JACTESS (Jerusalem Access Two Equal State Solution) is a novel proposal for secure and lasting peace in the Levant (Old Israel/Old Palestine) that is informed more by principles of Peace & Justice (P&J), Public Health (PH) and Behavioral Medicine (BM), than by traditional military/diplomatic thinking (TMDT). It results from decades of intense study of cultural / climatic / demographic / resources / environmental / spiritual (CCDRES) factors involved in this most tragic and dangerous case of failure at peace, and has a discussion of important components critical for real peace, usually overlooked in such practical research.
JACTESS was conceived by an allopathic physician with cross training in BM and PH (environmental epidemiology), Oriental Medicine (OM), and with multiple language skills and exposure to many different cultures. Deep love and respect for the talented Palestinian and Jewish people, and their homelands as well, are the major bases for undertaking this volunteer work. Important trends in regional and world geopolitics get treatment in this plan as well, and helpful military operational suggestions are also offered. Similar proposals do exist, some decades old, but none approach the problem as does JACTESS. Finally, the successful acceptance and implementation of the JACTESS plan require familiarity with its features by people of good will everywhere, so grass roots community organization is at its core. Each component is next summarized here.
P&J- The remarkable expansion of Levant territory under Jewish rule is a fact. Bravery, intelligence, elan, hard work, sacrifice, international intervention (well informed and otherwise) were all involved, as was biblical and other historical support. Jews should live in the Holy Land; but so should Palestinians. There is a growing acceptance of this, often referred to as a two state solution (TSS); but one based only on tiny separate Gaza and an already partially settled West Bank does not rest on solid principles of P&J nor CCDRES factors, as world citizens are starting to see, thanks in part to Phase 2 of JACTESS. Nor would such a plan provide for any meaningful limited right of return, assuage deep seated feelings of dispossession, be helpful for the optimal development of new infrastructures (CCDRES factors), and ease regional tensions, in particular the perceived ‘need’ for nuclear weapons, among other issues.
Using a more fair partition of the Levant, along with the internationalization of Jerusalem (now to be located in a strategic swath of land -peace corridor- itself joining two coasts), JACTESS addresses most of these crucial issues in a robust fashion. Some relocation of populations is required, vastly smaller than what has occurred over the past century, and can be a good thing in these regards as well. With new secure state borders, controlled legal cross immigration can then occur as in other civilized countries. Optimally, talented Israelis will help in international efforts to build a new Palestine, which could help lessen ill feelings toward Jews.
PH- A number of technical PH suggestion are offered in the final JACTESS plan, as one would expect for such nation building, including suggestions also made in a series of epidemiologic papers, with input from Levant based scientists, appearing currently in THE LANCET. Ongoing research, community health education, nutrition, preventive mental health, and much more are covered. But via JACTESS, the world is learning that a range of PH crises already exist in the Levant, and not merely in Palestinian sectors, if one fairly considers mental health and the risk of regional nuclear war.
BM- Sadly, dislike of Jews is widespread, and has been part of the human condition for millennia. Historians attempt variously to help us understand this curse, but the reasons proposed for the depth of these feelings in the past are difficult to grasp for contemporary folks. Today, world citizens of good will have less reason for such confusion when they study the Levant. Unfortunately, we can do little about the past, but the future is ours to improve. The parties involved in the dispute in the Middle East have reached a point of angry, fear based, defensive intransigence, quite familiar to anyone who has ever worked therapeutically with dysfunctional families or groups. Tested techniques exist to facilitate movement in fruitful directions here; current approaches could not be more wrong in this regard, with expected results. In JACTESS, advantage is taken of these principles. However, political scientists, too, are beginning to recognize the need for these novel approaches, as shown in Dr. Brzezinski’s recent article in FOREIGN AFFAIRS.
Militarily, JACTESS calls for international/regional forces on a long-term basis in several strategic areas in New Palestine/New Israel, principally in the corridor, rearranged regions of the West Bank, and as does Dr. Brzezinski, on the Golan. There will also be a carrier task force off shore, provided by world powers, on a rotating basis. Joint training/exercises could thus build down big power rivalries as a side benefit, and will assure the securest of borders and that no one gets pushed into the sea. Finally, the Peace Corridor might make a more appropriate location for the UN than Manhattan. Funding plans are included.