Several years ago, Dr Sheldon Cooper FTW outlined a clever plan to solve the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Dr Gablehauser said that Dr Cooper was a nut but everyone knows that Sheldon's IQ is 187 which means something.
This map is perverse but it also shows that these loons have some visions, unless most of the civilized world.
Here, we are going to solve not just one problem of the Middle East but all of them. ;-) A general problem is that the existing borders don't really reflect the conditions on the ground too well which is why there are civil wars and why the current borders are being questioned. Despite the constant interventions, the U.S. and others have no clue how they want the region to evolve and what the supposed political map will be in 2030, for example.
On the other hand, the Islamic State has drawn ambitious maps – see the example above. What I am going to present is less ambitious but much more reasonable and could actually win the support of a large fraction of the people in the region as well as the international community, thus reducing the desire of everyone to fight. Of course that the regional and/or international armies would have to co-operate to bring the planned rearrangement into reality. The plan was prepared from the viewpoint of maximum pragmatism which isn't something that many people in the region (and even in the West!) are used to but they may get used to it, anyway.
If you would read the proposals below without this paragraph, you would have to ask yourself: It's ingenious, how is it possible that it works? Everyone seems to win! The answer is that Iraq and Syria are really the territorial losers. Given their current problems with the ISIS, they will be happy that they're happy at all – that they survive in some form. In this sense, the Islamic State hassle is what makes the peace in whole Middle East possible! Assad would have to be guaranteed the legitimacy over the reduced territory and Iraq may be renamed to Mesopotamia to make its significant decrease of territory less visible.
OK, the following countries and would-be countries will have their borders redrawn:
- Palestine (de facto)
- [Islamic State]
Let me enumerate the main changes in words:
- The Islamic State is created and given about 1/2 of the "core territory" that it currently controls in Iraq and Syria
- Kurdistan is created on the natural territories now belonging to Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and Iran
- Turkey is compensated by a piece of Syria, around the Golan Heights
- Iran is compensated by a piece of Iraq
- About Eastern 50% of the West Bank is attached to Jordan to create the Jordan-Palestine confederacy, or Jordanistine
- Within Jordanistine, the West Bank along with a matched piece of Jordan proper will form the Palestine province
- Muslims vacate Jerusalem; Israeli developers will be tasked to built a replica of Jerusalem at a special place of Jordanistine
- Similarly, the Southern 70% of the Gaza Strip is attached to Egypt, and declared an autonomous status as the Province of Palestine along with a piece of Egypt proper
- Israel receives a compensating piece of the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt
- Some additional supervised expulsion with financial compensation will be applied to make the new countries more monocultural
A technical comment for the Nobel Peace Prize committee in Oslo. You can send me the money via PayPal. Thanks. ;-)
As you can see, I am mostly joking – but not quite. I do think that similar ideas should be voiced, discussed, argued about. It's not happening in the region, it's not happening in the West, it's not happening anywhere – which is a reason why no progress is taking place. There can exist a setup that will be better for everyone than the neverending conflicts. Such a setup is worse for each side than this side's most ambitious plans and dreams – but it is better than what each side is actually getting in reality.