Posted by: Tony Carson | 23 October, 2007

The Israel-Palestine Deal already on the Table

“Failures of leadership,” writes Jackson Diehl in The Deal on the Table in the Washington Post, “not irreconcilable agendas or hostile public opinion, have prevented (already identified) terms from being formally signed and implemented. It’s too soon to say whether the current Israeli and Palestinian governments will rise to the occasion.”

An enduring paradox of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is that the outline of a two-state peace settlement — that is, the points Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is pressing the two sides to write down in time for a November conference — is readily apparent to anyone with a commitment to pragmatism and a good map. In fact, various groups of Israelis and Palestinians have already spelled them out and agreed to them on multiple occasions in the past 15 years. An Israeli cabinet voted to endorse the basic deal nearly seven years ago. The current Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, committed himself back in 1995.

The general terms are these: Israel and the new state of Palestine will be separated by Israel’s pre-1967 border. There will be small swaps of territory that will allow most of the Jewish settlers in the West Bank to be annexed to Israel while providing a Palestinian land corridor between the West Bank and Gaza. The rest of the Jewish settlers will be evacuated, and Palestinian refugees will be invited to resettle in Palestine but not allowed to return to Israel. In Jerusalem, which is already segregated between Jews and Arabs, Arab neighborhoods will be governed by Palestine and Jewish neighborhoods by Israel, and each state will control its holiest sites in the Old City.

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Responses

  1. Indeed, it so obvious and yet so unreachable. The recent OneVoice initiative was exactly about that – sending the leaders a message to cut the BS and sit down until they work out the (obvious?) solution. But even the event itself was failed by extremists from both right and left. What can we expect of that convention? Personally, i don’t have high expectations from the talks.


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