately six million
refugees can be relocated to nations, largely of their choosing. All wildlife can be collected
including native fauna. It’s
not violent to transform rock and sand to a landscape that is inhospitable
to humans. For those bound to
religiosity, religious structural icons can be moved and relocated.
Will this action stop the hate that currently exists
between the warring factions of the Middle East? Of course not. This hatred is already dispersed
past the borders of the Middle East.
What can be expected is that the root reason, for the hatred (the
Holy Land) will be made a part of an unchangeable past. Nuclear nations of the world who
participate in this land de-civilization will share blame for the physical
act of the destruction.
What will become of Zion? In the past fifty years the Jewish
people have displayed innovation and drive and industrious accomplishments
in building Israel unparalleled in human history. The land was nearly barren in
Nineteen Forty Eight. The
Israeli people have proven that oasis’ can be built. The water aquifers, the pipelines
and the irrigation that transformed Israel, can be built again. I think it’s reasonable to
assume they would again get economic and material help from sympathetic
nations, if their choice of a new Zion would be free of territorial
dispute to begin with. The
Western Sahara comes to mind.
Blame it on religion. Blame
it on zealous ownership of religiously held land, on rightful indignation
inspired by holy teachings, on belief systems that override logic and
tolerance, love and peace. If
it’s “sacred land” they are concerned about - the land will still be
there, the space will always exist, it’s just that undeserving humans
who fight and kill like children who refuse to get along, can’t occupy
it for hundreds of years to come.
It sounds biblical like something the Christian god
would do. Except according to
the stories in the Christian Bible, which describe the overall character
of that god, he would not be so merciful as to evacuate the people and the
wildlife, he would strike and kill everyone, children and babies too, in
one fell swoop, for their collective sins.
Few writers and even fewer politicians and diplomats
can offer a permanent answer to ending the chronic violence that has
plagued the Middle East. I
welcome a better answer with as much permanence, which is reasonable to
expect can be carried out and which distributes responsibility globally.
Afterwards red stripes can grace every map of the
Middle East where Israel and the occupied territories had been, warning
travelers and air traffic to stay clear of the radioactive wasteland. The
new “forbidden zone,” can serve humanity immensely as a lesson in
humanity for generations to come.
Imagine generations of school children sitting in their social
studies and geography classes, learning about “the people who couldn’t
get along because of their differences,” and lost their land, “where
the red stripes are” in the Middle East.
James G. Mason
All Copyrights Reserved,
James G. Mason, 2002