EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: A two-state solution is possible only if Israel remembers the requirements of significant population growth and formulates an ecological master plan. Unlike the period attending the Six-Day War, the coastal plain cannot be the only solution.
The public debate on the two-state solution – Israel alongside a Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip – has focused so far on security and demographic considerations. But there is a fundamental issue that has yet to be properly addressed: ecology. This subject must be considered in all its aspects: the territorial balance required to support transportation infrastructure, water, electricity, housing, sewage drainage, and the preservation of open spaces.
At a conference I attended on environmental issues in the West Bank, held at Ariel University on the initiative of the School of Architecture and the Kfar Etzion Field School, architect Israel Goodovitch, a former Tel Aviv city chief engineer, presented a principled critique of the national master plan, “Tama 35.” He claimed that no reference whatsoever was made in this plan to the expanse beyond the Green Line. Not only does this completely disregard the spatial planning needs of the area within which the State of Israel operates in practice, but it disregards the systems of ecological connections that exist between the State of Israel within the 1967 borders and the remainder of the land in the West Bank.
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