I'm James Maxey, the author of numerous novels of fantasy and science fiction. I use this site to discuss a wide range of topics, with a heavy emphasis on cranky, uninformed rants about politics and religion and other topics that polite people attempt to avoid. For anyone just wanting to read about my books, I maintain a second blog, The Prophet and the Dragon, where I keep the focus solely on my fiction. I also have a webpage where both blogs stream, with more information about all my books, at jamesmaxey.net.


Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Solving the worlds problems with a wave of my wand...

Okay, I know that my first post talked about world domination. I feel that I should mention a few things on my agenda should I ever take over the world.

There is no greater snake pit of problems in the world today than Israel. Any benevolent ruler of Earth is going to have to figure out what to do with the place. In Nobody Gets the Girl, I have a scene where one of the characters flattens the city of Jerusalem--just wipes it from the face of the Earth, creating a mirror smooth circle ten miles wide where the city used to be. I've gotten a lot of comments on this scene, mostly to the effect of, "Yeah, that would solve the problem." These comments always give me a sick little feeling in my stomach. Because I have written about a drastic act of violence in a novel in no way indicates that I advocate such action, people.

Still, I think people respond to the scene because they, like the character, are frustrated. They don't see an easy solution to the problems for Israel. But, there is one easy solution, although you will never hear any US politician advocate this. Solve Israel the way that South Africa was eventually resolved: One state, one man, one vote. Toss the whole two-state solution out the window. Make the Palestinians full Israeli citizens, with all appropriate civil rights. Jewish, Muslim, or Christian--everyone equal under the law.

The obvious objection is that the Jews would be outvoted under a one man, one vote solution. The whole notion of a Jewish state would be destroyed. But in almost every other instance I can think of, American foriegn policy is geared toward the creation of secular states, not states built and based on a single religion. Why are we so invested in creating a secular government in Iraq, but never even consider the idea for Israel?

In the final days of apartheid in South Africa, you find many parallels for the current situation in Israel. The goverment consisted of a minority holding power over a majority. Certain people in the majority had turned to terrorism. You had bombs going off every other day. It was justifiably argued that ending apartheid meant rewarding terrorism. There was also the very sane fear that once blacks took power, it was all over for the whites in South Africa. Once the blacks took control of the country, they'd go door to door and drag the whites into the streets and have little lynch parties to gain payback for decades of oppression and abuse. Yet, it didn't happen. Blacks got the vote and took power. There were no mass reprisals. I won't pretend that South Africa is now some shining paragon of virtue and equality--they've got a zillion new problems as a result of the transition. But, there was no genocide. Violence was no longer needed as a political tool once voting was available.

The Palestenians need good government. They need a constitution, fair courts, and a police force that exists to enforce laws rather than take bribes. They would instantly have these things if they were recognized as citizens in a unified Israel. The hope would be that they would use their new political power to maintain these institutions.

Sadly, I've never heard a single US politician advocate this solution. Worse, you don't hear any Israeli polititions advocating this. And, worst of all, you don't hear Palestinian politicians advocating this. All sides seem devoted to a policy of seperate and unequal.

That always works out so well.

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