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Sustainable locations: Where should people live?

The plight and flight of Palestinians
The plight and flight of Palestinians
James George

Call this article the plight and flight of humanity. Most people would probably answer the question about where people should live by confirming right where they are. However, there are vast numbers of people who live in places that are in environmental jeopardy or worse. There are people who would prefer to stay put, however, their present location will not support them. What are their options? Who in the world are addressing their plight? Are there better ways going forward?

Gaza people in need
Kenzo Tribouillard / AFP / Getty Images

Free people are free to move for the purpose of improving their conditions, however their movement is constrained by laws and regulations. Some occupations possess more inherent mobility than others. Freedom of movement is also affected by marketable characteristics of individuals and populations.

If there is one natural law about people and movement it is that wherever they are, they need and want economic upward mobility. As they equip themselves with increasing skill, knowledge, and proficiency they want to maximize return on their self-investment and self-improvement. That is what propels humanity forward.

In an advancing and progressive world, the rate at which people are able to advance is an important factor in determining satisfaction. Some people in the world are stuck or may be going in reverse. That is where conditions exist for poverty, strife and war.

In many instances, locations do not remain in the same state. They may worsen and therefore may lose capacity to support populations. Populations may increase in a location and accelerate the location’s incapacitation. Those circumstances demand attention by the people living there, and by their governments.

Sometimes, the sources of governance for stressed locations are themselves incapacitated and unable to deal with the situations. How is the free world to address these circumstances?

Location of Jews and Palestinians

Different names have been applied to describe the location where Jews and Arabs live now in the Middle East. What history shows is that different people have had varying dominance in the location over time. At all times, there was diversity among them. The location was strategic as a seaport with access to natural resources, and therefore, it was a center for trade and commerce.

Land of Canaan:

“during the late 2nd millennium BC, a region in the Ancient Near East, which as described in the Bible roughly corresponds to the Levant, i.e. modern-day Lebanon, Israel, the western part of Jordan and southwestern Syria.”


“The Levant, also known as the Eastern Mediterranean, is a geographic and cultural region consisting of the ‘eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt’.”


“Phoenicians are widely thought to have originated from the earlier Canaanite inhabitants of the region. Although Egyptian seafaring expeditions had already been made to Byblos to bring back "cedars of Lebanon" as early as the 3rd millennium BC, continuous contact only occurred in the Egyptian New Empire period.”

Responsibility for the region’s inhabitants resides among the nation states and their governments. Within this region are displaced people, misplaced people, and dislocated people for which problems and needs demand attention.

What is the responsibility of the free world in addressing the problems and situations resident here?

Of course, today’s problems and needs envelop a much larger region that is the Middle East. Yet, international foreign policy that is the free world collective must address manageable pieces of the problem. That does not mean sequentially, but it implies that by defining the boundaries and addressing the situation systematically, participants have a better opportunity to discover solutions and to develop essential relationships and partnerships toward solving problems.

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