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By Geoff Metcalf

June 15, 2003

When President Bush stuck his fist in the Israeli/Palestinian 'tar baby' I cringed. Negotiating mutually exclusive realities is a fool's errand and Bush is no fool.

In order for anything substantive to occur in the perpetual motion conflict is to assume facts, which flat out are not ever going to be in evidence. Regardless of whatever Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas may SAY�he can't deliver.

*  Yassar Arafat is a bad guy. He is a liar, a terrorist, a murderer, and THE primary dispenser of gasoline to the fire of Israeli-Palestinian antipathy.
*  Israel is allegedly diffident to make him a martyr despite overwhelming evidence they SHOULD.
*  Prime Minister Mahmoud Abass is the new guy on the block.
*  Israel AND the US is attempting to use Abass as THE Palestinian element in crystallizing the presumed 'road map'.
*  Unless or until Abass neuters the Palestinian terrorists (Hamas, Hezzbollah, Islamic Jihad, et al) peace talks are and will remain an exercise in diplomatic masturbation.
*  IF Abass really does want and intend to 'control' the radical elements within the dysfunctional Palestinian arena it would require capabilities he does not and will not have�if he could even survive such an effort.

Therefore, in an epic demonstration of presumption, I propose solution�hang in there it's coming (so I buried the lead). Despite the facts that:

*  Israel became a nation in 1312 B.C.E., two thousand years before the rise of Islam.
*  Arab refugees in Israel didn't begin to identify themselves as part of a Palestinian people until 1967, two decades after the establishment of the modern State of Israel.
*  Arab refugees were (and have been) INTENTIONALLY not absorbed or integrated into the Arab lands to which they fled, despite the vast Arab territory.
*  Out of the 100,000,000 refugees since World War II, theirs is the only refugee group in the world that has never been absorbed or integrated into their own peoples' lands.
*  And a long list history_20020508.html of other reasons Palestinian demands are specious�

Here is MY na�ve, simplistic solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. In order to end the violence�.GIVE THE PALESTINIANS A COUNTRY to call their own.

We don't like to admit it�but right now we own Iraq. Notwithstanding protestations to the contrary and the myriad denials, the United States will decide what does or does not happen in and with Iraq. Sooooooooo, I propose we do the same thing the Brits did in 1947�whip out a crayon and make a new map.

Carve off a portion of southwestern Iraq and call it Palestine. Make it about the size of Israel. Hey, it 'might' even have some oil under it (unlike Israel). We could slice off that southwestern nipple of Iraq and give the Palestinians Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Iraq as neighbors.

We could and should do what no Arab country ever has�create a homeland for Palestinians.

This is not as cavalier a concept as it may appear. Analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats suggests this could be a major plus.

*  The Palestinians get a sovereign homeland. � The US (the great Satan) is responsible.
*  The Arab world loses a major contentious wedge issue.
*  Yassar Arafat becomes a non-issue.
*  Hamas, Hezzbollah, Islamic Jihad et al become a no holds barred free fire zone for Israeli eradication (something no Arab could or would do).
*  A small minority of western Iraqis could be displaced but the upside is huge and the Iraqi minority is politically insignificant.

Remember, Iraq and other "Persian Gulf" countries were created following World War I as protectorates of Great Britain. They were literally carved out of Mesopotamia, which was formerly part of the Turkish Empire.

*  In 1931, Iraq became independent with a pro-British regime under King Feisal and Nuri-as-Said.
*  British intervention reversed a pro-Axis coup in 1941. After World War II, when the US, worried about Soviet influence, the Baghdad pact tried to make Iraq the anchor of a NATO-like pro-Western alliance.
*  In 1958, the pro-West government was overthrown by 'Abd al-Karim Qasim. Qasim survived a Ba'athist coup that included participation of Saddam Hussein in 1959.
*  Kuwait and other neighboring protectorates became independent of Britain beginning in 1961.
*  Qasim was overthrown in 1963 by Abd al-Salam 'Arif.
*  Arif's government was overthrown by a Baathist coup in 1968.
*  By 1979, Saddam Hussein had become Prime Minister and began consolidating a dictatorial regime. *  2003 Saddam is out of power and if not gone�about to be.

So I submit it is time for another "do over"�this time including the creation of the independent and sovereign country of Palestine.

Hey, it could work�maybe.

� 2003 Geoff Metcalf - All Rights Reserved

"Geoff Metcalf is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host for TALK AMERICA and a veteran media performer. He has had an eclectic professional background covering a wide spectrum of radio, television, magazine, and newspapers. A former Green Beret and retired Army officer he is in great demand as a speaker. . Visit Geoff's Web Site: While you're at it - pick up a copy of Geoff's latest book!  E-mail:







"Carve off a portion of southwestern Iraq and call it Palestine. Make it about the size of Israel. Hey, it 'might' even have some oil under it (unlike Israel). We could slice off that southwestern nipple of Iraq and give the Palestinians Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Iraq as neighbors."