These democratic values of Israel are very valuable for its current situation and offer a profound opportunity for a Palestinian resolution. A two-party state is not a resolution--it is status quo. Let's take the potential of this democratic base to the limit. We need a Israeli-Palestinian great experiment--United Palestine. The United States is a great experiment that flourishes (today we can see it many strengths--from cultural integration to optimism; and its many flaws--from pro-business roots to just being outdated).
Israel and Palestine must convene a constitutional convention. This new constitution must explicitly foster agreed-upon social values. Think of all the social values needed to fairly integrate the two "opposing" sides. But for the separation of church and state, this concern of mixing people was missing from the US experiment, though it is actually one of its great successes.
The concept of separation of church and state is a gray area and needs clarification. Let's define church as all the followers of one religion. The state cannot favor one church over another. Let's define religion as people's beliefs and opinions concerning the existence, nature and worship of a deity or deities and divine involvement in the universe and human life. The state cannot establish a religion. The state, however, does need to control a religion if its worship practices become too extreme and counter to the values fostered by the state.
The only way for a state to truly incorporate the values of the people is to give people the power to make well-informed decisions about the state.
The state must foster an educational and media system that fairly represents all sides of every issue. This responsible information-disseminating system must be better than all commercial propaganda combined. The state must also provide forums for input and debate of all the issues.
A few other values the new state should incorporate:
We need to take money out of politics.
We need to provide everyone a secure place in society according to their needs and abilities. This means education, shelter, food, healthcare and job-service opportunities. If a person has a secure, respected, responsible place in society he is less likely to jeopardize it with anti-state and anti-cultural group acts.
We need to offer personal self-realization. With current technology there is no need for all to work all the time--all should work some of the time. The state must offer something better than TV.
We need to have "fair" enterprise, not "free" enterprise. There are some people who do not practice their religion's values and are thus "free" to be greedy and selfish business people.
The constitutional convention will find and flesh out many more.
Let's bring these two great religions together with the great values they both espouse.
Let's define democracy anew for this critical time.
Let United Palestine be an example for the future.
Redwood City, CA
Jun 10 2008 - 6:33am