The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a concern, to say the least. For decades, diplomats and policy-makers have presented many potential solutions that don’t ever work, probably because they’re not good. However, thinking about the problem, I’ve come up with a potential solution that has yet to be proposed and is extremely feasible: the two-Jerusalem solution.
Forget the two-state solution. If either Israel and Palestine don’t have a claim over Jerusalem, no peace will be possible. Jerusalem is too important culturally to both states. Instead of splitting the land in two for both the Israelis and Palestinians, we need to split Jerusalem. This solution has been previously proposed, however, there are sites in Jerusalem that are important to both parties, so simply drawing a line through Jerusalem won’t work. We need more. More Jerusalems.
We need two Jerusalems. The two-Jerusalem solution proposes that both Israelis and Palestinians pitch in for the construction — or, rather, reconstruction — of a second identical Jerusalem adjacent to the real Jerusalem. The new fake city would need to be identical to the old real city, but how much would it cost to build and how feasible is the solution in general?
Masdar city, in the United Arab Emirates, is a city planned from scratch for around 45,000 to 50,00 people and will cover 6 square kilometers. The city will cost an estimated $22 billion. Jerusalem has a current population of a little over 850,00 people and covers 125 square kilometers. Assuming that city construction cost increases linearly, building a new Jerusalem will cost $374 billion by population and $460 billion by area. We’ll double the amount to account for the cost involved with rebuilding the ruins and the intricacies of a city that’s over 5 millennia old, Everything must be recreated exactly for the two-Jerusalem solution to work. The total cost of the construction of a second Jerusalem will be nearly $1 trillion.
During the building of this Jerusalem, which will take an estimated three decades, all of Jerusalem’s current inhabitants will need to be temporarily relocated. The construction crews will need to be killed when the second city is completed, so no one on earth is left who knows which Jerusalem is the real one. For a more humane approach, the entire area would be quarantined for several decades until everyone who knows the true location of the original Jerusalem dies. Afterwards, both contemporary Israeli and Palestinian leaders will meet, do a coin flip, and the winner will choose one city, but neither will know which is the real Jerusalem.
Peace will one again be possible.