Updated: Mar 8, 2020
Before we talk about peace,
An environment hospitable to peace must be fostered.
Let’s consider formatting a market inspired approach for peaceful positioning between Israelis and Palestinians. Peace at the moment is temporary and situational rather than absolute and legitimate. Zionism is a core and existential ideology among the Israeli populace. That won’t change any time soon. Zionism can however transition to be a regionally positive force.
In recent years, the ideology has formatted largely into a single approach, West Bank development. Israelis feel torn because the current and dominant option is unsustainable, but other traditional approaches to Zionism have been more or less exhausted. Now that Israel is largely recognized as a formal state, the fight for diplomatic statehood has become irrelevant. The kibbutz movement has been exhausted by its own success. As a socialist push, hundreds of kibbutzim have developed the available arable land for agriculture. While conscription military service is still widely accepted and approved of, this individualized outlet of Zionism is very short term and doesn’t represent a single political expression. Simply put, the failures of modern Zionism are expressive of a lack of competition.
I argue that the path towards peace lies in providing an alternative approach to Zionism which incentivizes an organic de-escalation in the West Bank. Jews and the citizenry of Israel are the consumer base while Zionism is the product in question. We need to be able to provide a better product. This better product is a Negev development plan which confronts past errors such as incrementalism, lackluster public support and economic fragility. In this piece, I focus on transitional infrastructure development as a path toward growth away from a zero sum paradigm.
I should add that I started writing this blog before the current wave of conflict between Israel’s military and the forces from within the Gaza Strip. This subject will be confronted from a game theoretic perspective in the weeks to follow.