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Using Research Institutes

Instead Of Negotiating Teams

There’s nothing that two research institutes – one in Israel, one in Palestine – can’t find out about each public’s preferences. You don’t need negotiating teams to learn what’s acceptable.

Nor are negotiating teams needed to establish some kind of mutual agreement. Since the Bermigo package would be implemented only after each public approved it in separate referendums, any agreement – or lack thereof – that two negotiating teams came to would have no material bearing, anyway.

Moreover, you have a much higher chance statistically of getting a “yes” in mutual referendums if you construct your plan from what each public says, rather than what each negotiating team comes up with. Because, if one negotiating team is better than the other, its public might okay the deal – but the public on the other side is likely to reject it. So you win the battle and lose the war.

Also, in the Middle East, negotiators grandstand, bow to all kinds of personal or party interests, engage in leaks, and so on. So the work they do is rarely ‘clean’. In contrast, institutes that focus entirely on research are far less prone to that kind of behavior.

And to reinforce the point: much of the Palestinian public regards its leaders/negotiators as sellouts – especially, the Palestinian negotiators who Westerners hang their hat on as 'reasonable'. (Which is why the Bermigo Plan absolutely insists the package be approved by referendum, and not by arm-twisting everyone's favorite leadership).

Note that the two research institutes would not be starting from scratch; the Bermigo Plan already exists. And it is already the product of considerable research. And note, this would not be any product – to qualify for the necessary further stages of research, the first Bermigo sampling-poll (of 1000 respondents, error +/- 4%) would first have to show that the plan would engender almost zero lethal resistance among the Palestinian public.

Finally, to top it all, even without citing all the above advantages of using two research institutes rather than negotiators, there's an overriding fact that governs the entire Bermigo Plan: namely, that the minute any plan has the trappings of a direct agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, at least 35% of Palestinians will reject it – and use lethal violence to do so.

For those well-meaning leftists who don't want to believe this essential fact, take a look at the 2009 Palestinian poll on the Saudi 2002 proposal. Even though this proposal doesn't require the Palestinians to recognize Israel, and seemingly allows them an unfettered right of return to sovereign Israel, 35% of the Palestinian public STILL rejected the Saudi proposal outright.

In short, the 11th commandment for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is to eliminate any and all agreements – and thus, negotiations – between the two combatants, themselves.