This is the first time I have seen a peaceful proposal for achieving an end to conflict, and I think it is particularly remarkable because it is written by a rabbi and insists on fair treatment of every nation and culture involved in the conflict.
Rabbi Lerner asks the question
"[W]ho in their right mind would want this struggle between Israel and its Arab and Muslim neighbors to continue for decades to come?"
"Only extremist nuts, who should not be allowed to prevail."
His peace proposal includes 5 terms outlined below the fold.
Creation of 2 states
Create a Palestinian state and recognise unequivocally the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state.
The Palestinian state should include all of the West Bank and Gaza. The border between Palestine and Israel should be adjusted to include the Israeli settlements already in existence near the border but an equal amount of land from Israel should be given to Palestine.
Israel offers special immigration rights to Jews from around the world who are escaping religious persecution but must provide full equal rights to its minority populations. Similarly, Palestine would provide a haven to Palestinians from around the world but must provide full equal rights to all of its residents, including its minorities.
Reparations to refugees
Reparations to Palestinian refugees who lost property or livelihood from 1947 - 2006, and to Jewish refugees from Arab lands who lost property or livelihood from 1948 - 2006, should be funded by an international consortium.
Total ban on teaching hate
(I love this one.) All regional media, education systems, textbooks and religious institutions will be supervised by an international council to ensure that hatred or denigration of another group is not being promulgated.
Security from terrorists
International forces will protect both Israel and Palestine from terrorists, each other and any outside forces that might attack them.
Truth and Reconciliation Process
A process similar to what took place in South Africa would allow participants to publicly confess their acts of violence or human rights abuses, leading to reconciliation. Those who do not own up to their actions may be referred to a War Crimes Tribunal.
The point of this process is to bring everyone to the realisation that we are all part of one human family and that our own well-being depends on the well-being of our fellow humans.
The path to peace must in face be peaceful. Non-violence is not just the goal, but the means.
Once the 5 terms are in practice, Rabbi Lerner suggests a "Global Marshall Plan" where the G8 countries would apply 5% of their GDP for 20 years to "eliminating global poverty, hunger, homelessness, inadequate education and inadequate health care."
Lerner feels (and I agree) that terrorists would find less and less support from the populace and over time would find it harder to recruit volunteers.
We would "conquer" terrorism (if one can ever conquer a tactic) as well as bring lasting peace and prosperity to the Middle East.
The other big bonus with this proposal is that it would bring spiritual growth to the countries providing the support, not just to the Arabs, Muslims and Jews. And that will benefit the whole world.
Front-paged at The Next Agenda.