Israeli-Palestinian peace accord: but Israel won’t sign on!

Israeli-Palestinian peace accord: but Israel won’t sign on! – Editorials

Congratulations to former Israeli Justice Minister Yossi Beilin and the Palestinian leadership for having designed a peace accord which they signed in Jordan and which in almost all respects follows the lines detailed in the TIKKUN Resolution for Middle East Peace.

Former Palestinian Information Minister Yasser Abed Rabbo, involved in the formulation of the “Geneva Accord” (because of the help of the Swiss government), told Israel Radio that the Palestinian Authority endorses the plan.

According to the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, the agreement includes the following points:

* The Palestinians will recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people.

* Israel will withdraw to the 1967 borders, except for certain territorial exchanges, as described below.

* Jerusalem will be divided, with Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem becoming part of the Palestinian state. Jewish neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, as well as the West Bank suburbs of Givat Ze’ev, Ma’aleh Adumim, and the historic part of Gush Etzion–but not Efrat–will be part of Israel.

* The Temple Mount will be Palestinian, but an international force will ensure freedom of access for visitors of all faiths. However, Jewish prayer will not be permitted on the mount, nor will archaeological digs. The Western Wall will remain under Jewish sovereignty and the “Holy Basin” will be under international supervision.

* The settlements of Ariel, Effat, and Har Homa will be part of the Palestinian state. In addition, Israel will transfer parts of the Negev adjacent to Gaza, but not including Halutza, to the Palestinians, in exchange for the parts of the West Bank it will receive.

* The Palestinians will pledge to prevent terror and incitement and disarm all militias. Their state will be demilitarized, and border crossings will be supervised by an international, but not Israeli, force.

* The agreement will replace all previous agreements and UN Resolutions.

The October 12 ceremony in Jordan to mark completion of the document was attended on the Israeli side by Beilin, who headed the Israeli negotiating team; Members of Knesset (MKs) Chaim Oron, Amram Mitzna (Labor) and Avraham Burg (Labor); former MK Nehama Ronen, who ran in the Likud primaries late last year; Brigadier General (reserve) Giora Inbar, and author Amos Oz. Other Israells party to the initiative include former IDF chief of staff Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, Labor MK Yuli Tamir, and several Meretz MKs.

The Palestinian representatives also included former ministers Nabil Kassis and Hisham Abd al-Raziq, and two leaders of the Fatah-affillated Tanzim organization, Kadoura Fares and Mohammed Khourani.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is said to have described the document as “the greatest historical mistake since Oslo.” His predecessor was equally withering. Former prime minister Ehud Barak, who left office in early 2001, several months after the intifada broke out, said on October 13 it was unfortunate that the Labor Party had permitted some of its members to formulate such a “delusional” peace plan, according to Ha’aretz.

Our task is to build widespread support for the plan in the United States. We’ve been arguing all along that the right strategy is one which puts forward a full plan for the resolution of the conflict, rather than simply to focus on this or that outrage. So, while we at TIKKUN will continue to critique the building of the Wall, the destruction of Palestinian homes, the targeted assassinations, the expansion of West Bank settlements, and the blank check that Bush has given to Ariel Sharon, we will also continue our work with Congressional representatives and others to familiarize them with the perspective of the Israeli peace movement and the plan that would actually end this struggle. Are you available to be a contact person or a member of a delegation visiting your locally elected officials to inform them about these developments, explain to them the ideas behind them, and let them know that there are many Americans who think that peace and reconciliation, not domination and control, are the most effective paths to security for Israel and justice for the Palestinians? If so, please join the Tikkun Community at www.tikkun.org and contact Robyn@tikkun.org (510-644-1200) to find out how you can be directly involved.

COPYRIGHT 2003 Tikkun Magazine

COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group