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June 5th Initiative

An op-ed article in today's Boston Globe by the executive director of the American Task Force on Palestine and the spokesman for Americans for Peace Now demonstrates that Arab and Jewish Americans can work together for an historic compromise, "a grand deal that a majority of Israelis and Palestinians have repeatedly said they support," namely, "an end to Israeli territorial claims in the West Bank and an end to Palestinian claims inside Israel."

"The question is not whether a two-state solution is attainable. The question is whether Israelis, Palestinians, and Americans will exercise the political will to make it happen." If Arab and Jewish American organizations can work together to achieve an end-of-conflict, two-state peace between Israel and Palestine, surely we here at DKos ought to be involved with them.

The only alternative is perpetual conflict, with one or both sides engaged in the futile, and morally abhorrent, effort to defeat the other.

Israeli and Palestinian hard-liners say there will be peace only when the other side is defeated. Surrender is not an option for either side, as we have seen in 20 years of on-again-off-again violence. But repeated Israeli attempts to defeat the Palestinians militarily have not brought Israel security. And Palestinian violent resistance has hurt the Palestinian economy, people, and cause rather than force Israel to end the occupation. Neither side can defeat the other, make the other disappear, or drive the other away.

The other alternative is propounded by those, mainly on the Palestinian (and Israeli) far left, who support a "one-state solution," the revival of the old chimera of a binational Israeli-Palestinian state. This two-headed monster is as unrealistic and undesirable today as it ever was. A binational state means, for all practical purposes, dismantling the state of Israel. Would Israeli Jews ever accept that? Would Palestinians -- or anyone else, for that matter -- ever be able to impose it? Why should Israelis give up on their dream and why should Palestinians give up on their yearning for a national homeland? And how would the two communities share in government and administration?




American Task Force On Palestine: International Consensus Map



The map on the left, from the American Task Force on Palestine illustrates the international consensus on a future Palestinian State. Not surprisingly, it is consistent with maps illustrating the Clinton Peace Parameters by Shlomo Ben-Ami, Ehud Barak's dovish Foreign Minister and author of Scars of War, Wounds of Peace: The Israeli-Arab Tragedy, and President Clinton's chief peace negotiator, Dennis Ross; as well as the joint Israeli-Palestinian Geneva Initiative.



As The Economist writes in its current lead editorial, Israel's wasted victory: "For peace to come, Israel must give up the West Bank and share Jerusalem; the Palestinians must give up the dream of return and make Israel feel secure as a Jewish state. All the rest is detail."







The American Task Force on Palestine "advocates the following six principles towards a fair and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:

  1. Two sovereign states—Israel and Palestine—living side by side in peace and security based on the borders of June 4, 1967 with mutually agreed upon territorial adjustments.

  1. An end to the Israeli occupation and the evacuation of all Israeli settlements, save for equitable arrangements mutually agreed upon by the negotiating parties.

  1. A just solution for the Palestinian refugee problem, in accordance with international legality and the relevant UN resolutions.

  1. A shared Jerusalem open to all faiths, serving as the capital of two states, providing for the fulfillment of the political aspirations of both the Palestinian and Israeli peoples.

  1. Full acceptance of Israel by all Arab states, and normalized diplomatic and economic relations throughout the region.

  1. A 'Marshall Plan' style package of aid and investment for Palestine and the new Middle East."

Regarding the Palestinian refugee issue, ATFP has issued the following Statement of Principles:

The objective of ATFP is the establishment of a Palestinian state living in peace and security alongside Israel, and an end of the Israeli occupation that began in 1967. ATFP is opposed to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands, but is not opposed to the state of Israel in its internationally recognized borders.

  1. A resolution of the Palestinian refugee issue can only come about through direct negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian officials as an expression of their national policies. No other parties are entitled to negotiate on this issue. However, individuals and organizations are free to express their opinions on this issue in the spirit of free, open and respectful debate.

  1. There are many parties responsible for the suffering of the Palestinian refugees. Responsible parties include first Israel for displacing the Palestinian refugees, refusing their return and confiscating their property without compensation. Some Arab states also bear varying degrees of responsibility; some for allowing generations of refugees to languish in camps under miserable conditions, or by placing various restrictions in terms of their legal status, employment and travel rights, and others for not having done enough to ease the suffering of refugees. Finally, the Palestinian leadership has been at fault for not communicating honestly and openly with the refugees on what they can expect for their future.

  1. The right of return is an integral part of international humanitarian law, and cannot be renounced by any parties. There is no Palestinian constituency of consequence that would agree to the renunciation of this right. There is also no Jewish constituency of consequence in Israel that would accept the return of millions of Palestinian refugees.

  1. Although the right of return cannot be renounced, it should not stand in the way of the only identifiable peaceful prospect for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: a resolution based on a state of Israel living side-by-side with a Palestinian state in the occupied territories with its capital in East Jerusalem. Implementation of the right of return cannot obviate the logic of a resolution based on two states. The challenge for the Israeli and Palestinian national leaderships is to arrive at a formula that recognizes refugee rights but which does not contradict the basis of a two-state solution and an end to the conflict.

  1. As part of any comprehensive settlement ending the conflict, Israel should accept its moral responsibility to apologize to the Palestinian people for the creation of the refugee problem. Palestinians should accept that this acknowledgment of responsibility does not undermine the legitimacy of the present-day Israeli state.


Or, as the dovish Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz put it on May 27th: "without acknowledging the Jewish character of the State of Israel, there is not even a basis for dialogue." And, we might add, the same is true if we fail to acknowledge the plight of the Palestinian refugees and their entitlement to redress.

Diarist’s tags: American Task Force on Palestine, Americans for Peace Now, Israel, Palestine, Peace, Clinton Peace Parameters

June 5th Initiative

Originally posted to another American on Wed May 30, 2007 at 08:09 AM PDT.

Poll

Should the Democratic Party support the historic compromise endorsed by the American Task Force on Palestine and Americans for Peace Now?

61%27 votes
38%17 votes

| 44 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

    •  i like the way (4+ / 0-)

      you just keep trying AA. kudos and mojo.

      50 foot jesus take me home

      by howardx on Wed May 30, 2007 at 08:06:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I recommended diary BUT that map (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenskeeper, unfounded

      you use is not right. I does not show the large settlements that will be annexed into Israel.

      "Unilateralism"...we take what we want, and leave you the rest. -7.00, -2.92

      by mattes on Wed May 30, 2007 at 08:10:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's a starting point, at least (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pumpkinlove, howardx

        Which is what the conflict is in sore need of right now.  Nobody has even talked about an independent state since 2000.

      •  Thanks for the rec. As for the map, (4+ / 0-)

        it's the American Task Force on Palestine's opinion regarding (what it calls) an international consensus. I don't know, but it may be intended only to show that the Green Line must form the basis for any mutually-agreed territorial swaps.<[>

        As you're probably aware, I expect the final borders will look more like the map annexed to the Geneva Initiative.

        Geneva Accords Permanent Borders

        Al Gore should be president.

        by another American on Wed May 30, 2007 at 08:16:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Just out of curiosity (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sofia, Pumpkinlove

          Does that map include the city of Ariel as Israeli or does it hand that over to the Palestinians?

          •  I'll try to find out. nt (0+ / 0-)

            Al Gore should be president.

            by another American on Wed May 30, 2007 at 08:20:37 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Same question.. (4+ / 0-)

            ..basically as unfounded. Do you think it realistic that Israel could evacuate  Ariel, Kedumim, Emmanuel?  Maybe the map is poor quality, but that is what it appears to show, as the Ariel bloc is almost in the center of the northern West Bank.

            •  It's a good question (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              sofia, Pumpkinlove

              I was all for evacuating Ariel based on its location on the map until I found out how many people live there.  It's also never been settled or inhabited by anyone but Jews, there were no Arabs living there at the inception of the settlement.

              On the other hand, when you look at geography, it's really pretty much unsustainable.  It will have to be a painful compromise by Israel to evacuate, what, 100,000 people or something from that city?  I don't think the transfer of 100,000 people is something to be taken lightly at all, and it will be very hard for an Israeli leader to sell that to the public.

              I think they can though, and with any luck they will.  Now if only we could get the Palestinians to the table to negotiate for it.  Baby steps, I guess.

            •  Realistic and necessary. The Palestinian state (4+ / 0-)

              must be viable, including having geographic contiguity within the West Bank.

              Al Gore should be president.

              by another American on Wed May 30, 2007 at 08:34:25 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yup, it should just be acknowledged (0+ / 0-)

                That the homes of hundreds of thousands are not something to be taken lightly and that Palestinians need to negotiate for these transfers.

                •  Not "hundreds of thousands." (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Rusty Pipes, unfounded, Chilean Jew

                  For 2005, the Foundation for Middle East Peace put the total settler population in the West Bank at just under 250,000. The numbers I've generally read and heard about talk about 80% of the settlers being able to stay in settlement blocs near the Green Line that would be added to Israel (with Palestine getting equal territorial compensation). On this basis, we're talking about evacuating c. 50,000 people. That's not nothing, but, all in all, IMHO, it's a small price to pay for an end-of-conflict peace settlement.

                  Moreover, it's not as though adult settlers reasonably can have been ignorant of the fact that their rights in the premises were (at most) disputable.

                  Al Gore should be president.

                  by another American on Wed May 30, 2007 at 08:45:10 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I don't think (0+ / 0-)

                    80% of the settlers being able to stay in settlement blocs

                    ..that % includes the evacuation of the Ariel bloc.  Almost positive the Clinton parameters, which kept 80% of the settlers in place the Ariel bloc came under Israeli sovereignty

                    •  I'm not sure, you're prob right (0+ / 0-)

                      I'd also note that the offer was a first offer from Israel and Arafat refused to counter-offer at all, even an unreasonable counter-offer..  the exact definitions of which settlements stay and go will be a matter of negotiations and will probably be traded for little concessions here and there on the rest of the settlement.  Assuming they get back to the table anytime soon.

                      But in response to aA my "hundreds of thousands" number is probably too high, I should have said "10s of thousands"

              •  Necessary.. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Noah in NY

                ..agreed.  Realistic?  IMHO not so much.

            •  Yes, I think it realistic. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mattes, another American, Chilean Jew

              I think it will require planning and the building of a new city, probably in the Negev... but yes, I think it can be done, it must be done.

              Equating a terrorist leader with Moses is unacceptable.

              by Pumpkinlove on Wed May 30, 2007 at 09:05:03 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Israel could... (0+ / 0-)

              ...but the political costs of doing so internally would be very great.

              My question would be does either Livni or Ayalon have the will and leadership to do it, and if possible, how can people reinforce that will?

              The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

              by Jay Elias on Wed May 30, 2007 at 09:28:48 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  How.. (0+ / 0-)

                ..could any Israeli government hold together a coalition to accomplish this?  The political map of Israel would have to change dramatically, me thinks -- I don't see that happening anytime soon.

                •  The political maps of both Israel and (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  unfounded, howardx, Chilean Jew

                  the Palestinian Territories can change, indeed have changed, dramatically in response to external stimuli. Consider the impact on Israelis of Sadat's visit to Jerusalem. Although one cannot know for certain, my belief is that, on both sides, willingness to compromise is directly related to belief in the other side's commitment to an honorable, durable peace.

                  Al Gore should be president.

                  by another American on Wed May 30, 2007 at 09:38:59 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Well, given that (0+ / 0-)

                  apparently most of the MKs in major parties in Israel are concerned with staying in the government and nothing else, I think somebody who won an election on a mandate to seek peace and built a coalition towards that could hold it together through the rough patches, if they were good enough.

                  Livni and Ayalon do look like the contenders for that mantle, although I have no real reason to dislike Barak, I think someone new to the PM chair would have the best chance.

                •  It would have to be... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  unfounded

                  ...a Kadima/Labour coalition, to be sure.  Would it hold together?  Maybe not for long, but long enough to make the evacuation take place.

                  The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

                  by Jay Elias on Wed May 30, 2007 at 09:41:26 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I guess.. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Chilean Jew

                    ..it comes down to how one is defining that state.  The devil is in the details as they say.  I'm skeptical that Kadima, at least, is interested in a Palestinian state that resembles the Geneva Initiative, which I think is the minimum of what the Palestinians would accept and what would constitute a viable Palestinians state.

                    •  It's not the kind of state Kadima is interested (0+ / 0-)

                      in the counts, but whether the parties are interested in an end-of-conflict peace settlement. If they are, then, with or without -- most likely with -- outside negotiating help, they inevitably will end up with a deal along the lines of the Clinton Peace Parameters, Geneva Initiative, etc., or they will fail. But if they fail, the only option is to try again. Ein Breira.

                      Al Gore should be president.

                      by another American on Wed May 30, 2007 at 09:57:53 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  You would think that a government on the (0+ / 0-)

                  ropes....would be forced to do the will of the people...for once.

                  "Unilateralism"...we take what we want, and leave you the rest. -7.00, -2.92

                  by mattes on Wed May 30, 2007 at 10:08:22 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  It's the US, stupid (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                james risser

                Not calling you stupid of course. But I think the main factor that could tilt Israeli public opinion towards demanding negotiations and accepting a Geneva-type agreement would be US pressure. Israelis are scared shitless about the US getting "tired" of supporting the occupation. Just take a look at Haaretz and Rosner's column. They sure take a lot of time to analyze the public debate in the US.
                I blame Clinton and Ross for not pressuring Israel enough. What is important is not so much the real pressure on the leaders but the public pressure that would send a signal to the Israeli population. I think that if Clinton had exercised this type of public pressure during the Taba negotiations, Barak would have had the political cover to sign the deal.
                The United States must tell Israel publicly and explicitly that the Occupation is unacceptable and that its support for an occupier Israel will not be eternal. Peace will only be possible, although not certain, then.

                Shalom

                "There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people." Howard Zinn

                by Chilean Jew on Wed May 30, 2007 at 02:35:21 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The Taba negotiation began when Clinton left (0+ / 0-)

                  office. That said, I take your general point. But I would rephrase it terms of persuasion rather than pressure. US pressure has its limits, especially on matters that another country regards as of existential importance.

                  IMHO, Clinton and Ross rightly understood that Israelis required confidence and comfort to take (what they understood as) risks for peace. I would fault them, however, for not making the case for peace directly to Israelis (and Palestinians).

                  Also, the difficulty in declaring the occupation unacceptable is that that's an insufficient statement of US policy. We long ago should have been saying, and saying again, and acting on the belief that Israel's settlements policy is unacceptable. Many of the ways the occupation is conducted are unacceptable insofar as they unnecessarily restrict Palestinian movement, etc. But the US can no more deliver the Palestinians for an end-of-conflict peace settlement than we can the Israelis. And only such a settlement will extinguish the occupation altogether.

                  Al Gore should be president.

                  by another American on Wed May 30, 2007 at 03:22:35 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  you speak a good game... (6+ / 1-)

      ...but, i think this plan will come about, as soon as pigs fly, as the old saying goes...

      your attempts at pursuing this plan are admirable, but, are ultimately misguided. israel has absolutely no intention of having a fully viable palestinian state as a neighbor. a palestinian state would mean a sovereign entity with full rights and privileges associated with statehood. that would mean an army, full water rights, rights of membership in international courts, the ability to bring israel into an international forum to make their claims that have accrued over the past sixty years...the list goes on and on.

      israel is not going to put themselves in that position because they do not have to! they will always have america's support for their project of marganilizing the palestinians until they are no longer a threat to israel.

      what you are suggesting is that israel change their course 180 degrees and begin to treat the palestinians as equals in an international law/community sense, and you can not point to a single sustained instance where israel has been willing to cede their powerful position one iota towards such a plan.

      in fact, it is the exact opposite; look at a map of the west bank over the past several years and you tell me with a straight fact that israel looks as if they are not creating ever-shrinking hamlets there that further isolate the palestinians.

      you are lying to yourself, my friend.  this plan has absolutely no chance of success, absent a complete black/white conversion of the israeli government, and, that will happen, as i said earlier as soon as pigs fly.

      •  tr abuse by dfb1968 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Chilean Jew
      •  Although I uprated, "lying to yourself" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        plf515, james risser

        is an unnecessarily condescending way -- smacking of "false consciousness" -- of describing different assessments of what is and what can be.

        Do you also say that Hussein Ibish, former Communications Director for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and the many other Arab American leaders and members of the American Task Force on Palestine all are lying to themselves?

        In his current book, Jimmy Carter repeats his endorsement for the Geneva Initiative. Is President Carter lying to himself?

        But perhaps being tagged by you with false consciousness is preferable to your calling me an apologist and being ordered to "go away!"

        In these circumstances, I will only suggest that we are talking about an end-of-conflict peace settlement. As the American Task Force on Palestine-Americans for Peace Now op-ed article discussed in my diary states, such an agreement, among other things, would put "an end to Palestinian claims inside Israel."

        Al Gore should be president.

        by another American on Wed May 30, 2007 at 02:22:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  well, i see you have nothing to say... (0+ / 0-)

          ...regarding the substantive portion of my comment.  'lying to yourself' is not meant to be condescending, it is meant to show the illogical nature of your suggested plan.  most humble apologies if it offended you, and it seems it has.

          now, do you have anything to say about the comment? or would you like to dig a months old comment and whine some more about them for the sixth or seventh time?

          i assume you wanted to discuss this issue since you diary about it every once in a while...if you want to only 'dialogue' with people with whom you agree, and have agreed from the beginning of time, we have nothing to talk about; if, on the other hand, you want to address my comments with a substantive counter, i will be here...

          the fact that people on both sides of the debate think this is a 'good idea' does not in any way whatsoever make it more feasible since the primary actor in the scenario is the state of israel and you have to explain why on earth they would trade the status quo with having a legitimate palestinian state as a neighbor, as outlined in my comment.

          if you can explain this sudden proposed future epiphany on behalf of israel, you can't possibly believe your plan is anything more than a pleasant fairy tale, a comforting confection to loll on your tongue and make it look as if you are making progress towards 'peace'

          •  oops... (0+ / 0-)

            the last paragraph is

            if you can can't explain this sudden proposed future epiphany on behalf of israel, you can't possibly believe your plan is anything more than a pleasant fairy tale, a comforting confection to loll on your tongue and make it look as if you are making progress towards 'peace'

        •  i have written a diary about your... (0+ / 0-)

          ...'plan'...  you can find it here.

          please visit, aa et al. and let me know where i am mistaken.  thank you.

      •  Or (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        james risser

        as soon as the US threatens to withraw its support for the occupation. Perhaps this scenario is actually less likely than pigs flying, but at least it is phisically possible.

        Shalom

        "There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people." Howard Zinn

        by Chilean Jew on Wed May 30, 2007 at 02:39:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Or (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        james risser

        as soon as the US threatens to withraw its support for the occupation. Perhaps this scenario is actually less likely than one with flying pigs, but at least it is phisically possible.
        DFB1968, that has to be one of the most ridiculous TR I have ever seen.

        Shalom

        "There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people." Howard Zinn

        by Chilean Jew on Wed May 30, 2007 at 02:45:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  There's another problem with the map (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    unfounded, Pumpkinlove, howardx

    and it has nothing to do with politics.  The southern half of the Dead Sea is no longer wet year round.  It's now listed on Israeli maps as "Evaporation Pools".  It's sad, really.

    "I hate Illinois Nazis" - Jake

    by dfb1968 on Wed May 30, 2007 at 08:22:42 AM PDT

  •  Thanks and an apology to the Economist (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    another American, unfounded, howardx

    Over the weekend there was a short diary about an article on I/P in the Economist.

    I made some disparaging remarks, saying that, while it was certainly not objectionable, it was not really interesting or up to their standard.

    I now find that I was in error.  I was basing my remarks only on the short 'leader' article.  The main article, later in the magazine, is much longer, covers a lot of material, and does so in the Economist's usual, thorough style.

    I do not always agree with the Economist, but they make Time and Newsweek look like comic books....BAD comic books.

    If one or more of the I/P experts would like to read the full article and write a diary, I would welcome that.  I am not the person to do this:

    1. Because I am not expert on I/P and
    1. Because I am busy with ROCK THE HOUSES, and with two weekly series.
  •  As to settlements (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mattes, unfounded, howardx

    I don't think Israel should have to evacuate them.  Israel should simply tell the settlers, "we are leaving.  Our Army is leaving.  You are on your own in a new country -- Palestine.  If you wish to stay, you will have to deal with the new government, and their citizenship, employment, residence, etc. laws.  Good luck."

  •  Personally, (4+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    another American, unfounded, leftynyc, zemblan
    Hidden by:
    fugue

    Jerusalem should be Israeli.

    However, I will support any negotiated peace agreement.

    Equating a terrorist leader with Moses is unacceptable.

    by Pumpkinlove on Wed May 30, 2007 at 08:51:19 AM PDT

  •  Fugue.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    another American

    ..remove your TR's from PL's comments; there's nothing wrong with her comments in this thread. It's rating abuse and a counter-productive use of the ratings system, i.e., rewarding good behavior and punishing bad behavior.

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