For those who haven’t seen it, I paste below the text of the “Israeli Peace Initiative.” It may not satisfy everyone, but it’s an eminently practical document. It’s well worth consideration as a pragmatic way to move forward. If something like this were put forth years ago, it would have been a monumental breakthrough. Today, it may well be too little too late. Still, if there is to be a negotiated resolution to this conflict, the IPI and API are the path toward it. It seems beyond belief that the Netanyahu government will support it, and much more likely that it will ignore it, just as the Sharon, Olmert and Bibi governments have done with the Arab Peace Initiative (API). It may be, however, the prime tool to push with Obama, and is certainly the kind of thing the status quo devotees, led by AIPAC will attack in any way they can.
The drafters of the plan include includes ex-army chief Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, former Mossad head Danny Yatom and Shin Bet directors Yaakov Perry and Ami Ayalon, as well as ex-general and Labor Party chief Amram Mitzna. That should lend it some credibility, though arch enemies of peace have already dismissed these names.
In any case, it is worth pursuing.
The Israeli Peace Initiative (IPI) – in response to the Arab Peace Initiative (API)
Proposal – March 31, 2011
The State of Israel,
• Reaffirming that Israel’s strategic objective is to reach a historic compromise and permanent status
agreements that shall determine the finality of all claims and the end of the Israeli Arab conflict, in order
to achieve permanent and lasting peace, lasting and guaranteed security, regional economic prosperity and
normal ties with all Arab and Islamic states,
• Recognizing the suffering of the Palestinian refugees since the 1948 war as well as of the Jewish refugees
from the Arab countries, and realizing the need to resolve the Palestinian refugees problem through realistic
and mutually agreed-upon solutions,
• Realizing that wide-scale multilateral economic cooperation is essential in order to ensure the prosperity of
the Middle East, its environmental sustainability and the future of its peoples,
• Recognizing the Arab Peace Initiative of March 2002 (API) as a historic effort made by the Arab states to
reach a breakthrough and achieve progress on a regional basis, and sharing the API statement “that a
military solution to the conflict will not achieve peace or provide security for the parties,”
Therefore Israel accepts the API as a framework for regional peace negotiations and presents the IPI as an
integrated response to the API, and as a vision of the regional final-status agreements to be negotiated and
signed between the Arab states, the Palestinians and Israel, based on the following proposed principles:
1) CONFLICT RESOLUTION PRINCIPLES
The key principle of all regional peace agreements shall be Israeli withdrawals, guaranteed security, normal
relations and end of all conflicts, while recognizing the security needs of all parties, the water resources
challenges, the demographic realities on the ground, and the interests and needs of the followers of the three
monotheistic faiths; Furthermore, the Israeli Palestinian conflict shall be resolved on the principle of two
sates for two nations: Palestine as a nation state for the Palestinians and Israel as a nation state for the Jews
(in which the Arab minority will have equal and full civil rights as articulated in Israel’s Declaration of
Independence). On this basis, the following parameters are proposed:
1a) Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Resolution Parameters
1. Statehood and Security – A sovereign independent Palestinian state shall be formed in the West Bank
and Gaza Strip on territories from which Israel withdrew. The state shall be demilitarized, exercising full
authority over its internal security forces. The International community shall play an active role in
providing border security and curbing terrorist threats.
2. Borders – The borders shall be based on the June 4, 1967, lines, with agreed modifications subject to
the following principles: the creation of territorial contiguity between the Palestinian territories; land
swaps (not to exceed 7% of the West Bank) based on a 1:1 ratio, including the provision of a safe
corridor between the West Bank and Gaza, under de facto Palestinian control.
3. Jerusalem – The greater Jerusalem area shall include the two capitals of the two states. The line shall be
drawn so that: Jewish neighborhoods shall be under Israeli sovereignty; the Arab neighborhoods shall be
under Palestinian sovereignty; special arrangements shall be implemented in the Old City, ensuring that
the Jewish Quarter and the Western Wall shall be under Israeli sovereignty; the Temple Mount shall
remain under a special no-sovereignty regime (“God Sovereignty”), with special agreed-upon
arrangements, ensuring that Islamic holy places shall be administered by the Moslem Waqf, and Jewish
holy sites and interests shall be administered by Israel. The implementation of these arrangements will
be supervised by an Israeli-International committee .
4. Refugees – The solutions for the Palestinian refugees shall be agreed upon between Israel, the
Palestinians and all regional parties in accordance with the following principles: Financial compensation
shall be offered to the refugees and the host countries by the international community and Israel; the
Palestinian refugees wishing to return (as mentioned in UNGAR 194) may do so only to the Palestinian
state, with mutually agreed-upon symbolic exceptions who will be allowed to return to Israel.March 31, 2011 IPI Proposal 2
1b) Israeli-Syrian Conflict Resolution Parameters
1. Borders – Israel shall withdraw from the Golan to a border-line to be designed based on the June 4,
1967 status, with agreed minor modifications and land swaps based on a 1:1 ratio, reflecting the 1923
international border. The agreement shall be mutually implemented in stages, based on the Sinai model,
over a period not to exceed 5 years.
2. Security Arrangements –A comprehensive security package shall be mutually agreed, defining, inter
alia, the scope of demilitarized zones on both sides of the border and the deployment of peace keeping
1c) Israeli-Lebanese Conflict Resolution Parameters
1. Borders – Israel and Lebanon shall establish permanent peace based on UNSCR 1701, subject to which
Israel concluded its withdrawal to the international border.
2. Lebanese Sovereignty – In addition to the full implementation of UNSCR 1701, Lebanon shall exercise
full sovereignty over its territory through the Lebanese army.
1d) State of Peace
In each of the Israeli-Palestinian, Israeli-Syrian and the Israeli-Lebanese peace agreements the respective
parties agree to apply between them the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of
international law governing relations among states in time of peace; to settle all disputes between them by
peaceful means; to develop good neighborly relations of co-operation between them to ensure lasting
security; to refrain from the threat or use of force against each other and from forming any coalition,
organization or alliance with a third party, the objectives or activities of which include launching aggression
or hostility against the other party.
2) REGIONAL SECURITY PRINCIPLES
1. The parties will create regional security mechanisms, addressing shared threats and risks arising from
states, terrorist organizations, marine pirate groups, and guerrilla organizations. to ensure the safety and
security of the peoples of the region.
2. The parties shall build regional frameworks to jointly fight against crime and environmental threats.
3) ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PRINCIPLES
Based on significant economic support by the international community, the parties shall implement widescale regional cooperation projects in order to ensure the stabilization, viability and prosperity of the region,
and to achieve optimal utilization of energy and water resources for the benefit of all parties. Such projects
will improve transportation infrastructure, agriculture, industry and regional tourism, thus addressing the
rising danger of unemployment in the region. In the future, the parties shall create the “Middle East
Economic Development Bloc” (inviting all Middle Eastern countries to join), aiming at reaching a special
status in the EU, the US and the International Community.
4) STEPS TOWARDS NORMAL RELATIONS PRINCIPLES
Israel, the Arab States and the Islamic States commit to implement gradual steps towards establishing normal
relations between them, in the spirit of the Arab Peace Initiative, which shall commence upon the launching
of peace negotiations and shall be gradually upgraded to full normal relations (including diplomatic relations,
open borders and economic ties) upon the signing of the permanent status agreements and throughout their