For all those back seat negotiators who, during the Camp David Accords looked at Jimmy Carter and at Menachim Begnin and Anwar Sadat’s shared Nobel Peace Prize (yeah, we’re in the WABAC Machine now, kiddies) and thought, “Phssst. I could have done better than that. Hell, I could have solved this thing,” well, here’s your chance. The Atlantic, along with the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace (because one of their contributing editors is a VP there) has created an interactive map with which you can draw the borders of a hypothetical two-state solution for Israel and Palestine! That one class in Middle East studies/Contemporary conflicts/Geography you took in college will finally pay off! Looks like you were wrong, Mom and Dad, I totally shouldn’t have used my humanities credit on English Literature!
I mean how hard could this be, right? It’s not like the issues of Israeli settlement building, the dominion of East Jerusalem, territorial claims on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip could be that complicated, right? Let’s just take a look at this map here and I’m sure we’ll straighten it all–
The best part about The Atlantic/S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace’s Two-State-O-Matic Machine is that it allows you, the average Joe on the Street, to divide the border by assigning settlements to either the Israeli or the Palestinian side. Forgoing, for the moment, that it tells you absolutely nothing about the resources in those areas (I’m sure it won’t be a big deal. I mean, it’s not like Southern Sudan and Sudan are having a big conflict over resource sharing that sprouted out of their partition…Wait, they are? Fuck. Can’t anyone get along?), I’m sure you’ll be able to use your empathy to decide the fates of people you haven’t talked to and thus don’t know their history, their struggles, or the quality of their claim to belong to either Palestine or Israel.
Normally, I’m all for crowd-sourcing. Unfortunately, this isn’t something you can just throw up on Kickstarter. Neither is it something you can just solicit opinions from the public about. This isn’t like building a new park in Pawnee, Indiana. This is nation building in what is straight-up Biblevania. It’s old. So old that people have claims that go back over 1000 years on both sides.
So hats off to The Atlantic and SDACMEP for putting good intentions ahead of good sense.
Sends us your own maps so we can also scoff at you!