Due to the longevity of the Israeli Palestinian conflict and the obvious lack of political will mixed with sheer political ineptitude – on a global scale, really – to properly transform the situation (at least to enforce international law) I’ve come up with a somewhat absurd partial solution towards transforming and transcending the conflict. The idea itself is nothing new – I’m not that creative or knowledgeable about the shituation: the boundaries of Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories will be combined into a bi-national state. There are many reasons why this is favorable for Israelis, Palestinians and Peace (the rest of us) and that complex of simple reasons emerges as the answer to the following question: what would a Palestinian state of scattered and segregated lands look like as a result of settlements, the wall, and the harsh economic, political and military sanctions driving the Palestinians into a fragmented and isolated society?
In any case, my level, or style if you will, of creativity is in the naming of this new nation; a new name that will satisfy both cultures: PalIstein/stien. Its construction is obvious taking the first three letters of the word Palestine, the first two letters of Israel, and then changing the “stine” of Palestine into “stein/stien” so that it resonates with the suffix of many Jewish peoples names, yet the pronunciation could be in dispute as to whether there is a hard “e” vowel sound or a hard “i” vowel sound (which, no doubt, would make Palestinians smile, even though it was at the sacrifice of switching the “e” in the English spelling of their countries name with the “i”, capitalized, from the English spelling of Israel). One country, one name with two pronunciations and still something to fight about.
As one nation, there will be a shared economy, a shared political system, shared roadways, shared schools, and above all and encompassing all, equality as citizens and all of the benefits that come with getting to know and love your neighbor. No doubt it will take a generation or two (or seven) to work things out, but under the current circumstances there is such a limited cultural exchange because of the inability of Palestinians and Israelis to freely move from the OPTs to the NonOPTs as well as the taboo of normalization for Pals to engage with Izzies in any way that legitimizes the regime of inequality. Since the respective and collective governments who are stakeholders in this process have proven incapable of establishing equality this task will have to be accomplished by Israeli and Palestinian civil societies who will, themselves, have to transcend the walls of normalization and the convolution of victim and perpetrator.
In addition to a new name, one other important piece of propaganda is essential to forging a new common narrative: a banner. At first thought it would be interesting to have a two faced flag with the Israeli flag on one side and the Palestinian flag on the other but after some immodest consideration I’m thinking the flag should be a screen playing pixelated permutations of both flags along with other randomly generated visualizations. Let’s leave it at that.
For now, changing the name and flying the first kaleidobanner is enough. When people get use to seeing and hearing these new implants, civil society will begin to change and, again, in a generation or two when all of the old school dogmaticians die off, peace will begin to flourish. Let freedom reign. Pass the felafel, please.