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United States Constitution

Article IV

Section. 3.

Clause 1: New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union...

Section. 4. The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.

Martine Rothblatt's Two Stars for Peace is a powerful and cogent argument for Israelis and Palestinians to secure their mutual futures by petitioning the United States Congress to become the 51st and 52nd American states. The author treats every angle of the Middle Eastern muddle and answers every objection, including those that Americans might have to taking in these troubled neighbors.

The advantages to the two parties seem obvious: the U.S., the world's singular hyperpower, would become the guarantor of peace between the parties, the arbiter of border disputes, the defender of both from outside enemies, etc. For America the advantages may appear less obvious, but they're compelling: the quieting of one of the globe's worst trouble spots; the incorporation of Israel's extraordinary military into the American armed services, while simultaneously allowing Israel to give up its own nukes; addition of both highly educated and well-trained Israelis and a significant number of disproportionately young Palestinian workers to pay into Social Security; etc. There are many elements here of a win-win-win solution.

What though of the disadvantages to the three? Are they great enough to spike the idea? For the United States it would certainly mean taking on a troublesome situation, but we're already involved whether we want to be or not. It's not as if we can walk away from Israel, even if we wanted to, and the terrorists will leave us alone. And when peace does come we're going to have to transfer money to the parties just as we did when Israel and Egypt reached a peace deal. This conflict is already our baby. Anything that helps solve it would seem to outweigh the accompanying problems.

For Israel the surrender of sovereignty does seem to run counter to Zionism. A Jewish state within the United States is different than a sovereign and independent state. However, if the premise of Zionism is that a state is necessary to protect the Jewish people and only a Jewish state can, then this appears to be wrong. America has been uniquely accommodating to and accepting of Jews--indeed, there are more Jews in America already than in Israel--and America is uniquely capable of defending Jews and the Holy Land from potential enemies. Moreover, for religiously conservative Jews, the surrender of independence would bring Israel back into conformity with Biblical prophecy, which ties true statehood to the Messiah's coming.

This leaves only the Palestinians and they seem likely to be the sticking point. It's easy to imagine that the end of their fifty year struggle for statehood they'd view United Stateshood as too small a prize compared to independence. This would be a function of emotion rather than reason, but no less formidable an obstacle on that account. The thing that might tilt the balance here is the prospect of rapid economic development. Given that the poorest state of America have higher GDP per capita than most of the nations of Europe, one could hope that Palestinians might see the advantage of being one of 52 rather than one on its own.

Suffice it to say this is a novel solution to what has been a devilish problem. It probably makes too much sense to ever happen, but as Martine Rothblatt lays out the case it's hard to argue against it from a purely common sense perspective. And, Lord knows, if there's any area of the world that could use some new thinking it's surely the Middle East.


Grade: (A)


Martine Rothblatt Links:

    -Martine Rothblatt: President of the William Harvey Medical Research Foundation
    -PPH Cure Foundation
    - Big Thinkers > Martine Rothblatt (
    -BOOK SITE: Two Stars For Peace
    -ESSAY: Biocyberethics: should we stop a company from unplugging an intelligent computer? (Martine Rothblatt,
    -PROFILE: Shifting Gears: Local Biotech CEO Successfully Crosses the Line in Business - and Gender (Rachel L. Dodes, January 2002, Washington Business Forward)
    -ESSAY: Space Case: It's an odd pair: former Reaganite Alexander M. Haig Jr. and transsexual businesswoman Martine Rothblatt. They want to cut the multibillion-dollar satellite industry off at the knees (Mark Lewyn, September 1996, Wired)
    -ESSAY: Crossing the Line: Are transsexuals at the forefront of a revolution--or just reinforcing old stereotypes about men and women? (Richard M. Levine, Society for Human Sexuality)
    -ESSAY: Jeni's Oil: Eight hard years after her daughter's lungs seized, Martine Rothblatt hopes a new drug can save her--and others. (Zina Moukheiber, Jan 07 '02, Forbes)

Book-related and General Links: