April 5, 2011
Prominent Israelis to unveil peace initiative
A group of leading Israelis, including former heads of the country’s secret services and the military, will put forth a peace initiative, The New York Times reported.
The authors of the two-page Israeli Peace Initiative hope the document, which they are calling a direct response to the Arab Peace Initiative offered by the Arab League in 2002 and revived in 2007, will generate popular support in Israel and influence the Israeli government, according to the Times.
The group includes scholars, businesspeople, and the son and daughter of the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
The initiative is set to be unveiled Wednesday, though a copy reportedly was sent Sunday to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
It reportedly calls for the establishment of a Palestinian state on most of the West Bank and Gaza with a capital in most of eastern Jerusalem, an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights, and a set of regional security mechanisms and economic cooperation projects, according to the Times.
Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem would be in Israel and Arab neighborhoods in the Palestinian state. The Western Wall and Jewish Quarter would go to Israel and the Temple Mount would be under no sovereignty. The plan suggests that Palestinian refugees be returned to the Palestinian state with financial compensation, with a symbolic number repatriated to Israel.
The statement recognizes “the suffering of the Palestinian refugees since the 1948 war, as well as of the Jewish refugees from the Arab countries” and says, as does the Arab Peace Initiative, “that a military solution to the conflict will not achieve peace or provide security for the parties.”