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Dean Obeidallah Headshot

The Three-State Solution to the Middle East Conflict

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The news from the Middle East today is that peace talks may start as soon as Sunday between the Palestinians and Israelis. We have heard the promise of peace talks many, many times before and yet still the conflict continues.

I think the best chance to resolve this 60 plus year old conflict may be to think outside the box. I have a suggestion - I know it's a bit controversial - but at this point, nothing else has worked. So I say: Instead of a two state or one state solution to the conflict, why not a three State Solution. One State each for the Palestinians and Israelis who want to live in peace and a third State for the people on both sides who want to keep fighting.

Think about the possibilities: Israelis and Palestinians who want peace both get it. The families on both sides get a chance to live the lives they imagined- free from violence and occupation.

The third state would, however, be like UFC Fight Night. Every night a different battle. Possibly we can have a big cage match like from "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome" where: "Two go in, one comes out." Maybe we can turn it into a pay per view special or even a reality show called "Last Semitic Standing." (By the way Arabs and Jews are both Semites.)

Finally, after the people are tired of fighting (if ever), they can join the peace States - although depriving us some great reality television.

I don't pretend to be a Middle East expert - I'm simply a comedian who wants to see peace in the region and who has family in Palestine - technically the area now referred to as the West Bank but I think the sooner we start referring to that area as Palestine, the easier it will be for all to start accepting the term Palestine just as some need to accept the term Israel.

On the positive side, I recently saw a joint poll conducted in December 2009 by Hebrew University and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research that indicates that 64% of Palestinians and 73% of Israelis belief a 2 state solution is the best solution and 20% of Palestinians and 9% of Israelis support a one State Solution. That means over 80% on both sides support peace in one form or another.

On the negative side though there is a great deal of mistrust between the people and some on both sides really do hate each other- I can assure you hate is not confined to the Palestinian side alone as some would have you believe as evidenced by the right wing political rallies in Israel where they cheer "Death to the Arabs" and even at Israeli soccer matches where some cheer "Death to the Arabs" when an Arab soccer player steps on the field.

So I ask: If we really want peace, why not explore all alternatives?! Two States for those people who want peace- and to those people who are against hearing about peace and prefer to hear "Lets Get Ready to Rumble," all I can say is: I hope to watch you on pay per views newest show: "Semitic Ultimate Fight Night."