by Ram ben Ze'ev (Conservative Values)
Dr. Mordechai Kedar is a prominent Israeli scholar and academic known for his expertise in Arabic culture, language, and Middle Eastern affairs. Born in Tel Aviv in 1952, Kedar's journey from his early years to his current status as a respected authority on the region is marked by a deep commitment to understanding the complexities of the Middle East. This article will provide a brief biography of Professor Kedar and delve into his proposed solution for the Israeli-Arab conflict known as the 8-State Solution.
Mordechai Kedar's academic journey is both diverse and impressive. He earned his bachelor's degree in Arabic language and Arabic literature from Bar-Ilan University, followed by a master's degree in Arabic studies. Kedar then pursued a Ph.D. in Arabic literature at Bar-Ilan University, solidifying his foundation in Middle Eastern studies.
Throughout his career, Kedar held various academic positions, contributing significantly to the field of Middle Eastern studies. His expertise in Arabic culture and language, coupled with his in-depth understanding of the socio-political dynamics of the region, made him a sought-after authority in both academic and policy circles.
Kedar's academic pursuits extend beyond the classroom. He has authored numerous articles and books, often challenging conventional perspectives on the Middle East. His ability to engage with diverse perspectives has made him a respected figure in Israeli intellectual circles.
One of Professor Mordechai Kedar's notable contributions to the discourse on the Israeli-Arab conflict is his proposal for an 8-State Solution. This alternative to the traditional two-state solution envisions a more nuanced and regionally oriented approach to address the complex issues plaguing the region.
The 8-State Solution, as advocated by Kedar, suggests the creation of eight independent entities, each with its own distinct cultural, religious, and political identity. These entities would replace the conventional two-state paradigm, offering a more flexible framework for coexistence in the Middle East.
The eight Arab city-states would be the Gaza Strip, Jenin, Nablus, Ramallah, Jericho, Tulkarm, Qalqilya, and the Arab part of Hebron, all of which he says possess traditional tribal leadership structures capable of transitioning to a self-governing emirate. Each region would have its own governance structure, allowing for greater autonomy and self-determination. The model seeks to acknowledge and respect the diverse ethnic, religious, and cultural identities in the region, aiming to foster stability through decentralised governance.
Critics argue that the 8-State Solution might seem overly ambitious and impractical. However, Kedar emphasises the importance of acknowledging the existing social and political realities in the Middle East. The region's intricate tapestry of identities and historical complexities requires a creative and flexible approach that departs from traditional state-centric solutions.
Kedar's proposal challenges the binary thinking that often characterises discussions on the Israeli-Arab conflict. By recognising the unique challenges and opportunities presented by each region, the 8-State Solution aims to address the root causes of the conflict and foster a more sustainable and inclusive path to peace.
Professor Mordechai Kedar's journey from his early academic pursuits to his current status as a leading authority on the Middle East reflects a lifelong dedication to understanding the complexities of the region. His proposal for the 8-State Solution challenges conventional approaches to the Israeli-Arab conflict, offering a fresh perspective that takes into account the diverse realities of the Middle East.
While the 8-State Solution may face skepticism and criticism, its emphasis on regional autonomy and cultural diversity introduces a new dimension to the ongoing discourse. As the Middle East continues to grapple with geopolitical challenges, Professor Mordechai Kedar's vision serves as a reminder that innovative and unconventional solutions may hold the key to a more stable and harmonious future for the region.