Apparently, it’s kind of like soylent green; it’s people. Specifically, it’s about where those people are.
At least, that’s according to this article at FrontPage in which the authors use Central Asia to argue that a one-state solution for Israel and Palestine is simply impossible.
Just as the new calendar year was about to begin, new violence broke out in the village of Andarak in southern Kyrgyzstan. Internecine violence among the ethnic groups of Kyrgyzstan has been flaring up periodically for years with the worst outbreaks in 2010. Kyrgyzstan may be the closest thing to be found in Central Asia to a “bi-national state,” the sort of state that some are proposing be imposed upon the Middle East as a “solution” to replace Israel. …there are lessons to learn from the violence there about the viability of multi-ethnic states in the Middle East.
I’ll plead complete ignorance on anything to do with Israel and Palestine if only because then we can all avoid having a discussion about it. However, the incidents of communal violence in Central Asia over the last two decades — including Tajikistan’s civil war, to which the authors make reference — say very little about the viability of mutli-national states in the abstract. To collapse violence in poor, corrupt societies with fragile governments down to the sole factor of ethnicity is a step beyond ignorant; it’s lazy. Kyrgyzstan’s internal faultlines cut many different ways, and even the ethnic faults are more complicated than they might seem. Similarly, Tajikistan’s civil war was not simply one region against another.
The Middle East, let alone Israel and Palestine, can probably move on.
But sally forth is what our authors do and come up with a surprising lesson from Central Asia:
Ironically, there is a related positive lesson for the Middle East from the same region. While relations between ethnic Slavs and local Muslims in Central Asia have often been tense and can be potentially explosive, recent violent confrontations have been relatively rare largely because of the massive out-migration of the Slavs to Russia and the Ukraine. Ethnic Germans also largely emigrated. Ethnic Russians and Ukrainians simply moved to those nation-states in which their kin are the dominant majority.
Could not the Arab-Israeli conflict be resolved at least partly through a similar out-migration of “Palestinians” and their relocation into the predominantly Arab ethnic “homelands,” much like the resettlement of Central Asian Slavs?
It’s not even worth commenting on the factual claims. Just take it in, be unsurprised that FrontPage published it, and appreciate the irony of the authors including a line about American ignorance of Central Asia.