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My Two-State Solution

July 7, 2012

If I were advising the Israeli government, I would recommend that Prime Minister Netanyahu lay out his own “peace plan,” backing up his stated support in June 2009 for a Palestinian state with specific parameters for that state.  These are not “preconditions” or take-it-or-leave-it terms of an agreement, but rather a framework for discussions, an indication of what Israel is willing to give and what it expects to get in return.  Everything on both sides of the equation should be phrased to appeal to the international community, using the language of fairness and justice and rule of law: end of occupation, peace, security, reciprocity, no discrimination, good-faith negotiations, etc.

What the Palestinians can and should have:

  • Peace with Israel.
  • The end of Israeli occupation: An independent, sovereign state of Palestine, with complete self-determination and full political rights.  This includes control over Palestine’s borders and the ability to enter into international treaties and agreements and join international organizations.  It also includes responsibility for security, civil rights, infrastructure, education, taxes, cultural institutions, currency and postage stamps, and all other aspects of government.
  • Free passage between the West Bank and Gaza.
  • Access to Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem
  • The right and ability to resettle any and all 1948 Arab refugees and their descendants in Palestine.
  • Good-faith negotiations over borders, water, trade, and other issues with Israel.

What the Palestinians cannot and should not have:

  • “1967 borders” or 100% of land captured from Jordan in 1967 (and disclaimed by Jordan in 1988).  Israel is entitled both to defensible borders and to incorporate areas that were Jewish before 1948 and/or have a clear and contiguous Jewish majority now, including but not limited to the Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem.
  • A territory free of Jews, or where Jews (or any other non-Muslims or non-Arabs) are not allowed to live.
  • A military force that could threaten Israel’s security, or a base for terrorist activity against Israel.
  • Exclusive control of the Temple Mount.
  • The right to resettle any 1948 Arab refugees or their descendants in Israel.
  • The right to use the façade of peace to continue to wage war against Israel.  This includes incitement to genocide, glorification of violence, and the assault on Israel’s legitimacy.  (I.e., any agreement must include “end of claims”/”end of conflict” to count as a true peace.)
  • A free pass from the international community to circumvent negotiations with Israel and take unilateral steps toward statehood.

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