Cries of “Free Palestine” ring out from every corner of the world. The horrific images of dead and maimed children mark another round of pointless debate about how to resolve the conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbors. Pundits from all sides of the issue rehash arguments that stretch back to the legitimacy of creating a Jewish state in the months following the revelations of the Nazi holocaust. No one has put a finger on how the situation must evolve now. Hamas has lost. There is no more Palestine. The indigenous population must flee now if there is to be any future for the Palestinian people.
Israel, however anyone might characterize the state, its history, and its current policies, has won this war. The continuous expansion of occupied territories and the recent invasion of ground forces to crush avenues of military resistance are the indicators of a final stage in this generational conflict. Nearly 4 million Palestinians face starvation and poverty even when there is no military action in the region. Everyone there who wants to escape and begin a new life elsewhere must have the opportunity to do so with the complete support of the world community. Many may still choose to remain in their ancestral homeland and fight to the bloody end of this conflict. There is honor and dignity in their choice. Still, those who want to escape must have that option.
Given the horrors of constant war since 1967, most nations will likely balk at a resettlement plan that will substantially change the geopolitics of the region. Instability across the region may increase with Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia failing to manage a peaceful transition to a permanent and dominant Israel. Only a series of non-governmental and corporate actors may have the ability to intervene and stabilize the region. Palestinian migrants (perhaps no more than 2 million people) could receive sponsorships for work, land ownership, and business opportunities from global organizations to begin new lives in eastern Africa, southeast Asia, and central America. None of these new homes would provide an easy or ideal transition. In many cases, however, these choices could save thousands of lives and begin a new era in maintaining peace in the world’s most volatile region.
These non-governmental interventions would need to be graduated over a period of years (perhaps, even decades). The chance of de-escalation at this moment and the avoidance of a genocidal conflagration in the near future are worth exploring every option. The coalition of private sector actors working in the long-term interests of peace can mobilize young people throughout the developing world, minimize regional conflicts in unstable regions through strengthening global migration, and undermine existing non-state networks of terrorists and insurgents. Beyond triage organizations like Red Cross, Oxfam, and Doctors without Borders, private action to save Palestinian lives would mark a moment in global diplomacy when humanity transcended government in its efforts to create a more peaceful world. The horror of centuries of continuous warfare against indigenous populations in Australia, the Americas, and Africa does not need to continue between Israel and Palestine. There is a chance for a new era of stability, autonomy, and dignity – then, the process of holding all parties accountable for crimes against humanity can begin.
Dr. Walter Greason founded the International Center for Metropolitan Growth in 2012 and is the author of Suburban Erasure: How the Suburbs Ended the Civil Rights Movement in New Jersey. His work is available on Facebook, Twitter (@worldprofessor1/@icmgrowth), LinkedIn, and by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).