A PLAN FOR PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Editor’s note: The writer has travelled extensively through
Egypt , the Sinai Peninsula, Palestine, Syria, and
Lebanon; and has a wide circle of friends
throughout the Middle East, as well as contacts
with various delegations to the United Nations. He
is the son of missionaries to India, and has spent
over half of his life in the Orient.
No one needs to be told that the Middle East is at present the
locality of a two-fold conflict of grave consequence for the
western world; the dispute between the Arabs and Israelis on the
one hand, and the clash of international communism with the free
world on the other.
It is improbable that this latter would have taken place in this
area without the former, and it is equally probably that the
drift of the Middle East towards a communist sphere of influence
or worse can be stopped and actually safeguarded for the free
world if an equitable solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict can
This seemingly insurmountable situation is based on the
everlasting covenant which God made with Abraham as chronicled
in Genesis 17:8, “And I will give unto thee, and to thee seed
after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of
Canaan, for an everlasting possession.”
The tragedy of the Israelites begins in that God did not define
in detail just what the boundaries of Canaan were, and ancient
authorities are rather vague as to its exact extent. To further
complicate matters, it would appear from what scholars believe
Canaan to be, that God never in times past fulfilled His covenant
with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in full. In fact, from the time
of Moses on, following the sojourn in Egypt, the fulfillment of
the covenant becomes more and more conditional upon the good
behavior of the Israelites, with exile in strange lands
threatened as the penalty for unfaithfulness. (Lev. 26:14)
The Old Testament from this point on is a recital of the
intermittant faith and unfaithfulness of the Israelites, with
consequent exiles and restorations, culminating in the Diaspora
of the remnants of the Israelites mingled with the lone,
surviving tribe of Judah in 70 A.D.
With this exile of the Jews, the stage was set for the entrance
of the Palestinian Arabs, who settled on the land and have made
Palestine their home for at least 1300 continuous years.
Trouble began in Palestine at the beginning of the twentieth
century, when political Zionism made its appearance. The end
result of this movement is well-known, the emergence of the State
of Israel at the expense of the Palestinian Arabs, and an
armistice in the ensuing state of war between Israel and the Arab
This armistice has continued for 40 years, and has resulted in a
number of consequences highly detrimental to the best interests
of the free world, and of inestimable benefit to the cause of
Briefly, our greatest loss has been to force Iraq, Syria, and
Libya to turn to Russia and her satellites for arms, and the
consequent admission of thousands of communist technicians and
others into these countries, with long-term consequences as yet
Secondly, our conduct towards the Palestine refugees and the Arab
States has weakened our position immensely both in the vital
Middle East and also throughout the Afro-Asian nations who hold
the balance of power economically, militarily, and politically
through the United Nations between the free world and the
The continuance of this vexing dispute can only result in a
further deterioration of our position throughout areas that are
crucial to us for oil and other raw materials, for markets, as
well as for reservoirs and manpower which if lost and turned
against us could well spell the end of western civilization.
Fortunately for the free world, the history of the Middle East is
such that a firm, lasting, and beneficial peace is possible.
Both the Jews and the Arabs are blood brothers of Abraham, the
Jews through Isaac and the Arabs through Ishmael. This has been
a happy circumstance throughout the long history of these two
peoples, with the Arabs having treated the Jews as brothers until
the rise of political Zionism presented the Palestinian Arabs
with the prospect of eviction from their historic homeland.
In fact, even after such eviction did take place, the Jews in the
Middle Eastern countries continued to have all the rights and
privileges accorded any other citizens of these countries, and it
took the Israeli invasion of Egypt in 1956 to disturb the
amicable relations that the Jews have enjoyed for centuries.
The ways of God are beyond man’s understanding and it is
possible, in fact it is probable, that the ten tribes of Israel
that lost their identity in 519 B.C. while captives of the
Assyrians are intimately co-mingled throughout the Arab world,
and God’s covenant to Abraham has been fulfilled through the
presence of these descendents in Palestine.
I propose, therefore, that the Middle East countries, including
Israel, be joined together in a political union, a Union of
States of Abraham, with a constitution based upon our own, as has
been done in formulating the constitutions of many of the nations
founded since 1776.
Such a union would not be too difficult to achieve, as all of the
Middle East countries already have some form of constitutional
government, especially in the legislative field, and I feel
confident that the differences arising out of the merging of
democracies with constitutional monarchies can be resolved with-
out detriment to the two kingdoms in the area.
The success of this proposal would rise or fall on one important
change in the political entity of two of the states in the union.
To finalize the boundaries of Israel and Jordan at the present
armistice line would result in the continuance of two sore points
that are at the bottom of much of the trouble in the Middle East;
namely, the refusal of Israel to recognize the legal and
legitimate rights of the Palestine refugees to return to
Palestine and regain their property and livelihoods, and two, the
inability of either state to make use of the Jordan River for
economic purposes absolutely vital to two otherwise unviable
states. The answer to both of these problems is to merge Israel
and Jordan into one state within the union. This would result in
just about an equal number of Jewish and Arab voters, thus
ensuring that legislative action touching on these two vital
matters would be taken on the basis of their merits rather than
any internal political considerations detrimental to the common
The benefits of such a union are legion, and if fully
implemented, the plan would result in the satisfaction of all of
the aims of the interested parties, the Arabs, the Israelis, and
the free world.
First and foremost, the conflict over the territory, citizenship,
water and natural resources of Palestine would be resolved, with
justice for the Arab refugees and a permanent, legalized homeland
for the Jews. In fact, the need of the Israelis for “lebensraum”
would be met by the opening of all Arab countries in the proposed
union to free passage of citizens from one state to another.
Second, through a federal union, the individual states would
retain their nominal entity, independence, and individual
memberhsip in the United Nations as in the case of the five
states comprisi8ng the USSR; and would further retain all rights
of local legislation, executive and judicial powers not
specifically delegated to the federal government, as in the
structure of the United States.
Third, such a merger could be undertaken without prior United
Nations action at any time agreeable to Israel and any of the
Arab States that wished to join the proposed union.
Fourth, it would free the vast resources of the free world to
assist in the full development of the important economic
resources of the Middle East, and foster the creation of a
strong, viable area. Further, the monies now being devoted to
the maintenance of large military forces could be turned toward
peaceful purposes, and one strong, well-integrated force backed
by a sound economy established to defend the new union and
bolster the defenses of the free world.
Fifth, such a plan would implement the British promises and
declarations made to the Arabs and Jews beginning with 1915, and
would pave the way for the restoration of British prestige and
economic participation in the Middle East.
Sixth, the settlement of the Arab refugee question on the basis
of full justice would be of tremendous value in regaining the
confidence of the uncommitted Afro-Asian nations in the basic
good intentions of the West, and well may mark the turning point
in the world-wide battle for men’s minds, especially in this
critical and uncertain area.
A by-product of this action by the West would be to open the
doors of many of these nations to fuller economic cooperation,
and the development of much-needed markets for the expanding
This proposed “Union of States of Abraham” would provide all
parties concerned with an opportunity for face-saving, produce a
truly strong and sound economy for the Middle Eastern peoples,
and most important of all, result in a lasting “peace with
justice” in this important area. We have nothing to lose and
everything to gain in presenting this plan to the Arabs and
Israelis for their consideration.