Because we start from such different perspectives, our mutual endorsement of the Geneva Accord as a basis for peace between Israel and Palestine struck me as worth pursuing in this diary, in which I aim to present this model peace treaty between the States of Israel and Palestine, negotiated by delegations of prominent Israelis and Palestinians, to the DKos community.
-- presents (what I take to be) important sections of the peace treaty;
-- offers limited commentary on individual sections and the peace treaty as a whole;
-- invites discussion about the model treaty's merits, flaws, if any, and ways and means of promoting its adoption (or that of a peace treaty like it in essentials); and
-- ends with a poll inviting a yes/no response.
I want to elaborate about the discussion I hope we can have. Recognizing that comment is free, I nonetheless hope that people may, voluntarily, agree to limit discussion in the way I've indicated. Those who oppose the idea of such a peace treaty, either because they are against the creation of a State of Palestine or because they do not want the State of Israel to continue to exist, will, I respectfully request, make their points somewhere else.
From the FAQ:
Q 1. I don't have time to read the whole Accord, what in brief does it say?
A The model agreement gives quite detailed solutions on all issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. There will be two independent states - Israel and Palestine, side by side, recognizing each others sovereignty and territorial integrity and establishing full diplomatic relations. The borders will be based on the 1967 lines (or green line) with minor, mutual modifications, whereby the vast majority of Israeli settlers will stay and be part of Israel's new borders while the rest are evacuated and the Palestinians will receive an equal amount of land from within Israel in exchange - partly to expand the densely populated Gaza Strip. The Israeli and Palestinian areas of Jerusalem will be the capitals of the respective states with each side's holy places fully under its sovereignty. Palestinian refugees will be given options from 5 permanent places residence - the Palestinian State with its new swapped lands will be open to all, other options, Israel included, are at the sovereign discretion of the State concerned. Refugees will receive compensation and an international body established to oversee this entire process. Security arrangements will provide guarantees to Israel, without violating Palestinian sovereignty and will be overseen by a Multinational Force stationed in Palestine. All parties are committed to preventing and opposing any terror or incitement. These detailed articles along with agreements on many other issues would constitute an end to the conflict and all claims. To read the full text click here, and to see the maps click here.
Selected provisions and commentary
(I am using the "printer-friendly" text, which has more consistent outlining than the directly available version.)
The State of Israel (hereinafter "Israel") and the Palestine Liberation Organization (hereinafter "PLO"), the representative of the Palestinian people (hereinafter the "Parties"):
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Recognizing that peace requires the transition from the logic of war and confrontation to the logic of peace and cooperation, and that acts and words characteristic of the state of war are neither appropriate nor acceptable in the era of peace;
Affirming their deep belief that the logic of peace requires compromise, and that the only viable solution is a two-state solution based on UNSC Resolution 242 and 338;
Affirming that this agreement marks the recognition of the right of the Jewish people to statehood and the recognition of the right of the Palestinian people to statehood, without prejudice to the equal rights of the Parties' respective citizens;
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Confirming that this Agreement is concluded within the framework of the Middle East peace process initiated in Madrid in October 1991, the Declaration of Principles of September 13, 1993, the subsequent agreements including the Interim Agreement of September 1995, the Wye River Memorandum of October 1998 and the Sharm El-Sheikh Memorandum of September 4, 1999, and the permanent status negotiations including the Camp David Summit of July 2000, the Clinton Ideas of December 2000, and the Taba Negotiations of January 2001;
Reiterating their commitment to United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242, 338 and 1397 and confirming their understanding that this Agreement is based on, will lead to, and -by its fulfillment-- will constitute the full implementation of these resolutions and to the settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in all its aspects;
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Have agreed on the following
All preambles are declaratory. The importance of this preamble is that it
-- declares the agreement to be one between Israel and (via the P.L.O.) the Palestinian people, which is recognized as having equal status with Israel.
-- recognizes the importance of compromise and of employing a rhetoric of peace and cooperation in place of a rhetoric of war.
Article 1 - Purpose of the Permanent Status Agreement
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2. The implementation of this Agreement will settle all the claims of the Parties arising from events occurring prior to its signature. No further claims related to events prior to this Agreement may be raised by either Party.
Palestinians and Israelis need an agreement that leaves no one with a legitimate excuse, that is, one that either country or the international community will accept as legitimate, to continue fighting. Apart from anything else, only a definitive peace treaty will command majority support from Israelis, and only a peace treaty that Israelis can accept will produce a Palestinian state.
Article 2 - Relations between the Parties
1. The state of Israel shall recognize the state of Palestine (hereinafter "Palestine") upon its establishment. The state of Palestine shall immediately recognize the state of Israel.
2. The state of Palestine shall be the successor to the PLO with all its rights and obligations.
3. Israel and Palestine shall immediately establish full diplomatic and consular relations with each other and will exchange resident Ambassadors, within one month of their mutual recognition.
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7. With a view to the advancement of the relations between the two States and peoples, Palestine and Israel shall cooperate in areas of common interest. These shall include, but are not limited to, dialogue between their legislatures and state institutions, cooperation between their appropriate local authorities, promotion of non-governmental civil society cooperation, and joint programs and exchange in the areas of culture, media, youth, science, education, environment, health, agriculture, tourism, and crime prevention. The Israeli-Palestinian Cooperation Committee will oversee this cooperation in accordance with Article 8.
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9. The Parties shall establish robust modalities for security cooperation, and engage in a comprehensive and uninterrupted effort to end terrorism and violence directed against each others persons, property, institutions or territory. This effort shall continue at all times, and shall be insulated from any possible crises and other aspects of the Parties' relations.
The parties, in effect, promise to do their best to overcome the legacy of violence and hatred, and to lay the groundwork for a warm peace. Today, the prospect may seem utopian. But it need not be: compare relations today between France and Germany with those from 1870 to the end of World War II.
Article 3: Implementation and Verification Group
1. Establishment and Composition
i An Implementation and Verification Group (IVG) shall hereby be established to facilitate, assist in, guarantee, monitor, and resolve disputes relating to the implementation of this Agreement.
ii. The IVG shall include the US, the Russian Federation, the EU, the UN, and other parties, both regional and international, to be agreed on by the Parties.
iii. The IVG shall work in coordination with the Palestinian-Israeli High Steering Committee established in Article 2/11 above and subsequent to that with the Israeli-Palestinian Cooperation Committee (IPCC) established in Article 8 hereunder.
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v. The Multinational Force (MF) established under Article 5 shall be an integral part of the IVG. The Special Representative shall, subject to the approval of the Parties, appoint the Commander of the MF who shall be responsible for the daily command of the MF. Details relating to the Special Representative and MF Force Commander are set forth in Annex X.
vi. The IVG shall establish a dispute settlement mechanism, in accordance with Article 16.
The negotiators wisely recognize the need for mechanism, including international involvement, to help with the treaty's implementation. The Multinational Force mentioned in 2(v) will exist to help protect the State of Palestine.
Article 4 - Territory
1. The International Borders between the States of Palestine and Israel
i. In accordance with UNSC Resolution 242 and 338, the border between the states of Palestine and Israel shall be based on the June 4th 1967 lines with reciprocal modifications on a 1:1 basis as set forth in attached Map 1.
ii. The Parties recognize the border, as set out in attached Map 1, as the permanent, secure and recognized international boundary between them.
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2. Israeli Withdrawal
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iv. The IVG shall monitor, verify, and facilitate the implementation of this Article.
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i. The state of Israel shall be responsible for resettling the Israelis residing in Palestinian sovereign territory outside this territory.
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vi. The state of Palestine shall have exclusive title to all land and any buildings, facilities, infrastructure or other property remaining in any of the settlements on the date prescribed in the timetable for the completion of the evacuation of this settlement.
i. The states of Palestine and Israel shall establish a corridor linking the West Bank and Gaza Strip. This corridor shall:
a. Be under Israeli sovereignty.
b. Be permanently open.
c. Be under Palestinian administration in accordance with Annex X of this Agreement. Palestinian law shall apply to persons using and procedures appertaining to the corridor.
d. Not disrupt Israeli transportation and other infrastructural networks, or endanger the environment, public safety or public health. Where necessary, engineering solutions will be sought to avoid such disruptions.
The treaty satisfies the Palestinian demand that territorial negotiations start from the June 4, 1967, lines, that is, just before the Six-Day War. Recognizing the practical need for modifications, it also recognizes a principle of equality: first, modifications will be reciprocal; second, the territory exchange will be on a 1:1 basis.
To promote functional contiguity between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, in addition to geographic contiguity within each part of Palestine, the treaty provides for a corridor between the two regions.
Article 5 - Security
1. General Security Provisions
i. The Parties acknowledge that mutual understanding and co-operation in security-related matters will form a significant part of their bilateral relations and will further enhance regional security. Palestine and Israel shall base their security relations on cooperation, mutual trust, good neighborly relations, and the protection of their joint interests.
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ii. Palestine and Israel each shall:
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c. refrain from joining, assisting, promoting or co-operating with any coalition, organization or alliance of a military or security character, the objectives or activities of which include launching aggression or other acts of hostility against the other;
d. refrain from organizing, encouraging, or allowing the formation of irregular forces or armed bands, including mercenaries and militias within their respective territory and prevent their establishment. In this respect, any existing irregular forces or armed bands shall be disbanded and prevented from reforming at any future date;
3. Defense Characteristics of the Palestinian State
i. No armed forces, other than as specified in this Agreement, will be deployed or stationed in Palestine.
ii. Palestine shall be a non-militarized state, with a strong security force. Accordingly, the limitations on the weapons that may be purchased, owned, or used by the Palestinian Security Force (PSF) or manufactured in Palestine shall be specified in Annex X. Any proposed changes to Annex X shall be considered by a trilateral committee composed of the two Parties and the MF. If no agreement is reached in the trilateral committee, the IVG may make its own recommendations.
iii. No individuals or organizations in Palestine other than the PSF and the organs of the IVG, including the MF, may purchase, possess, carry or use weapons except as provided by law.
ii. The PSF shall:
a. Maintain border control;
b. Maintain law-and-order and perform police functions;
c. Perform intelligence and security functions;
d. Prevent terrorism;
e. Conduct rescue and emergency missions; and
f. Supplement essential community services when necessary.
ii. The MF shall monitor and verify compliance with this clause.
i. The Parties reject and condemn terrorism and violence in all its forms and shall pursue public policies accordingly. In addition, the parties shall refrain from actions and policies that are liable to nurture extremism and create conditions conducive to terrorism on either side.
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6. Multinational Force
i. A Multinational Force (MF) shall be established to provide security guarantees to the Parties, act as a deterrent, and oversee the implementation of the relevant provisions of this Agreement.
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iii. To perform the functions specified in this Agreement, the MF shall be deployed in the state of Palestine. The MF shall enter into the appropriate Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with the state of Palestine.
iv. In accordance with this Agreement, and as detailed in Annex X, the MF shall:
a. In light of the non-militarized nature of the Palestinian state, protect the territorial integrity of the state of Palestine.
b. Serve as a deterrent against external attacks that could threaten either of the Parties.
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h. Help in the enforcement of anti-terrorism measures.
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vi. The MF shall only be withdrawn or have its mandate changed by agreement of the Parties.
i. Israel shall withdraw all its military and security personnel and equipment, including landmines, and all persons employed to support them, and all military installations from the territory of the state of Palestine, except as otherwise agreed in Annex X, in stages.
ii. The staged withdrawals shall commence immediately upon entry into force of this Agreement and shall be made in accordance with the timetable and modalities set forth in Annex X.
iii. The stages shall be designed subject to the following principles:
a. The need to create immediate clear contiguity and facilitate the early implementation of Palestinian development plans.
b. Israel's capacity to relocate, house and absorb settlers. While costs and inconveniences are inherent in such a process, these shall not be unduly disruptive.
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8. Early Warning Stations
i. Israel may maintain two EWS in the northern, and central West Bank at the locations set forth in Annex X.
ii. The EWS shall be staffed by the minimal required number of Israeli personnel and shall occupy the minimal amount of land necessary for their operation as set forth in Annex X.
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v. The MF and the PSF shall maintain a liaison presence in the EWS. The MF shall monitor and verify that the EWS is being used for purposes recognized by this Agreement as detailed in Annex X.
vi. The arrangements set forth in this Article shall be subject to review in ten years, with any changes to be mutually agreed. Thereafter, there will be five-yearly reviews whereby the arrangements set forth in this Article may be extended by mutual consent.
Security measures are difficult not only because of the violent history between the parties, but also because of a basic asymmetry in their relationship: A State of Palestine strong enough to defend itself against Israel will leave Israel too weak to defend itself against a potential coalition of hostile states; an Israel strong enough to defend itself against such a coalition, easily would be able to reconquer Palestine. The agreed solution is a non-militarized State of Palestine protected by a strong Multilateral Force. So long as relations between Israel and Palestine are good, the MF, in effect, will help defend both states against potential external threats and will help Palestine fulfill its obligations regarding terrorism. At the same time, the MF will constitute a strong deterrent against Israel invading Palestine, first, by preventing any excuse from arising and, second, by vastly increasing the price Israel would have to pay for doing so. As much as creating a non-militarized state may be seen as a concession by Palestine, acceptance of the MF is a concession by Israel, which always has feared that such forces are ineffective in maintaining the peace and only create problems when Israel seeks to defend itself.
The State of Palestine also will benefit from not having to pay for a strong military and at least reducing the endemic risk of military, or militarized, rule.
At a practical level, this agreement is necessary politically to win the support of a majority of Israelis.
Article 6 - Jerusalem
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2. Capital of Two States
The Parties shall have their mutually recognized capitals in the areas of Jerusalem under their respective sovereignty.
Sovereignty in Jerusalem shall be in accordance with attached Map 2. This shall not prejudice nor be prejudiced by the arrangements set forth below.
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5. al-Haram al-Sharif/ Temple Mount (Compound)
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ii. Regulations Regarding the Compound
a. In view of the sanctity of the Compound, and in light of the unique religious and cultural significance of the site to the Jewish people, there shall be no digging, excavation, or construction on the Compound, unless approved by the two Parties. Procedures for regular maintenance and emergency repairs on the Compound shall be established by the IG after consultation with the Parties.
b. The state of Palestine shall be responsible for maintaining the security of the Compound and for ensuring that it will not be used for any hostile acts against Israelis or Israeli areas. The only arms permitted on the Compound shall be those carried by the Palestinian security personnel and the security detachment of the Multinational Presence.
c. In light of the universal significance of the Compound, and subject to security considerations and to the need not to disrupt religious worship or decorum on the site as determined by the Waqf, visitors shall be allowed access to the site. This shall be without any discrimination and generally be in accordance with past practice.
6. The Wailing Wall
The Wailing Wall shall be under Israeli sovereignty.
7. The Old City:
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iii. Free Movement within the Old City
Movement within the Old City shall be free and unimpeded subject to the provisions of this article and rules and regulations pertaining to the various holy sites.
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8. Mount of Olives Cemetery:
i. The area outlined in Map X (the Jewish Cemetery on the Mount of Olives) shall be under Israeli administration; Israeli law shall apply to persons using and procedures appertaining to this area in accordance with Annex X.
a. There shall be a designated road to provide free, unlimited, and unimpeded access to the Cemetery.
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11. Municipal Coordination
i. The two Jerusalem municipalities shall form a Jerusalem Co-ordination and Development Committee ("JCDC") to oversee the cooperation and coordination between the Palestinian Jerusalem municipality and the Israeli Jerusalem municipality. The JCDC and its sub-committees shall be composed of an equal number of representatives from Palestine and Israel. Each side will appoint members of the JCDC and its subcommittees in accordance with its own modalities.
Jerusalem, especially the Old City and al-Haram al-Sharif/ Temple Mount/Har Ha-Bayit, is a thorny issue, but not insoluble.
Article 7 - Refugees
1. Significance of the Refugee Problem
i. The Parties recognize that, in the context of two independent states, Palestine and Israel, living side by side in peace, an agreed resolution of the refugee problem is necessary for achieving a just, comprehensive and lasting peace between them.
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2. UNGAR 194, UNSC Resolution 242, and the Arab Peace Initiative
i. The Parties recognize that UNGAR 194, UNSC Resolution 242, and the Arab Peace Initiative (Article 2.ii.) concerning the rights of the Palestinian refugees represent the basis for resolving the refugee issue, and agree that these rights are fulfilled according to Article 7 of this Agreement.
i. Refugees shall be entitled to compensation for their refugeehood and for loss of property. This shall not prejudice or be prejudiced by the refugee's permanent place of residence.
i.. The Parties recognize the right of states that have hosted Palestinian refugees to remuneration.
4. Choice of Permanent Place of Residence (PPR)
The solution to the PPR aspect of the refugee problem shall entail an act of informed choice on the part of the refugee to be exercised in accordance with the options and modalities set forth in this agreement. PPR options from which the refugees may choose shall be as follows;
i. The state of Palestine, in accordance with clause a below.
ii. Areas in Israel being transferred to Palestine in the land swap, following assumption of Palestinian sovereignty, in accordance with clause a below.
iii. Third Countries, in accordance with clause b below.
iv. The state of Israel, in accordance with clause c below.
v. Present Host countries, in accordance with clause d below.
a. PPR options i and ii shall be the right of all Palestinian refugees and shall be in accordance with the laws of the State of Palestine.
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c. Option iv shall be at the sovereign discretion of Israel and will be in accordance with a number that Israel will submit to the International Commission. This number shall represent the total number of Palestinian refugees that Israel shall accept. As a basis, Israel will consider the average of the total numbers submitted by the different third countries to the International Commission.
Priority in all the above shall be accorded to the Palestinian refugee population in Lebanon.
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6. End of Refugee Status
Palestinian refugee status shall be terminated upon the realization of an individual refugee's permanent place of residence (PPR) as determined by the International Commission.
7. End of Claims
This agreement provides for the permanent and complete resolution of the Palestinian refugee problem. No claims may be raised except for those related to the implementation of this agreement.
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9. Property Compensation
i. Refugees shall be compensated for the loss of property resulting from their displacement.
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iii. The aggregate value agreed to by the Parties shall constitute the Israeli "lump sum" contribution to the International Fund. No other financial claims arising from the Palestinian refugee problem may be raised against Israel.
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10. Compensation for Refugeehood
i. A "Refugeehood Fund" shall be established in recognition of each individual's refugeehood. The Fund, to which Israel shall be a contributing party, shall be overseen by the International Commission. The structure and financing of the Fund is set forth in Annex X.
The refugee issue may rival statehood itself as the key issue for Palestinians. Without requiring either party to accept the other's historical narrative, the treaty creates an agreed plan to solve the refugee problem, and end the status of Palestinian refugee, by providing for voluntary settlement in the State of Palestine, including territory transferred from Israel, or other States, including Israel, to the extent, in their sovereign discretion, these states agree to accept them. I anticipate that Israel will accept very few refugees, but the principle of including Israel as a potential home is important. Moreover, Israel is likely to end up with a substantial monetary obligation.
Article 15 - Palestinian Prisoners and Detainees
1. In the context of this Permanent Status Agreement between Israel and Palestine, the end of conflict, cessation of all violence, and the robust security arrangements set forth in this Agreement, all the Palestinian and Arab prisoners detained in the framework of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict prior to the date of signature of this Agreement, [ ] , shall be released in accordance with the categories set forth below and detailed in Annex X.
Obtaining the release of prisoners and detainees is another major issue for the Palestinian side. Considering that many of these people, as the saying goes, have blood on their hands, it is an important, and vital, concession by Israel.