Executive Summary

The North Gaza Project (NGP) is a proposal for a new territory to be formed in North Gaza with the explicit purpose of:

  • Creating the rule of law in Palestinian society
  • Creating a society of fulfillment without war
  • Establishing a city-state able to demonstrate new and advanced ways of tackling social issues from religious tensions to taxation

What is different about this Project?

  • It is based on successful examples of city and small states that have developed the rule of law, primarily in the 20th century.
  • It only includes North Gaza, enabling a self-selecting population. This greatly increases the possibilities of success
  • It does not rely on international aid or debt, but instead on investment in the form of per-capita-GDP based financial instruments.
  • There are clear metrics for passing control to the local population as the local quality of governance improves. These concepts are developed from standard quality assurance methodologies.
  • It uses the latest in technology to provide innovations in tax, welfare and other public services.

To provide feedback or otherwise participate in the project, contact us.

Overview

SectionSummary
IntroductionDefines goal of the NGP as the creation of a fulfillment society with civil and religious development.
BordersDefines the land area of the Project.
PopulationExplains importance of self-selection of population using Hong Kong as an example.
Defines mechanisms, including digital passports, to enable safer migration.
MonetaryDefines the shekel as the normal trading currency.
Defines the Dirham as the average per capita earnings per day.
Explains how the Dirham can be used to facilitate non-interest-bearing equity investments in the city and its residents.
Initial SettlementStructure of migrant settlement with randomized allocation of temporary living space and family-based purchase of tents or other facilities (using Dirham-based debt). Density is based on Rohingya and Al Zatari camps.
Lays out basis of early-stage economy.
TaxDefines Net Consumption Tax (NCT), a simplified VAT that relies on collection at time of digital payment
NCT makes no distinction between businesses and individuals, although there is an exemption for cash-flow generating expenses for both businesses and individuals.
The transactional basis of the NCT means there are no required filings, greatly simplifying systems.
The Ivory Coast and the VAT demonstrated the possibility of new taxation systems in specific territories.
WelfareFintech would enable every family unit (including individuals) to have their initial monthly revenues supplemented at time of receipt. This encourages earnings while supporting the poor.
LawSelects Civil Law with Common Law concept of precedent to empower local judges (as in Cyprus).
Basis of law is Turkish.
Civil and Criminal CourtsDescribes method of using foreign judges to combat corruption.
Includes a path, with metrics, for the transition to local judges and local autonomy.
Modified based on lessons learned from Guatemalan CICIG system.
Security CourtsEstablishes Israeli-UAE closed security courts based on Singapore and Rwanda examples.
Includes set metrics by which said courts will be gradually replaced by local and open systems.
ProsecutionDefines initial use of foreign prosecutors with metric-based transition to local and autonomous prosecution.
PolicingDefines initial foreign policing with gradual replacement by well-paid local professional police force.
Local involvement with police starts with management and only transitions to armed local police after set metrics have been reached.
Creates consequences for police in management who sponsor violation-committing armed subordinates.
HousingDefines Singapore-style ‘towns‘ with semi-randomized placement of families.
Uses Dirham-based and Sharia-style financing.
Includes rights of residents to purchase and sell properties.
InfrastructureDescribes financing and basic setup of infrastructure.
HealthcareCreates Australia-inspired healthcare system where the NGP pays median cost of services with patients able to pay more for higher-cost services and receive cash back on more efficient services.
Includes anonymized audit process.
Adjustments to median costs will drive down costs and improve quality creating a competitive international healthcare system.
EducationBased on healthcare financing model but with UAE-based religious oversight and accreditation.
Farming & IndustryInitial allocation of land to farming.
Dirham-based funding mechanisms to enable foreign technology and systems (particularly Dutch technologies).
Listing of other likely employment options including the massive Gaza Marine Gas Field.
Quality in GovernmentDefines core government roles and structure and method of initial selection of executives and staff.
Government Improvement BoardDefines oversight board (GIB) based on Singapore model
The GIB has the capability to audit, conduct continuous improvement activities and prosecute corruption.
The GIB quality-metrics determine when different government bureaus and the GIB itself transition to local control.
Can be prosecuted by the criminal prosecution branch.
DiyahDefines possible Sharia-inspired truth and reconciliation process, with monetary payments to mollify prior grievances.
DemocracyDefines process of transitioning to a democratic system.
FAQAddresses common questions.
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Introduction

At this point in time, Israel is largely in control of North Gaza, a region that has seen significant depopulation. There are increasing calls to determine what happens next.

Common proposals include:

  • Complete withdrawal. This would essentially cast the entire operation as a punitive strike and would do nothing to help Palestinians long-term as the same corrupt and/or extreme forces would return to dominate society.
  • Longer-term occupation, including with reestablishment of Israeli settlements. This would require permanent suppression by Israeli forces and would not resolve the underlying conflict in any way.
  • Some vague concepts around working with Saudi Arabia and the UAE to secure the area and work to reduce the extremism within the population. This could include massive aid from the US which, again, has long led to corruption and the corrosion of society.

The purpose of this proposal is to assemble a preliminary plan for the development of a North Gaza Project (NGP) that would enhance the rule of law and a help establish a civil society capable of living in peace with itself and with Israel. The NGP would also serve as a template/example for what is possible within Palestinian and broader Arab society.

The goals of the NGP are ambitious, but the results could be transformative.

Throughout this proposal the following core directives drive decision-making:

  1. The Fulfilment Directive: A successful society is one that is fulfilling to its members. Fulfillment, in this case, is defined as enabling them to lead productive and increasingly self-sustaining lives in which they feel a connection to a higher purpose or meaning.
  2. The Civil Development Directive: Democracy, self-rule, and wide-ranging rights can actively undermine the development of a civil society if they are established prematurely. This proposal supports a gradual and clear development of both over time.
  3. The Religious Development Directive: Religion and family will play a critical role in any future North Gaza society. The controls placed, particularly on the early stages of the North Gaza Project, will seek to leverage and redirect those imperatives.

City states and small states that have recently developed civic societies while enhancing the rule of law and/or reducing ethnic tensions include Singapore, Rwanda, UAE, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Chile. Societies that not only demonstrated the power of the rule of law in a freer system, but influenced wider surrounding societies, include West Berlin, Hong Kong, Amsterdam and Classical Athens.

This plan is developed on the basis of lessons learned from these examples as well as other sources including recent nation-building challenges faced in Iraq and Afghanistan.

At this point, the NGP is seeking talented and/or influential individuals who can support its movement from proposal to reality to success.

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Project Establishment

Initial Borders

Israel would establish a border between North and South Gaza. A natural dividing line would be the HaBesor Stream (Hebrew name) – although security considerations could militate for other possibilities and/or adjustments to that path (particularly near the Buraig water treatment facility near the Israeli border). The stream could be reinforced with fencing on either side as well as other military equipment (guard posts, digging sensors etc…). Similar borders could be established around the rest of the North Gaza enclave, although they would be less critical than those surrounding South Gaza.

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Population

Introduction

In most cases the development of a civic society occurs under domestic governance. For example, Singapore was developed as an independent state with local leaders governing the society. The same applies for Taiwan, UAE, Rwanda etc…

The NGP requires an adjustment to this paradigm. There is no local governing body that has demonstrated the ability to govern without extensive corruption, violence and cultivation of violent extremism. For this reason, the NGP would, in the short and medium term, be governed by external forces. A review of the development of a civil society governed by external forces shows a single dominant example: Hong Kong.

Hong Kong was a small fishing village when the British took control. The population ballooned twice. Once during the Taiping Rebellion and once during the Chinese Communist Party took over mainland China. In both cases the incoming population was a refugee population that intentionally moved to Hong Kong knowing that it was governed by a foreign power. When the Chinese Communist Party attempted to undermine British rule in 1967, the city remained loyal to the British. The self-selecting nature of the population enabled this reality.

There is a second principle that militates a self-selecting population and that is the concept of a fourth wall (in Jewish tradition) and a Golden Bridge (from Sun Tzu). When facing an enemy, providing a way out – a Golden Bridge – is a critical part of reducing their will to fight while giving opportunities to those who do not want to fight.

For these reasons, the NGP population must be largely self-selecting. In order to achieve this:

  1. It must be clearly stated that the NGP will be governed by an executive body initially controlled by Israel and the UAE and/or Saudi Arabia. This body will be responsible for all aspects of the territory’s governance.
  2. Palestinians should be free to leave North Gaza if they have returned or migrated there already.
  3. There must be a method for Palestinians to move to the NGP. Considering the threats that would accompany such a move, Israel and the UAE must facilitate such migration. The digital passport is one possible method of doing so.

Digital Passport

One method for facilitating migration would be the development of a digital passport. The passport would take the form of an app with the following attributes:

  1. It would be downloadable exclusively through Israeli telecom providers. This would be necessary to prevent local telecom providers from knowing who has downloaded the app. Considering the narrowness of Gaza and the ability to deploy electronic resources all around and above the territory, extending the reach of these providers should be feasible.
  2. It would enable individuals and families to upload relevant documentation for consideration by a North Gaza immigration committee.
  3. It would issue approval for immigration to individuals and/or families.
  4. It would ping Israeli telecom providers when an approved passport holder is connected to an Israeli telecom network. This would enable Israeli forces to identify individuals and or families approaching the border. Note that this is not about border crossings, but anywhere along the border.
  5. It would also be available to Palestinians outside of Gaza. In these cases, it would be freely downloadable and would be presentable at normal border crossings in a way similar to the coronavirus Ramzor app in Israel.

The Digital Passport process would be the following:

For Gaza Residents

  1. It would be downloaded while in connection with Israeli networks.
  2. Documentation would be filled out, to be considered by the Israeli security services.
  3. If immigration is approved, the app would be notified (while connected to Israeli networks).
  4. Individuals ready to migrate would approach any border. Israeli networks would triangulate their exact positions.
  5. Israeli forces in the area would provide covering protection while assessing that the migrants do not have arms or explosives.
    1. This could involve moving them into an enclosed area on Israeli territory where they would be protected from Palestinian militants but not a threat to Israeli interviewers.
  6. Identity and security checks would be conducted.
  7. The individuals and or families would be moved to the NGP, assuming everything was approved.

For Other Palestinians and Gaza Residents

  1. Steps 1-3 above would be carried out.
  2. Migrants would approach the Egyptian border or an Israeli border crossing (including land, sea or air).
  3. The app would be used to inform immigration authorities of their destination.
  4. If arriving via Egypt, the Egyptian border forces would transport them to a predesignated Israeli-Egyptian border crossing for an assessment similar to 6-7 above.

If arriving via Israeli, Israeli security services would transport them to a predesignated area for assessments similar to 6-7 above.

Resources

Resources necessary to develop the digital passport would include the following:

  1. Application developers able to build the app. This could be very quickly executed.
  2. Selected Israeli immigration and security experts to supply the necessary questions and reviewers. In terms of budget and personnel, this would be an expense borne by Israel and not the NGP.
  3. Development of a mobile cage system to hold migrants during initial security review (for weapons and/or explosives).
  4. Coordination with Egyptian border services.

Media

There would be some negative media involved with not allowing prior Gaza City residents a blanket permission to return. Messaging would have to be extremely clear and shared by Israel and its international partners.

A proposed line of messaging is this:

  • Israel is looking to deescalate the conflict by giving Palestinians who want peace a way out of the conflict.
  • Those who do not want a way out, or who have a past connection to terrorist activity, will not enable peace and security for those who desire it. For this reason, they will not be readmitted.

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Monetary System

Introduction

As per the Fulfilment Directive the goal is not to establish an aid-dependent society. Currently Palestine receives more aid per capita (> $500) than any other country with a population of over 100,000. The second highest country is Liberia with under $200/capita.

It is the belief of the authors of this document that this has had a negative effect on civic development and individual fulfilment. Because of this, external aid per se will not be provided to new residents.

This approach models other effective examples. The British did not extend aid to refugees in Hong Kong – just safety from mainland forces. Residents of Taiwan, Singapore etc…. were not provided external aid, although they had domestic support services. The need to provision internal aid immediately strengthened the need to develop a local civil society. In the older case of 16th century Amsterdam, those who could not make a living were encouraged to leave the city altogether.

The goal is not to buy loyalty through cash and material transfers, but to develop a civil society that is ultimately dependent on itself.

This raises obvious questions about housing, sanitation, water, food etc… The local population will need these to survive.

Prior to physically addressing these issues, a monetary system must be selected. The following monetary system is somewhat innovative, but it has been designed with the Fulfilment Directive and the Civil Development Directive and The Religious Development Directive in mind.

Options

There are three major approaches to establishing a monetary system:

  1. Use the Israel shekel, establishing all debts and contracts in this currency.
    1. Benefits:
      1. Already in use.
      1. Relatively stable.
      1. Widely available.
    1. Drawbacks:
      1. Tied to the economy of Israel, which will adapt and grow in ways that are distinct to the NGP’s needs.
      1. Debts issued in a distinct local currency would represent investments by creditors in that currency surviving.
      1. The Israeli shekel, like all current currency, lacks a clear value baseline raising all the inflationary and other risks created by modern currencies.
  2. Use a new Palestinian Diram as a conventional modern currency, establishing all debts and contracts in this currency.
    1. Benefits:
      1. Would be a distinct currency tied to the local economy.
      1. Would tie creditors to the survival of this currency.
    1. Drawbacks:
      1. Would lack credibility.
      1. Is not already in use.
      1. Would share the value baseline issues of other modern currencies.
  3. Use a new type of currency, fixed to the value of GDP per capita.
    1. Benefits:
      1. Would tie creditors not only to the survival of the currency, but to the growth of the local economy.
      1. Would enable interest-free contracts, because investment in the currency would be investment in increased productivity – a form of equity investment. This has religious benefits.
      1. Would adjust around a fixed and knowable value (GDP per capita) reducing inflationary and other risks – particularly around the printing of money.
    1. Drawbacks:
      1. Would be experimental in form, creating uncertainty and unreasonable risk premiums.
      1. Is not in circulation.

Practical considerations militate against the GDP per capita option, but some of its benefits could nonetheless be realized.

Palestinian Dirham

It is not necessary to support the full rollout of a new currency to achieve:

  1. Equity investment in the society.
  2. Risk-reduction due to knowable supply of currency.
  3. General elimination of classical interest-based debt.

This can be done by allowing shekel debt contracts to be tied to future average earnings per capita. Instead of being a debt instrument, this is an equity instrument in which the provider is invested in the economic growth of the society. These contracts would be quantified via a proxy currency: the Palestinian Dirham. The Palestinian Dirham would be permanently set to 100 Palestinian Dirhams per 1 day of average GDP. For purposes of smoothing, GDP would be calculated on an average for the prior 12 full months with a one- or two-month lag for data collection.

Here is how it would work in more practical terms, assuming borrowing equal to 50 days of earnings:

  • The individual or entity would borrow shekels (or any other currency) equal to 50 days of current GDP per capita (which would be very low). Given the current state of North Gaza, this might be in the range of 500 shekels, but it would be stated as a loan of 5000 Dirhams (50 days @100/day).
  • The borrower would agree to repay the loan with 30 days of GDP per capita in 5 years’ time. The repayment would thus be 3000 Dirhams in 5 years’ time. Given expected economic growth and the size of the Gaza economy prior to the war, the repayment might be around 1,200 NIS. The future Dirham discount would be subject to market expectations for the economy as a whole.
  • Interest, as measured in Dirhams, would be negative so long as the economy is growing faster than any discount negotiated on future Dirham payments. This assists with religious concerns. Despite this, the lender – whether foreign or domestic – would have a vested interest in economic growth because their loan would probably have positive interest in their local currency.
  • Concerns about a local currency, or even the Israeli shekel, being overprinted would be allayed. Although Dirhams wouldn’t trade on the street, debt contracts would be Dirhams and that currency would be tied to overall economic performance and not any central bank.
  • If the economy declines, the NGP Project would not be buried by debt. The value of the Dirham would fall, reducing the debt.

In practical terms, repayments would not be on a balloon basis (this causes significant issues) but would be carried out continually. Thus, a borrower might repay 20% of the loan, in Dirham terms, each year for five years. A loan of 5000 Dirhams might thus pay back 600 Dirhams each year for 5 years, supporting affordability for the borrower and a strong return for the lender.

When reconstruction starts, bidding could be done on the basis of Dirham instead of shekels, building the financing directly into the bidding process. Initial financing for tents, shipped-in-food, water supply etc… could be established on a state or individual level using the Dirham.

Those who invest in major NGP infrastructure would not only be competing on price, but on their belief in the longer-term economic viability of the project as a whole.

There may be two Dirham options. The Dirham for NGP ‘government’ debt would be based on average per-capita GDP while the Dirham for individual debt would be based on median per-capita GDP. This would keep personal debt for things like housing appropriately priced even if the territory develops a few very very rich people.

As the process of building infrastructure, permanent housing, industry, farming, infrastructure etc… unfolds in this plan, this monetary system will remain central.

Resources

To create the Palestinian Dirham, legal resources would be necessary to define the basic related contract structure. To support wider acceptance, and in line with later sections of this plan, the contracts should be built on a Turkish Civil Law framework.

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Initial Settlement

Location

Initial settlement of migrant populations would need to be in temporary structures. This is due to a simple lack of built housing and functioning infrastructure in North Gaza.

UN refugee camps in the areas surrounding Israel are not good baselines for understanding the territory necessary. This is because they are multi-generational built-up areas. Refugee camps for the Rohinga population outside Myanmar are a more typical emergency refugee housing approach. Those camps have a population density of about 60,000/km2. Jordan’s Al-Zatari refugee camp for those fleeing the Syrian civil war and ISIS peaked at a population of 120,000 people in 5.3 km2 (23,000/km2). North Gaza, north of the HaBesor Stream, has a land area of about 130 km2. As a single refugee camp, it could house as many as 2.6 million people with Al Zatari density or 4.5+ million people at Rohinga densities.

There would, of course, be an emphasis on quickly building up to increase the availability of land for other purposes. However, initially, areas on the southern outskirts of Gaza city could be designated as incoming refugee settlement area. The refugee settlement area area, with its southern edge running along the new East-West road running to the U.S. built pier facility, is currently occupied by equestrian clubs, small-scale farms and some mosques. It is about 50 square kilometers.

For security and broader integration reasons, individual nuclear families could be assigned random plots within that area. The goal of the random plots would be to breakdown larger-scale clan and militant organizations by distributing their membership. Initial living supplies could be purchased using either currency or the Dirham financing system. Vendors, from Israel, the UAE and other countries would be encouraged to sell to the local population thus creating competitive bids for tents, caravans and other facilities.

Once all families have been moved to the more permanent housing described in the Housing section, the migrant camp would be closed and converted to farmland or industrial use.

Requirements

Land would need to be identified and prepared. Ideally, although not necessarily, local land would be purchased from prior owners using Dirham-based debt. The area actually designated for temporary migrant settlement should start small and concentrated near Gaza City (for employment purposes) and then expand from there.

Economy

The initial economic effort will be centered on rebuilding North Gaza. This will be a source of significant local employment. Rebuilding efforts will take three forms.

  1. Basic infrastructure building. This includes roads, water, electricity and communications. It would probably also include upgrading the temporary jetty being established by the United States. This building would be financed by the NGP on the Dirham basis. It would employ largely local labor.
  2. Clearing land. The removal of destroyed facilities will require significant investment in manpower and equipment. This building would be financed by the NGP on the Dirham basis. It would employ local labor.
  3. Construction. Building new housing, and new industry, universities and hospitals would require significant investment. This would also be financed on the Dirham basis and use local labor. However, the underlying facilities would not be financed by the NGP, but by both for profit and not-for-profit private entities. Details of how this would be structured are covered in the Housing, Education and Healthcare sections.

Other critical economic areas would include farming, tourism, migrant labor and, eventually, a fully developed support system for primary industries including accounting, engineering, business etc…

Each of these areas will be explored more fully in later parts of the plan.

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Tax

It will be critical to establish a simple and transparent tax system. This is doubly important as a clear understanding of GDP is necessary for the Dirham system. The suggested tax system is well established and simple. The NGP will use a modified VAT (value added tax) system called, by the authors of this proposal, a Net Consumption Tax.

A normal VAT system collects tax on the growth in value from every step in the production process. For example:

  • A company buys coffee beans for 100 NIS.
  • They might pay 10% VAT, or 10 NIS of tax.
  • If they then sell coffee that uses those beans for 200 NIS.
  • They would collect 20 NIS in tax but be able to reclaim the 10 NIS they paid before.
  • The tax would thus effectively be on the 100 NIS in added value.

The VAT system was developed in France in their Côte d’Ivoire colony in 1954 (another example of a small entity having a vast impact).

The VAT system typically suffers from the following weaknesses:

  1. It is complex to implement, with the need to tie inputs and outputs impacting tax.
  2. It is highly invasive, requiring a detailed description of every input and output on every transaction.
  3. It is difficult for individuals to report and pay.
  4. It is typically filled with loopholes for favored products that create economic distortions.

A simplified system (the Net Consumption Tax) would simply allow tax not to be collected on business expenses. Those business expenses would need to be well-defined, but a general principle would be expenses that are both intended to generate cashflows and that have a reasonable chance of generating cash flows.

The system would work in the following way:

  • Every nuclear family unit (or any other self-selecting group) would have an account created with a card (obviously transplantable to phone-based payment platforms). Business entities could be issued similar accounts to facilitate the same activity.
  • When families or businesses make a purchase on the account, they would be given the option of designating the purchase as a business expense, and thus not paying tax. They would be required to document the reasoning for their apportionment at time of purchase.
  • When they make a sale, they would be required to collect payment on the same account so that a record between expenses and revenues is established.
  • If they collect tax on a sale, it would immediately be apportioned to the taxing authority.
  • There would be no distinction between business and family entities. Funds could be transferred from businesses to families without tax as revenues have already been taxed.

The benefits of this system are:

  1. New account holders can be very easily established.
  2. New businesses can be very easily established and would only need special paperwork when they represent partnerships or shareholding corporations.
  3. There would be no regular filings, every transaction would be registered and paid live. Filing would only be necessary for transactions carried out on other accounts.
  4. There would be incentives to report revenues, as a lack of revenues on high business spending would incur auditing.
  5. No other taxes (including income, employment, property etc…) would be necessary, greatly reducing the costs of compliance and accelerating business activity.
  6. Per capita GDP would be simple to document and establish.

It was not possible to establish a system like this prior to modern payments information architecture. It was not possible in 1954. However, since the explosion of FinTech, the technology necessary to enable this exist and can serve as the baseline for a fundamental improvement in tax processes.

As a final note, in order to encourage connection to causes greater than oneself (The Fulfillment Directive), tax could also be suspended on donations to approved charitable causes. The categories might initially be limited to poor relief, approved mosques (The Religious Development Directive), and cultural institutions.

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Welfare

The classic critique of flat transaction tax systems is that they weigh heavily on the poor. If the rate is set at 30% (for a catch-all tax), then basic needs become 30% more expensive. The rich, meanwhile, can absorb that cost easily.

The Net Consumption Tax, due to the arrival of newer technologies, can effectively address that concern. The method is simple. Every nuclear family account would have a certain number of individuals associated with it. Each individual would be eligible for a subsidy to their account balance based on what is added to the account on a monthly basis.

For example (using an example rate):

  • If a single individual receives revenues of 10 NIS, their account balance would be augmented to 100 NIS.
  • This bonus would drop by 5 NIS for every 10 NIS added.
  • After 200 NIS is added, their balance would be 1050 NIS and they would receive no more subsidy.

This would result in:

  • Reporting of small revenues that are typically not reported (e.g. babysitting). This bottom-up reporting incentive would make it harder to hide revenues among the wealthy as these typically filter down to the poor.
  • An incentive to make some revenues. The welfare would only come into play with the receipt of funds. For some, such as with the severely disabled, this might come in the form of charity. But for many others, it would come for work and or business.

Notably, the benefit would apply to all residents. There would be no disincentive to work because no benefits would be lost no matter how high your revenues.

Fraud

The most common means of fraud in any transaction tax system is the non-reporting of transactions, especially once thresholds are crossed. This would take two classic forms:

  1. Non-reporting of revenues after welfare subsidy peters out.
  2. Non-reporting of revenues once incoming revenues are sufficient to justify claimed business expenses.

This system is not immune to these forms of fraud. Classical VAT and other tax auditing techniques would need to be applied. These would include asset audits and straw purchaser audits.

There are some advantages that blunt traditional VAT fraud. The largest-scale form of VAT fraud involves collecting tax refunds based on false transactions. As the Net Consumption Tax offers no refunds, but just the absence of tax, this avenue of fraud is removed.

Secondly, fraud will often require agreement among two or more parties. Consider the following case:

  1. Person A rents an apartment but pays the broker fee off-the-books.
  2. The broker would need to have sufficient other revenues so that this did not look suspicious.
  3. Person A would need to have cash funds outside the standard account system.
  4. If the broker intends to spend the funds, they would need to find a vendor that either:
    1. Has sufficient other revenues so that their purchase does not in turn look suspicious.
    1. Has enough revenue that their latest revenue will not serve to supplement their income.

Eventually, significant spending will trickle down to those who depend on the supplement. The removal of funds from babysitting, landscaping, cleaning, manufacturing, farming etc… labor would make it more challenging to have unreported money eventually shifted to those areas.

The system is not foolproof, but it is an improvement on other options which were developed at least 70 years ago.

Requirements

Developing the tax and welfare system would require:

  1. Development of the fintech architecture behind the system, including a development team.
  2. Establishment of a Revenue Commission to write the rules and set up tax auditing systems.
  3. Hiring of auditors.

As with other aspects of this proposal, all aspects of establishing and managing this system would be governed by the systems spelled out in the Quality in Government section.

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Law

The establishment of a legal system in a society rife with corruption is a significant obstacle. Nonetheless, a functioning legal system is necessary to the peaceful and non-corrupt management of disputes. The development of a locally driven legal system is also core to the development of a civil society, as per the The Civil Development Directive. The legal system for the NGP will have three distinct elements, each with their own development process. As a general rule, the system will start with external actors and then migrate towards greater and greater local control.

One reference for the following system is the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG). The CICIG was established in 2007 as a UN-backed court with a significant number of foreign judges and advisors. It was intended to combat endemic organized crime. The power of the CICIG eventually led to abuses of its own with no local improvement in the rule of law. Nonetheless, it provides some historical guidance for the applicability of foreign-supported justice.

Civil and Criminal Code & Courts

Civil law is defined here as involving private relations between individuals or private entities. It does not include acts of violence or violations against the community. In some ways, civil law is the least controversial area of law. At the same time, it presents broad opportunities for corruption.

There are three major and relevant legal systems.

  • The first is Civil Law. This term refers to Roman-derived system by which laws are established in a legislature which is then purely interpreted by judges. It is not developed by them. Civil law is dominant in Europe and South America.
  • The second system is Sharia Law. In the Sunni world, this is a religious legal code with limited hierarchy. Decisions are made by judges on the basis of comparing legal opinions (fatwas) on individual cases.
  • The third system is Common Law. This refers to a system of law that works from established legislation but develops based on judgement-driven precedent.

The UAE, the entity with the highest rule of law score in the Arab World, does not rely on Sharia Law but instead on a mix of customary (e.g. this is our tradition) and Civil Law. For the purposes of the NGP, Sharia Law will not be considered. This is because it is by nature inconsistent, and this results in a reduction in the predictability of law. Believers may argue against this inconsistency, but the variety of legal outcomes demonstrated from Saudi Arabia to ISIS to Afghanistan to Lebanon or Morocco – all of which theoretically following Sunni Sharia Law – show the massive variations possible.

This leaves Civil and Common Law as options.

Common Law has two major benefits that recommend it:

  1. It provides an onramp to responsibility in the area of civil justice. People can become justices and impact practice without being elected, belonging to a legislature, or holding executive power. It thus supports the Civil Development Directive.
  2. It can develop easily and smoothly. This is appropriate for what is essentially a new society with unanswered and unique questions.

Civil Law has one major benefit to recommend it:

  1. It has been established in nearby countries, including those with historic control over the region.

While the Common Law benefits are substantial when it comes to developing a clean legal system and civic culture, creating an entirely new Common Law law code would require substantial effort and time.

For these reasons, Civil Law will form the basis of the NGP legal system. This does not rule out the positive impact of a Common Law-like structure. Justices can be empowered with Common Law powers to develop law from a Civil Law basis. This is how the legal system in the nearby Republic of Cyprus functions.

As with Israel, the Palestinian legal system is a confusing mixture of many different systems. As with Sharia law, it does not promote predictability and consistency. The legal system would thus be replaced wholesale with a new legal code. The closest civil law country with extensive legal impact on the region is Turkey. For this reason, Turkish civil and criminal code would form the baseline of law in the NGP. The specific areas of law would be those connected to criminal law and torts, but not laws related to courts, law enforcement, governance and other areas covered by this plan.

As with any clan-heavy society, especially one riven by rival armed forces, corruption will be a serious and major concern. Judgements can be influenced by:

  1. Financial payments
  2. Family or faction-based interests
  3. Threats of violence

For this reason, a modification of the Guatemalan CICIG will be implemented.

The modifications are the following:

  1. There will be no UN involvement. The institution of the UN has shown itself, everywhere from Guatemala to Congo, to be an extremely corrupt and corrupting institution in its own right.
  2. The civil justice system will seek already qualified active or retired Civil Law judges and lawyers from other Civil Law countries with high rule of law scores according to the World Bank (>0.59). These countries include Chile, Uruguay, all of Western Europe aside from Italy and the UK/Ireland, the Baltic States, Scandinavia, Chechia, Slovenia, Austria, and Slovakia. A special exemption would be made for the UAE, which has a Customary and Civil system, but which will ideally be deeply involved in the project. These judges will remain overseas and will be randomly selected for each trial. Ideally, there will be a large number of judges to provide a defense against broad corruption.
  3. Each trial will have three justices, two from overseas and one local. A judicial decision would require the agreement of two justices.
  4. Non-Palestinian Arabic translators will be supplied to support the foreign justices. They would be non-Palestinian to reduce local entanglements. AI translation services would provide a backstop against biased or incomplete translation services. All translators would be required to take one-month annual vacations with no communications with their offices. This is practice is borrowed from the finance industry as a way of undermining long-running corruption schemes.
  5. Foreign judges will remain overseas.

In order to support a growing local legal and civil culture, the role of the foreign justices would be reduced over time as metrics are met. The most obvious metric is agreement with the foreign judges. This metric would not serve its core function through, because a pro-forma agreement can be delivered by local justices in order to shift control more quickly to local (and corrupt) justices.

Instead, every year an additional 10% of the total caseload will be handled by local three-judge courts independent of foreign judges. The cases selected would start with civil and infraction cases and the move into misdemeanor, minor felony, and finally major felony cases as per the section on prosecution.

Foreign judges will not actively preside over the locally decided cases. Instead, panels of 5 foreign judges would serve in an auditing role. In those cases where a sample of 80% of the foreign auditors believe a case was inappropriately decided, the presiding local judges who agreed with the final judgement would be terminated for corruption and their decision removed from being considered as future precedent. A simple majority would be able to censure a judge, preventing them from rising to the next type of case for a minimum period of three years.

Judges would individually – and mandatorily – rise through the case levels every three years so long as they are not censured or dismissed. The goal would be to create a career path for judges with a requisite personal investment in those careers. It would also be to create a shifting in oversights to prevent extensive build-up of corruption.

If more than 5% of cases in a calendar year see corruption-related terminations, then the shifting of the caseload to local judges would be suspended for one year.

Resources

Selected parts of the Turkish civil and criminal code would need to be translated to Arabic and English to support widespread understanding and interpretation by judges. Unofficial English and Arabic translations already exist for various laws. Translation could occur on an ongoing basis, with those areas most likely to be relevant and simple ‘copy-and-paste’ areas of law coming first. Later laws could be adjusted as they are transposed. As there is initially no legislature, this promulgation process could be quite fast with court judgements and practical impacts leading to legal updates.

Foreign judges would need to be hired. Given the low levels of corruption and the wide pool of potential applicants, it would be possible to determine pay in a bidding system. The per-hour pay for foreign judges would be raised until sufficient judges signup for the project. That pay level would then be provided to all the judges. If insufficient judges are available, more pay would be offered. If there are too many available justices, then pay would be reduced although it would only impact future cases.

The same system would be used for translators and lawyers, although they would have independent pay scales. Local judges and lawyers would be paid on the same scale as foreign judges. It is important that they be seen not as auxiliaries but as equivalent to their foreign counterparts.

The NGP would raise these funds on the Dirham system. Specific justice bonds would be issued to enable others to invest, on a possible non-profit basis, in the development of the judicial system.

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Security Courts

Security law, or law involving the security of the NGP, would be developed separately. Every example of the development of a civil society from a corrupt/internecine society has shown that security laws which would be classified as draconian and contrary to civil rights are critical to the development of civil society. This was true in Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Chile, Rwanda and the UAE. Civil society comes before civil rights. Civil rights without civic society is a recipe for social decohesion and consistent violent conflict. In Gaza’s case, it would a accentuate the existing breeding ground for terrorism.

Despite this, the Security Law system would be built to automatically revert to a conventional criminal law-based system once metrics are met.

The initial Security Law system would consist of a closed court system with the following powers over those accused of security offenses:

  1. Warning
  2. Arrest
  3. Beatings
  4. Deportation to South Gaza
  5. Execution

The list of possible punishments will seem extreme to many. It is actually modeled on the Singaporean system, which has successfully kept internecine violence under control while developing civil rights and the rule of law.

  • Beatings have the benefit of returning people to society as quickly as possible and thus reducing the economic and social impacts associated with prison (e.g. the lack of a wage earner) while still delivering a strong deterrent message.
  • Deportation is tied strongly to the self-selecting nature of the population. If people militate against the system, then they are welcomed not to participate in it. Deportation is not uncommon in Singapore. It is also practiced by the UAE.
  • Execution is included as an option because the lack of execution as a legal power can and has resulted in extra-legal executions. This has occurred in Israel, with unnecessary or sometimes tragic summary executions carried out by security services or individuals after an assailant has been disarmed or even misidentified. Part of the drive for these actions is a belief that a terrorist captured will at some point be rereleased and will commit significant additional terrorist activities. This too has been seen. A possibility of legal execution will reduce the need to take the law into one’s own hands.

It is critical to note that Deportation can be practiced not only against individuals, but against entire nuclear families. In a strong family environment, the family can be leveraged to keep individuals in check. This concept is foreign to Western values, but a reality in many other parts of the world.

Security offenses include:

  1. Incitement to Revolt – including through religious speech.
  2. Terrorism or preparation for terrorism. Every terrorism charge will be classified by scale. Large scale attacks will be those with expected or actual victims above 20 (generally large bomb and multiple-assailant attacks). Medium scale attacks will have victims from 5-20 (generally gun and small bomb attacks). Small scale attacks will have fewer than 5 victims or expected victims (generally knife and vehicular attacks).
  3. Hate speech against other groups, including Jews, Christians or Muslims.

Given the controversial nature of their work and the desire of the accused to use courts as a mouthpiece for their positions, these proceedings will not be public.

However, there will be limits on the process. These include:

  1. There will be three judges, one from the UAE and two from Israel due to priority of local security concerns.
  2. A unanimous decision must be reached to support extended deportation, in order to reinforce that decision is not Israeli-driven alone.
  3. Execution must be reviewed by two panels, with each agreeing unanimously.
  4. Habeas corpus will not be suspended. In order to reduce possible confusion potentially caused by terrorist or militant groups kidnapping people, those arrested by the Security Courts will be identified.

The system will phase out over time.

If there are:

  • No large-scale attacks
  • No more than 1 medium scale attack and
  • Fewer than 3 small scale attacks

in a two-year period then the power of the Security Court will be reduced in stepwise fashion.

The following are the areas of oversight removed from the Security Court for each two-year period that meets the threshold.

  • Prosecution of Hate Speech
  • Prosecution of Small-Scale Terrorism
  • Prosecution of Medium-Scale Terrorism
  • Prosecution of Incitement
  • Prosecution of Large-Scale Terrorism

If the terrorist attack threshold is not met, then the Security Court will reacquire the most recent powers it relinquished. After 10 years, the Security Courts could be entirely removed. Nonetheless, these actions will remain offenses and the potential punishments will remain as they were. They will just be tried in the normal court system which will itself be shifting towards local control.

Citizens of any other country, including Israel and Egypt, convicted of security offenses in NGP would be tried under NGP Security Law. Israeli or other foreign security forces accused of violating NGP law (e.g. extrajudicial killing) would be tried under the legal code of their militaries.

Resources

The Security Court system will be funded by Israel with no debt incurred by the North Gaza Project.

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Prosecution

In order to support the gradual transition of prosecutorial authority, prosecutorial powers would be layered in the following ways:

  • Infractions (e.g. traffic tickets).
  • Misdemeanors, defined as crimes not subject to prison terms exceeding one year.
  • Minor felonies, including assault, fraud, burglary, damage to property, drug distribution or other crimes with under 5 years in potential prison terms.
  • Major felonies, including murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, vehicular homicide, rape, sexual assault or other crimes with potential prison terms over 5 years – including major fraud.

Initially, all prosecutors except infraction prosecutors would be foreign. They would be appointed to their positions based on prior experience.

A failure to prosecute, or an overzealous prosecution, could be petitioned in front of a board of foreign prosecutors. Those foreign prosecutors would have the ability to:

  • Support the on-site prosecutor’s decision.
  • Order a prosecution (to be led by another prosecutor).
  • Censor the prosecutor.
  • Dismiss the prosecutor for corruption.

If individual prosecutors serve for three years without censure from the foreign board, then they would have their scope of prosecution raised with new prosecutors filling in behind them. After 9 years, local prosecutors could be trying major felonies. This process would create a personal and career interest in maintaining one’s prosecutorial position.

The lead in any particular case would be the one prosecuting the crime of the highest rank.

Corruption cases (beyond dismissal) would be handled entirely separately with prosecution led by the Government Improvement Board. The only exception would be corruption charges against the Government Improvement Board itself which would be handled by foreign prosecutors.

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Policing

Policing is one of the most challenging areas to transition. The fundamental challenge is twofold:

  1. Police, particularly in the middle east, would need to be armed.
  2. Armed people have the ability to conduct terrorism.

This makes an accension and career process harder to carry out. It is not, however, impossible.

The police forces would be structured in the following way:

  • So long as the Security Courts exist, the security police would be Israeli military and security forces.
  • The Gaza police would initially be entirely foreign. Likely sources of manpower would include UAE and Saudi Arabia. Israeli and Egyptian would be excluded due to the potential for pre-existing corruption among Arabic-speaking police officers.
  • To encourage career incentives, specialized schooling would be required to be a local police officer. To further encourage respect for the law, the initial police officers would require high levels of education in policing and law. This is expected to include a Master’s Degree in law enforcement earned locally or overseas. A loss of one’s position due to security or other offenses would thus incur a larger personal cost.
  • Penalties for crimes by police would be enhanced. This would include higher level personal punishments as well as extension of punishments to nuclear relatives.
  • Foreign prosecutors would oversee complaints against the police forces.

Unlike other professions, policing would be filled in from the middle. Police front-line management would start with local officers. This is because management (e.g. captains) do not carry guns. Local placements would then extend upwards through the criminal police ranks, including the Police Commissioner. This would create a strong professionally and locally managed police force.

Only after local police have filled in the entire management ranks would gun-carrying front-line police be filled by local officers. These officers would be the last to join (most junior) but would still have extensive and specialized training. Officers nominated for front-line positions would have specific management sponsors. Those management sponsors would face career and possible criminal and/or security consequences for security offences by the officers they nominate for armed police roles.

The goal throughout is to prevent armed police from being security threats while enabling the growth of local responsibility.

As local police are particularly highly trained and highly responsible, those salaries would be well above median salaries. Captain’s salaries would start at 300 Dirham per day. Foreign police would be paid at the same pay scale by the NGP. However, their native countries would be able to supplement their salary to encourage participation in the project.

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Project Growth

Housing

One of the most immediate needs is the need for housing. As previously discussed, there would be temporary camps with the option of purchasing tents, caravans, or other supplies. However, there would be a need to move people from those camps once buildings are available.

Singapore and Hong Kong have vast public housing projects. Currently, 78% of Singapore’s population and 44% of Hong Kong’s population live in public housing. However, these public housing projects have proven difficult to administer and apportion. The current Singapore model took an extensive amount of time and adjustment to satisfy the needs of residents and the state.

For these reasons, the public housing model from these countries would be modified substantially.

As in Singapore, developments would be around ‘towns.’ In Singapore’s case this is mostly self-contained units with shopping, recreation and housing all around a central node that has mass transit available. Rail-based transit would not initially be an option in North Gaza (due to expense). Instead, areas would be made available for roads (discussed below in infrastructure). Singapore-style towns would then be built around transportation hubs in different areas of North Gaza.

Each town would would have a developer.

  • Developers would bid for the right to build projects, although an assessment of capability would be required to enter bids.
  • Their bids would be based on baseline requirements developed for each town (e.g. size of rooms, distribution of apartments by size, retail space etc…).
  • The bid judgement would be based on average housing cost per square foot as calculated in the Dirham model.
  • Dirham payouts would be over 15 years with with payments starting in year 2. Payments start in year 2 to enable families/individuals to get on their feet.
  • Ownership % would be based on the total Dirham cost already paid. After the first payment year (year 2), families or individuals would own 1/15th of the apartment.
  • Failure to meet quality metrics would result in a predetermined and standardized reduction in Dirham payouts.
  • Developers would own retail and commercial space to lease or sell on privately agreed terms. This would encourage thoughtful and quality building and layouts.
  • Lottery winners would be randomly assigned apartments of the size appropriate for their families. The goal of the lottery and randomization is to physically break up pre-existing clan and faction structures.
  • Families would be able to sell after three years. In the case of sale:
    • The developer and owner would receive their respective proportions in the property and the Dirham debt would be removed.
    • The family alone would be able to authorize the sale, but a sale can be nullified if it is not to a true third-party.
    • The three years is intended to reinforce the diffusion of clan and faction structure.
    • The ability to sell also creates a clear incentive structure for developers to build quality apartments and for families to maintain apartments well. The higher their private market value, the more each party benefits in a sale.

Initially, there would be no provision for truly private land sales. This is due to the expected high-density of the city and the need to have open land for industry and farming. Bnei Brak, Israel has a density of 27,000 per km2.  With this density, the roughly 48 km2 of built-up area from Beit Lahia to Southern Gaza City could house roughly 1.3 million people – or twice its prewar population. Of course, the overall population density of North Gaza would be substantially lower due to commercial, industrial, infrastructure and farming areas that are outside the built-up residential areas.

Once the city is functioning and independent, it can remove zoning controls to facilitate reallocations of land on a purely market basis. That will not be the initial process.

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Infrastructure

Roads, Water, Power & Communications

It will be necessary to build roads, water systems, power systems and communications systems. The building of these systems within ‘towns’ will be the responsibility of developers. Building the overarching connections between these systems as well as North Gaza-wide support system (e.g. water purification and power plants) would be the responsibility of the NGP as a whole. Bidding and funding for repairs and or rebuilds would be on the Dirham model.

Communications could be opened up to multiple providers, as is the norm in other countries. The NGP could auction off spectrum to provide an initial source of start-up revenue.

Initially, water and power could be provisioned from Israel as per existing contracts with the Palestinian Authority.

The ground is clearly conducive to later tunneling if more options are needed.

Seaport/Airport

The United States is leading the development of a jetty intended to facilitate the movement of aid into Gaza. This facility could be expanded into a fuller-service Seaport over time. The primarily financial decision of whether to build a seaport and/or offshore airport would be the first vote within the NGP. As Israel would retain security control, security considerations would be secondary.

The use of Israel’s seaports for incoming goods would remain a possibility.

Example seaports designed to service a population of roughly million without major transshipment include ports for Guyana, East Timor, Mauritius and Cyprus. The West Bank and Gaza were at 5,700 PPP dollars in per capita income prior to the war. Prior to the oil boom, Guyana had a per capita income of 13,000 PPP dollars while East Timor had an income of approximately 5,000 PPP dollars. These two provide a range of facility sizes necessary to support trade and local life at pre-war economic levels.

Obviously, the goal is to substantially expand the North Gaza economy and so the Guyana example will be preferred.

Guyana had a port facility of under 2.5km2 that runs approximately 5.5 km. This included warehousing facilities. There is ample space to support this along the Gaza coast, but unlike Guyana’s case it would probably require the building of offshore docks as Guyana’s prior port was built alongside a dredged river. If the decision is made to proceed on a full seaport, this approximate scale could be used as an example. The cost of building a port would have to be assessed and considered by citizens.

An airport, which cannot as easily be placed offshore, is another issue. For scale, Treviso Airport handled 3 million passengers a year. It is a single-runway operation with a space approximately 3.25 km long and 0.5 km wide (at its widest). A similar space could be leased from the State of Israel and placed on farmland south of Nahal Oz and east of Alumim. As an international airport, it would provide far more convenient flights to residents from Be’er Sheva to Ashkelon. If this process were to be pursued, design, bidding, building, and financial considerations could be established at a later date.

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Healthcare and Education

Substantial healthcare and education facilities have been damaged or destroyed in the war. New facilities would be required. Unlike other infrastructure facilities, the operation of these facilities is as critical as their initial design.

Healthcare

Globally, government-based healthcare systems often suffer from a lack of effective funding. Emergency facilities, even in a rich country like Israel, can be very substandard while being high cost. The healthcare system would be funded in a way intended to increase efficiency and improve the quality of outcomes while providing universal care.

The inspiration of the proposed healthcare funding design is Australia’s system (in its earlier forms). In Australia, the idea was simple: the government would pay a flat fee per-service but providers would be able to charge more. When they do, the patient would pay the difference. This enables government support of healthcare but also enables cost and quality-based competition. This system ended up devolving somewhat in particular due to fraudulent charges generated by providers.

The model in the NGP would be slightly different.

  • The government would pay the median cost of particular services for the past three years. This would enable universal access to healthcare.
  • If providers charged more, patients would cover the difference.
  • If providers charged less, patients would receive the difference back in cash.
  • Heirs would not be eligible to receive paybacks on low-cost services.

This simple change would incentivize the development of efficiencies to lower costs and/or increase the quality of service and thus attract more patients. The providers who provide the most value would be able to attract customers would be those who would gain market share etc… The three-year baseline is meant to discourage short-term price drops intended to push competitors out of business. As with any free market purchase, value could be measured not only in terms of cost, but also in terms of luxuries like single rooms which patients may be willing to pay extra for.

When going into business, healthcare providers would issue debt (which could, but would not be required to be) Dirham debt. Healthcare providers could build full-service hospitals or more targeted facilities based on whatever model they feel is most appropriate.

To protect against fraud like that seen in Australia, a databank of histories, test results and services provided would be made available to certified inspectors from the general public. Inspectors would face severe penalties for identity infractions. Those inspectors, using AI or other tools, would be able to identify fraudulent transactions and entitled to receive 50% of any clawbacks that resulted.

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Education

Education would follow a similar model to healthcare with the following changes:

  1. Education would be monitored by the UAE to ensure religious education is in line with UAE standards and does not contain incitement.
  2. Cash-back would be limited to 5% of the total cost and students would need to pass standard exams for parents to receive the cash back. This is to ensure that children are not entirely short-changed by parents.
  3. Median costs would be determined based on student disabilities, providing additional resources for high-resource-usage children.

Again, the emphasis would be on creating efficiencies while delivering sufficient quality able to attract students. This subsidy model could extend through tertiary education.

Education can influence longer term beliefs. For this reason, there is a benefit in defining the values behind education. It can’t be intended to achieve the impossible (e.g. The New Man). But it can allow for some adjustment. For example, great Muslims of the past – who engaged in acts of great cultural and scientific achievement – can be praised while those practice conquest, subjugation and religious oppression can be downplayed. Likewise, artists, poets and even bureaucrats who praise productivity and connection to a greater purpose can be praised.

This sort of approach will not remove underlying values held by parents and families. This is why it is critical that the population be largely self-selecting. There needs to be inherent flexible towards a more civil reality.

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Farming & Industry

Farming and industry would follow the same basic premise as other externally built facilities. International suppliers would be welcome to take part in creating farming facilities, with training being included in their provision of services. Facilities and training would be bid on a Dirham basis with offers compared not only on price but on potential economic output from facilities.

Farming

There are approximately 50 km2 available for farming in the NGP area. With indoor farming techniques, yields can be astonishing. The Netherlands, the world leader, produces over 120kg/m2 when energy use is not restricted. This is not practical for Gaza (it requires decades or even centuries of specialization). But Dutch technology combined with Gaza labor might provide outputs on par with other growers. A US survey indicated greenhouse production of approximately 40 kgs/m2 when growing tomatoes. At this lower rate, 50km2 could produce 2 billion kg of tomatoes. Obviously, this is an extreme case, but it demonstrates that local farmland could produce substantial crops if used for very high-yield activities.

Farming would not, in and of itself, provide food for the population. Nonetheless, it could be a high-value industry which could take advantage of a wide scope of employees.

Other Industry

Strong industries are often not determined by diktat. With a flexible economy enabled by simple taxation and regulation, unexpected industries will emerge. Predictable opportunities might include:

  1. Low-value manufacturing (e.g. shoes, textiles, toys)
  2. Construction
  3. Migrant labor in Israel
  4. Government services
  5. Tourism
  6. Fisheries
  7. Development of the massive Gaza Marine Gas Field (although this should be delayed to dent the effect of the ‘natural resources curse’)
  8. Health tourism
  9. Education tourism
  10. Associated services (from restaurants to finance)

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Project Governance

Quality in Government

Tasks

The initial government would be dominated by foreign entities. The impact on the legal system has already been described but there are numerous other executive and legislative impacts. Quality in government is key to the rule of law and so every executive and legislative office will be governed by quality systems.

Initially the government will be tasked with foundational tasks. These include:

  • Establishing migrant facilities
  • Establishing the monetary, tax and digital passport systems

These efforts are relatively small and could be managed by external parties without an extensive selection and management process. In the interests of speed, this effort should begin immediately.

Once these initial areas are established, the primary focus of the government will be to manage the procurement process. This includes:

  • Hiring of:
    • judges, lawyers and translators
    • prosecutors
    • tax auditors
    • police
  • Managing the bidding process for:
    • housing
    • infrastructure
    • farming facilities
  • Managing the pricing and payment process for:
    • healthcare
    • education

Other tasks include:

  • The management of the Migrant Settlement Commission.
  • The setting of tax and welfare rates.
  • The issuance and auctioning of debt for areas not covered by direct procurement.
  • Design of infrastructure.
  • The zoning of land and determination of requirements and locations of ‘towns.’
  • Establishment of accreditation for schooling and healthcare providers.
  • Oversight of hand-over process in every area of governance.
  • Oversight of education.
  • Coordination with security forces.
  • Establishment of control systems and processes.

Structure

To support the above tasks, the structure of the government would be:

  • Chief Executive’s office (inclusive of chief operating officer, chief financial officer and chief technology officer)
    • Zoning and Public Housing Design Commission
    • Infrastructure Design Commission
    • Finance & Revenue Commission
    • Law Enforcement Commission
    • Law Definition Commission
    • Courts Commission
    • Procurement Commission (including all bidding)
    • Human Resources Commission (manages all hiring)
    • Education Commission
    • Healthcare Commission
    • Security Commission
    • Local responsibility oversight Commission
  • Government Improvement Board

All of the areas under the Chief Executive Officer would be staffed by foreign resources initially. Israel and the UAE and/or Saudi Arabia would select a mutually acceptable Chief Executive Officer. That CEO, in concert with the involved government would select the Chief Officers. Those Chief Officers would, in turn, select top managers for the various Commissions they oversee.

Each role would have clearly defined trainings and certifications.

The law enforcement and courts have previously defined processes for local ascension and increased responsibility.

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Government Improvement Board (GIB)

The Government Improvement Board (GIB) would be selected separately. It is modeled on Singapore’s Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB). The Government Improvement Board would:

  • Have the power of arrest for any official.
  • Oversee records for training and certifications necessary for all government roles.
  • Oversee standards for control systems.
  • Review government failures (from police failures to quality failures in construction) with an eye towards continuous improvement.
  • Audit control systems.
  • Prosecute intentional corruption or sabotage of systems.
  • Establish rules governing the relationships between public officials and those they oversee.
  • Oversee the behavior of public officials, both local and foreign, all of whom would be subject to special oversight – particularly of financial records.

The GIB would play a critical role in the handover of power to local authorities. Each local department (aside from law enforcement, courts and the Chief Executive’s office) would see locals elevated to management positions after the commission has completed its first 3-year period of service:

  • Without a successful prosecution by the Government Improvement Board (below)
  • With fewer than 2 corruption prosecutions identified by the commission’s internal quality processes
  • With fewer than 5 non-intentional failures that were not identified and addressed by an individual commissions’ internal quality management systems (government quality escapes).

Overall management of the commissions would pass to local leadership after the first rolling 9-year period with:

  • Fewer than 2 successful prosecutions within the commission by the Government Improvement Board.
  • Fewer than 4 corruption prosecutions identified by the individual commission’s internal quality processes.
  • Fewer than 15 non-intentional failures that were not identified and addressed by the commission’s internal quality management systems.

Second-tier executive leadership would pass after 10 years with:

  • Fewer than 10 successful prosecutions by the Government Improvement Board across all commissions.
  • Fewer than 20 corruption prosecutions identified by the all the commissions’ internal quality processes.
  • Fewer than 60 non-intentional failures that were not identified and addressed across all internal commission quality management systems.

Finally, the role of the Chief Executive Officer would transition when the above thresholds of corruption cases is extended for 12 years.

Either the GIB or the Major Felonies and Foreign Prosecutors would be able to bring charges against non-local commission management for their intentional failure in corruption management (for the purposes of delaying handovers).

In each case of transition to local management, the local managers and leadership would be chosen by the prior management. This would provide continuity and a high likelihood of quality management.

Given the extensive powers of the Government Improvement Board, their selection is critical. The Board would initially be staffed entirely by foreign prosecutors with extensive careers. Those local prosecutors who have served on major felony prosecutions for a period of at least three years would have the option of joining the GIB.

The GIB members could be investigated for corruption by the foreign prosecutors.

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Funding

The entire NGP is designed to require very limited aid funds. Instead, Dirham-based investment driven through a bid process would be used to procure both loans and project-specific financing. The core government itself will need funds and these will be issued through Dirham-based debt. If international entities want to support the fledging NGP they can do so with low-cost loans for housing, government operations and infrastructure.

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Democracy

Democracy would be extended in the following way:

  • The first votes would be centered on financing. This financing could either be for major infrastructure projects (seaport and airport) or to address previous property owner’s claims (see below).
  • The first legislative elections would occur when the majority of the commissions have local management. That legislature would have the power to write new laws, with the exception of anti-corruption and security laws.
  • When the Chief Executive is passed to local management, he or she will serve a term of 2 years following which there will be an election to choose a successor.
  • Elected Chief Executives can replace senior management and commission management at a rate no higher than 25% per year unless through corruption proceedings driven by the GIB. This is designed to encourage stability, reduce the chance of top-down corruption and reduce the criticality of this single election to overall life within the Project.
  • Locally chosen anti-corruption prosecutors will also serve a term of 4 years before being rotated out with major felony prosecutors.
  • Once the legislature and Chief Executive have been under local control for 5 years, they will be able to update laws including those affecting corruption.
  • If the Security Courts have been removed, then the legislature will extend its power to include management of Security Law.
  • Once the Chief Executive is elected, judges and prosecutors will be nominated by the Chief Executive and ratified by the legislature.

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Additional Areas

Special Issues

Diyah

There is substantial anger over Israeli actions in Gaza and elsewhere. In terms of the broader conflict, Israelis feel justified in their actions. The Arab expulsion of 99.8% of their Jewish populations was the largest geographic ethnic cleansing in history. It was meant to be followed up with the genocide of the Jewish population in Israel. These genocidal efforts failed. In preventing their own genocide Israelis have sometimes taken extreme actions. In some cases, these actions were justified. In other cases, they were not. There will be, even with the establishment of the NGP, substantial residual anger to address. That anger will flow both ways.

For this reason, there is a place for the Islamic practice of diyah. Diyah is used as a means of commuting sentences. Under diyah, the killer’s family will pay the victim’s family in order to commute a sentence of death. The value of diyah varies widely. In 2012 in Egypt, the government paid families $16,500 each for those who were killed in anti-government protests. At the other extreme, Saudi cases are routinely being settled for sums north of $1 million each.

Diyah is a way of honorably discharging anger. It could be critical in dampening anger and violence.

To support diyah:

  • Either Israelis or Palestinians could file a claim.
  • A criminal court with no local judges could oversee the diyah process, issuing a valuation based on the nature of the crime. For example, a terrorist attack targeting a child would result in a far higher payment than death of a fighter in battle which might not have any payment attached.
  • The victim or the attacker’s family would have the right to refuse diyah. However, if they both accept the payment, then the payment would be used to establish precedent for the type of offence.
  • Those who accept diyah would agree to forgo any future claims or related actions against those they charged.

The Diyah process would only begin five years after establishment of the NGP. The goal of the diyah process is not to establish an aid state, but to provide an avenue for reducing long-term tensions.

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Previous Property Rights

According to international law, owners of territory conquered in warfare retain title to that land. In practical terms, when interethnic wars are considered, this is often not the case. For example, Jews did not retain title to lands in the West Bank and Jerusalem after the Jordanian conquest in 1948 and Greek Cypriots did not retain title to lands in northern Cyprus after the Turkish invasion. Even in Korea, where the conflict was between a single ethnicity, property was not returned to owners who were displaced from property held in the north or south.

For this reason, it is unclear whether the NGP would compensate for lost property. In part, this is because the physical buildings no longer exist, making title claims more challenging. In addition, those who do not choose to immigrate (or who are not permitted to) would almost definitionally be enemies of the Project.

The initial leaning is thus not to compensate for lost properties. The entity could choose to change that policy at any time, including after it achieves self-rule. It is possible that voting on this decision could arise early on as the ultimate decision to bear these costs would fall on the local population.

Funding for these payments would come from the NGP itself and could be defined in Dirham terms. Because of the connection to the Dirham and the ongoing nature of payments, these payments could actually serve to dampen the anti-NGP resolve of Palestinians who lost land to the NGP.

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FAQ

Why not use clans?

Gaza clans have often been involved in the extortion of post-48 ‘refugee’ populations. They were already greatly weakened by Hamas. At this point they would be neither a necessary nor a positive influence.

Why would this possibly work?

These sorts of city-state examples have worked to massively reinvent far-larger neighboring societies. Athens, Amsterdam, West Berlin and Hong Kong are the classic examples. But recent history has also shown that they can bleed out deeply embedded ethnic conflicts. Singapore has brought a forced peace to Muslim, Indian and Chinese populations. Rwanda has suppressed anti-Tutsi violence. Other examples show that it is possible to develop a law-based society where one did not previously exist. It is easy to point at Taiwan and say “they were building from a great social base” but China’s social base in the late Imperial and the mainland Republic of China era was a dangerous and corrupt mess. The process can be brutal, but places like Taiwan, Chile (now the south American rule of law leader) and Rwanda show it can work.

How can social order emerge without normal Arab social pressures?

Arab society tends to be very socially ordered. However, Hamas already smashed the clans, leaving few networks of power aside from militant groups in place. This very vacuum creates an opportunity for a dual approach: education-based encouragement of a more peaceful form of Islam that derives its pride from creative projects as in the UAE and security-based discouragement where closed courts can levy heavy and family-based punishments for violations of new norms.

The UAE has shown the rule of law is possible in specifically Arab and Muslim societies, Rwanda has shown social peace can be created even in the aftermath of genocide and with very limited pre-existing law, Taiwan and Singapore have shown law and order can emerge from deeply corrupt societies, Hong Kong has shown a willingly displaced population can accept and flourish under foreign rule. The goal here is to assemble these examples into a further transplantable example.

Would Israel be secure?

This buffer zone of willing participants would indeed be violent initially. But Israel would have tremendous security authority with an embedded security force. Israel would have greater security than they would simply forcing the Palestinian problem to fester among a further displaced population.

Why not apply some ideas (Dirham, Tax, Healthcare, Education, Police and Corruption Oversight) to Israel?

Small city-states are often the source of tremendous innovations. The creation of VAT started in the Ivory Coast and quickly grew to dominate global taxation. The NGP would be a springboard for the development of innovative 21st century government ideas – not only in Israel and the Arab world, but everywhere else as well.

What about the hostages?

The war against Southern Gaza would continue until Israel agrees to a ceasefire – which would probably occur with the release of hostages. Even afterwards, Hamas would remain a self-avowed enemy of Israel and those in South Gaza would remain in a state of war with Israel. Nothing is being given or ceded to Hamas, an escape valve is simply being established for those who want to leave the war. With a low level of terrorism and corruption, the NGP would become a self-sufficient Palestinian State within 15 years. In addition, because there are clear metrics, the path to that state and the reasoning behind that path would be globally and locally visible.

What about all the failures?

Recent history is littered with nation-building failures. The most prominent of these include Iraq and Afghanistan but also include Gaza and the West Bank. In all these cases, clear mistakes (in retrospect) were made:

  1. Civil rights were created too early. This created an environment in which anything goes prior to their being a sense of social limitation that could restrict ideas to ‘acceptable’ means through non-coercive means. Actual violent and incendiary thoughts and plans were routinely spread through mosques and other institutions.
  2. Voting rights were created too early. This had two effects. Either the social leanings towards anti-liberal systems were permanently implanted in one-man, one-vote, one-time schemes (as in Gaza and the West Bank) or sectarian differences were highlighted and reinforced through the classic tyranny of the majority (as seen in Iraq and as currently threatens Israel).
  3. Too much aid was supplied. This had the effect of building tremendous corruption and free-riderism. The response to this corruption was ‘pure’ religious extremists who in turn were corrupted but add violence to the mix. The social problems will not be solved through material supply and purchase. Despite western beliefs, not everybody is motivated by a desire for a nice house, peace and a good healthcare plan.
  4. No contrast was created. The power of the NGP is in its comparison with South Gaza and the West Bank. As an ‘all-encompassing’ entity it would just be seen as pure imposition of tyranny. Because the population is self-selecting and the territory is limited, it can instead serve as a contrast to all that is broken and very quickly distinguish itself as a territory with fulfillment opportunities.
  5. There was no self-selecting population. Imposing a new order on a population that has not chosen to be governed in this way creates tremendous challenges. The NGP, due to the proximity of South Gaza, has the ability to filter out the most supportive population and specifically work with a population that has fundamentally either agreed to the system or pretended to agree to the system. With deportation as a routine punishment, those who are only pretending can be weeded out.
  6. The scale was too large. Iraq and Afghanistan cover vast territory. The West Bank is a highly complex territory. The NGP is very small and more in line with Hong Kong, Singapore, Amsterdam and West Berlin. This simple reduction in scale allows for a cleaner and easier-to-manage system.
  7. Population was insufficiently invested. In the rush to build new societies, the time wasn’t taken for the local populace to earn their way into responsibility (or even wealth). There was no personal and family investment in the new systems. With the intentional development of careerism and the widely used Dirham debt (on the financial side) there will be a significant and widespread sense of investment in the new order.
  8. Corrupt leadership was imposed. In many cases shortcuts were taken to emplace existing and corrupt leaders. This is particularly true in the case of the PLO. A corrupt terrorist organization was given control of the state with predictable consequences. Yes, former terrorists have led new states, but success under that model is infrequent. An effective transition takes decades, not months.
  9. Religion was not harnessed. There are legal and social restrictions on Westerners effectively leveraging state religion. This approach is the norm in the Arab world, with routine limitations on the content of speeches in mosques or schools – for example. This is a necessary component of social change in the Arab Muslim world.
  10. There was no religious vision. This is not about religious control, but about religious direction. The west was offering freedom and opportunity to Afghani and Iraqi populations. But for many, those were not the driving considerations. A core part of the UAE’s success has been the pitch that their vision is a religious vision. That there is religious purpose in productive activities and the charitable/cultural/social activities that they enable; more meaning than there is in supremacy and violence. The US could not sell a religious vision, for Constitutional reasons. An Israeli-Sunni coalition in the NGP would be under no such restrictions.
  11. The population was diverse. City states can work with diverse populations. Rwanda and Singapore are prime examples. But the structure would be different than what is proposed above and different from what was established in Iraq and Afghanistan. It would need to both blunt and enable the expression of differences. We have written a proposed Constitution for Israel with these concepts in mind (which in turn learns from many constitutional failures to address this problem). The NGP would not have a highly diverse population. The vast majority would be Sunni Arabs with the biggest distinctions being between the religious and the less religious. This limits the amount of sectarian balancing that must be built in.

Is there a religious motivation behind this?

Yes. The authors of this document believe man’s highest purpose is to walk in the path of G-d who created and changed the world for six days and then rested in timelessness on the seventh. I believe many ancient societies have realized the truth in this concept, from Buddhists (working peasants feed timeless monks) to Jews and many others besides.

In addition, the authors believe there is a religious obligation to teach peoples to remember the kindness done to them and – within a generation – forget the sins committed against them. The spread of societies not nursing ancient angers has been a tremendous development in the 20th century. The level of historically maintained hate between different populations in Southeast Asia, Europe and East Asia society has dropped dramatically. Extending this further would be a blessing for all of mankind.

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About the Author

With degrees in Intellectual History and Finance, Joseph Cox is an expert in solving cross-domain challenges. Joseph’s past work includes the development of global transaction tax, aerospace quality, and mortgage management systems. A co-inventor on 46 patents, an author of 12 books and a student of political history and economic theory, Joseph has been developing the ideas behind the NGP for the last 10 years.

Joseph provides strategic and financial consulting services at www.SolveforSuccess.com.
Joseph has written an innovative constitution for Israel at: www.IsraelConstitution.org.il.
His other writing is available at www.JosephCox.com.

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