On Friday, August 10, 2001 Gush Shalom -- an Israeli organization having the support of, among others, Member of the Knesset Uri Avnery, and of many other Israeli citizens, Jewish as well as non-Jewish, some of them quite prominent, and of other people around the globe -- published the text of a proposed Peace Agreement in a full-page ad in the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz.
This is a document reflecting what I would call the "genuine Zionist position" -- the one the pioneers of Israel, like the founders of the first kibbutzim -- dreamed of and hoped one day would be realised, at least by their descendants if not by themselves.
If it is realised, even with some changes compared to the draft, I think that itself will go a long way -- perhaps even almost all the way -- towards putting an end to terrorism of the terrible kind which occurred on September 11, 2001 in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania, and which goes on almost weekly in Israel itself, and has been going on there for years.
On the other hand, if it is not implemented, terrorism of this kind will not go away, no matter how many terrorists are killed or captured, even in so-called "surgical operations" which leave every single innocent party untouched. (And we all know how unlikely that itself is going to be.)
In the Introduction to the full-page ad, the Gush wrote:
"Now, more than at any other time, the struggle for peace must not stop. The following declaration of principles is a proposal for joint Israeli-Palestinian discussion. It should not be considered a take-it-or-leave-it proposition.
"We went into details in order to express our conviction that all the issues at stake -- the components of the conflict -- can be resolved. Not by diktats, not by an overbearing master-and-servant attitude, but by negotiations between equals.
"The government and the army leadership are leading us into a hell of blood and fire. We call upon all peace-seekers in Israel to unite for the future of the two peoples of this country, Jewish Israelis and Palestinian Arabs.
"The country has given birth to us as twins."
PEACE AGREEMENT between the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the Representative of the Palestinian People.
WHEREAS both parties wish to end the historical conflict between them, establish peace and bring about a historical conciliation between the two nations,
And WHEREAS both parties wish to base the peace on the principles of self-determination, mutual respect, justice and equality,
And WHEREAS both parties acknowledge the principle of "two states for two nations",
And WHEREAS both parties accept U.N. resolutions 242, 338 and 194 as the basis for a solution and regard the implementation of the agreement below as the full realization of these resolutions,
It is AGREED by both parties:
SECTION 1: THE END OF THE OCCUPATION.
Within one year, the Israeli occupation, in all its manifestations and functions, in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, including Arab East Jerusalem, will come to an end.
SECTION 2: THE STATE OF PALESTINE.
Within one year, the independent and sovereign State of Palestine will be established on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, including Arab East Jerusalem, the part of the Dead Sea that borders the Palestinian shore and the territorial waters of the Gaza Strip.
SECTION 3: BORDERS.
The border between the State of Israel and the State of Palestine will be the cease-fire lines as they existed on June 4th 1967 (hereinafter: the Green Line), unless stipulated otherwise in this agreement.
The State of Palestine will have full sovereign control of all its border crossings on land, sea and air.
Both parties wish that the border between them should be open, with unrestricted passage of people and goods, within the framework of the economic and border-passing arrangements to be agreed upon by the parties.
SECTION 4: JERUSALEM.
Both parties acknowledge the uniqueness of the City of Jerusalem and declare their intention to preserve it as a single urban unit, open to all.
The Arab neighborhoods of the city, according to the map attached, will be an integral part of the State of Palestine and will serve as its capital. These areas of the city will be connected to each other and to the State of Palestine as a single, continuous, territorial entity.
The Jewish neighborhoods of the city, according to the map attached, will be an integral part of the State of Israel and will serve as its capital. These areas of the city will be connected to each other and to the State of Israel as a single, continuous, territorial entity.
The Jewish quarter of the Old City will be part of the State of Israel and will be attached to its territory. The Muslim, Christian and Armenian quarters of the Old City will be part of the State of Palestine.
There will be no barriers or obstacles preventing unrestricted passage between the two parts of the City. Both parties will establish border checkpoints, if they so decide, at the entrances/exits of the City.
The municipality of the Palestinian Jerusalem and the municipality of the Israeli Jerusalem will establish a joint council, based on the principle of equality, to manage the shared municipal services. The council will be headed by the chairman of the council and his/her deputy, one of whom will be Israeli and the other Palestinian. They will rotate their positions after two years. The first assignment will be determined by lot.
SECTION 5: HOLY SITES.
Both parties acknowledge the uniqueness of the Holy Sites and their importance to the believers of the three monotheistic religions.
The area of the Haram al-Sharif (Temple Mount) will be part of the State of Palestine.
The Western Wall (the part also called "the Wailing Wall") will be part of the State of Israel.
All archeological or other excavations in the area of the Haram al-Sharif (the Temple Mount), the Western Wall or in their immediate vicinity shall be undertaken by mutual consent.
SECTION 6: EXCHANGE OF TERRITORY.
Exchange of territories can be effected by agreement between both parties.
SECTION 7: EXTRA-TERRITORIAL ROADS.
A highway will be constructed between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and it will belong to the State of Palestine. The highway will not be connected to the Israeli road network at any point and will pass either above or below it.
SECTION 8: SECURITY.
Both parties have the right to national and personal security.
Both parties renounce the use of force and the threat of force against each other.
Both parties undertake to combat terrorism and terrorist initiatives organized in one state against the other, its residents and institutions.
Both parties undertake to prevent the entry of any foreign military force into their territories. Any contravention of this section by either state will grant the other state the right to take any measures required for self-defense.
The State of Palestine undertakes to refrain from arming itself with heavy offensive weapons for 25 years. This obligation will become void if peace treaties are signed between Israel and the Arab states.
Both parties will come to an agreement regarding the usage of each other's air space.
SECTION 9: THE SETTLEMENTS.
Residents of the settlements located in territory that is to become part of the State of Palestine will be evacuated from the territory before the end of the Israeli occupation.
The settlements will be transferred intact to the Palestinian authorities, without any damage inflicted on buildings or other immovable property. The property evacuated by the settlers will be considered part of Israel's contribution to the rehabilitation of the Palestinian refugees (as specified heretofore in section 11.)
SECTION 10: WATER.
The water resources of the entire land between the river Jordan and the Mediterranean belong to both parties.
A Supreme Israeli-Palestinian Committee will be appointed and will be responsible for water resources and distribution. Water will be allocated justly and equally, on the basis of the numerical proportion of residents in both states.
Both parties will cooperate in projects for the development of additional water resources, such as desalination of seawater.
SECTION 11: REFUGEES.
Both parties agree that the human tragedy of the Palestinians must be resolved by a moral, just, practicable and agreed-upon solution that takes into consideration the character and essential needs of the two states.
Israel acknowledges its central responsibility for the creation of this tragedy during the course of the wars of 1948 and 1967. Both parties will establish a "truth commission" of historians - Israeli, Palestinian and international - that will examine the precise causes that lead to the creation of the problem in all its aspects, and will issue an objective, conclusive report within three years. This report will be incorporated into the schoolbooks of both states.
Israel acknowledges the principle of the Right of Return as a basic human right.
According to this right, every refugee will be accorded the choice between compensation and permanent settlement in another country, return to the State of Palestine or return to Israel, according to the following principles:
(1) In order to heal the historical wound and as an act of justice, Israel will allow the return into its territory of a certain number of refugees, which will be decided by agreement. The returnees will be allowed back under a reasonable annual quota within a time limit not exceeding 10 years.
(2) A generous level of compensation will be determined for each refugee for property that remained in Israel, loss of opportunities, etc. The compensation will be paid by an international fund. Israel will contribute an appropriate portion to this fund, taking into account the value of Palestinian property that remained in Israel.
(3) Israel will use its influence with the international fund so that the Palestinian state will be enabled to absorb refugees who chose to return to it, as well as refugees currently residing in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, by providing suitable housing and employment opportunities.
SECTION 12: IMPLEMENTATION OF U.N. RESOLUTIONS.
Upon full implementation of sections 1 to 9, both parties will present a formal joint statement to the U.N. Security Council, declaring that both parties consider resolutions 242 and 338 fully realized. Upon full implementation of section 11, both parties will present a declaration to the U.N. that resolution 194 has been realized .
SECTION 13: DIFFERENCES OF OPINION.
An agreed-upon international committee will monitor the implementation of this agreement and act as arbitrator in the case of differences of opinion.
SECTION 14: END OF THE CONFLICT.
Full implementation of this agreement will constitute the end of the conflict between Israel and Palestine.
Letters, remarks and / or contributions may be sent to Gush Shalom via:
Snail-mail: P.O. Box 3322, Tel-Aviv 61033, Israel.
Web Site: http://www.gush-shalom.org