Magazine article USA TODAY

Two Stars for Peace: "Every Newly Stitched American Flag Will Declare That Peace Has Been Achieved by Embracing Israelis and Palestinians as American Citizens, and by Welcoming Their Lands as Unique-And Equal-States."

Magazine article USA TODAY

Two Stars for Peace: "Every Newly Stitched American Flag Will Declare That Peace Has Been Achieved by Embracing Israelis and Palestinians as American Citizens, and by Welcoming Their Lands as Unique-And Equal-States."

Article excerpt

THE AMERICAN FLAG contains 50 stars. It has changed 26 times since 1777, when it officially was adopted with 13 stars. The principal always has been the same--add one star to the flag each time a state joins the Union. No star is larger or differently colored, or preferentially positioned than any other. This reflects the commitment to equality for each. To that end, Israel and Palestine should be invited to join the U.S. This huge logistical effort is a small price to pay for the honor of welcoming the Holy Land into the fold. Every newly stitched American flag will declare that peace has been achieved by embracing Israelis and Palestinians as American citizens, and by welcoming their lands as unique--and equal--states.

It has been 44 years since the U.S. flag was modified to accommodate the admission of Hawaii. An even longer 47 years transpired between the joining of New Mexico in 1912 and Alaska in 1959. The time is ripe to admit two stars for peace. The U.S. is a one-of-a-kind country. No other land is comprised of numerous unique territories that voluntarily elect to forego their own sovereignty in favor of being a part of America. This political innovation prevented much potential violent conflict amongst the many different peoples who settled the American frontier. The one time that two different sovereignties did try to stand on the same land, the Civil War was the result. More Americans died in that conflict than from all other wars combined.

Is not the situation of Israel and Palestine like that of the North and South? Are not the constant battles between Israelis and Palestinians essentially a civil war? While this situation cannot be placated within a United States of the Middle East--for no such entity exists--it can be resolved by adding Israeli and Palestinian states to a slightly enlarged U.S. The Founding Fathers foresaw the benefits of growing the country by voluntary association. Hence, Article IV, Section III of the Constitution states that "Congress may add additional states to the Union by majority vote."

Israel and Palestine can become American states by having their duly elected representatives send a Petition for Statehood to Congress while an Invitation of Statehood can be sent to Israel and Palestine, Congress should grant a warm welcome, in the form of a Joint Resolution specifying key conditions and guarantees, because doing so solves the U.S.'s most intractable foreign affairs dilemma.

With a few strokes of the pen, state boundaries will be finalized, although those borders lose much of their importance because now people will be able to move freely across them. The Senate and House, of course, will be adjusted to include members elected from the new states. Israeli and Palestinian defense forces will be reconstituted as Federally controlled National Guard units or integrated into the armed services. Civil rights and nondiscrimination laws will prevail: The long and strong arms of the Federal government will guarantee order and security for all. There will be, at long last, peace in the lands surrounding Jerusalem.

This "Two Stars for Peace" plan should provide good responses to all possible objections:

How about language? Approximately 90% of Israelis speak English, as do a majority of Palestinians. Each decade the U.S. admits more non-English speakers from Latin America and Asia than the total population of Israel and Palestine.

How about Jerusalem? West Jerusalem, demarked by the "green line" established in 1949, would be the capital of Israel and East Jerusalem, the capital of Palestine. However, there would be no fences or barriers between these sister cities. Traffic would flow as freely as it does from Washington, D.C., to its Virginia and Maryland suburbs. The Constitution ensures that all Americans are free to travel to and visit any state they wish.

How about the Jewish West Bank settlements? They would remain where they are, but the settlers would be residents of the American state of Palestine. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.