Sept. 19, 2019
You’ve probably never heard of Baarle-Hertog, a Belgian territory consisting of an unremarkable three square miles in an otherwise unremarkable part of Europe. However, things get interesting when you look at a map. Baarle-Hertog contains about two dozen unconnected areas entirely surrounded by the Netherlands. Complicating matters, some of these territories in turn completely encircle parts of Dutch Baarle-Nassau.
In the wake of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s announced plans to annex the Jordan Valley, which will in turn fragment parts of a future Palestinian state, Baarle-Hertog challenges the dogmatic insistence that only a maximally contiguous Palestinian state can be viable. The town provides a small-scale working model of how such a state will look and operate.