Geneva Accord: A chance for Middle East Peace?

Reply Thu 16 Oct, 2003 07:17 pm
A "unofficial" group of Israeli and Palestinian politicians have just come up with a 50 page peace plan they call the "Geneva Accord". I just heard discussed on NPR. I couldn't find anything on the Internet except from a quick condemnation from the Sharon government (a good sign in my book).

This plan is exactly what most rational people have been saying for years.
-Israel pulls out the settlements.
-Palestinians give up the right of return.
-Israel is garuanteed security.
-Palestine becomes a viable state.

An interesting idea is that Jerusalem will be an open city and serve as the capital of both Israel and Palestine. There is also a small amount of land exchanged -- a swath in the West Bank remains with Israel for security. The Palestinians are given some extra land in Gaza to compensate.

Both sides will need to make sacrifices. Both sides end up with a stable 2 state solution that is much preferrable to the endless cycle of violence that the current Israel and Palestinian leaders seem to enjoy.

We all know this is where we will end up if there is any good in the world. The hope is we can get here without thousands of civilians on both sides being sacrificed.

I am looking forward to learning more about the most intelligent thing to come on the international stage in many years. I am dreading the way the powers that be will oppose the end to the brutal violence on both sides that they seem relish.

I continue to fear the racism and religious fanaticism that rise to oppose any sincere push toward peace. I only hope that humanity will prevail.

May God bless the Geneva Accord -- and grand us peace!
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ebrown p
Reply Fri 17 Oct, 2003 06:44 am
Here is more information from the BBC.


The agreement settles the outstanding issues, including the right of return for Palestinian refugees, the control of Jerusalem and Israeli settlements on the West Bank.

Its basic framework looks like this:

* Palestinians would recognise Israel, which would withdraw to its 1967 borders with one or two agreed land transfers

* Palestinians would in effect give up the right of return for the millions of refugees who left or were expelled during previous wars. A few might go back, but only with Israeli agreement. Others would get some compensation

* Jerusalem would be divided administratively though not physically. The most sensitive site, the Temple Mount as Jews call it, or the Noble Sanctuary as Muslims know it, would be under Palestinian sovereignty. An international force would guarantee access for visitors. Israelis would retain the Western Wall (the so-called Wailing Wall) below

* Israel would keep some settlements, especially around Jerusalem, but the large settlement of Ariel in the centre of the West Bank would be included in the Palestinian area

* The Palestinian state would be demilitarised.

The key compromises seem to be over the right of return and the division of Jerusalem.

By giving up their cherished "right of return", Palestinians would abandon hopes of establishing a unitary state of Palestine.

By formally giving up the Temple Mount, Israelis would accept the division of Jerusalem which they have always opposed.


The people behind this document are familiar ones, known from earlier attempts at marking out the way forward, especially the Oslo agreement.

On the Israeli side, the former Labour Minister, Yossi Beilin, is the main figure, but there are others including Amram Mitzna, who briefly led the Labour Party, and author Amos Oz.

Yossi Beilin commented that his critics would say that "this is a bad agreement, that we caved in and gave away everything, but one thing they won't be able to say is that there is no [negotiating] partner."

On the Palestinian side, the leading figure is Yasser Abed Rabbo, a former Palestinian minister who called this "the start of a new era".

The Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, is said to have been kept informed, though his level of support is not clear.
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Reply Fri 17 Oct, 2003 02:22 pm
From what I have heard neither government has endorsed the plan. Israeli or Pal.
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Craven de Kere
Reply Fri 17 Oct, 2003 02:23 pm
It makes too much sense for them to do so.
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Reply Fri 17 Oct, 2003 02:56 pm
Even Arafat Is Against The Left-Wing Agreement
17:13 Oct 14, '03 / 18 Tishrei 5764

The PA itself is not in favor of the Geneva agreement formulated by left-wing Israeli politicians and Yasser Abed Rabbo. PA chief Yasser Arafat said today that that the agreement does not reflect the PA's position.

According to PA senior official Fares Kadura, who took part in the negotiations, the agreement is provocative in nature. He said its only purpose was to cause internal squabbling in Israel. Kadura even denied any intention of recognizing Israel as the Jewish State.

Tourism Minister Benny Elon said that Yossi Beilin is "cooperating with the enemy" in his attempts to advance this agreement.

The agreement, to be signed in Geneva by left-wing Israeli politicians Yossi Beilin, Avraham Burg, Amram Mitzna and others, stipulates that 100,000 Jews will be evicted from their homes in Yesha; the Temple Mount and most of eastern Jerusalem will be given over to foreign control; and that two new Arab cities will be built on Israeli land. In exchange, the Arabs are to agree to allow Israel to limit Arab refugees to 30,000 and others who are eligible for "family reunification."

Senior Fatah official Hussein A-Sheikh also came out against the agreement today. He said that those who formulated the document did so "for reasons of publicity and in order to advance their personal interests, without taking into account the real needs of the two peoples." He also said that the "Palestinian public" would never agree to any concession on the so-called "right of return."

A Tel Aviv resident has filed charges with the police against Beilin and company for "interfering with a public servant's implementation of his duties." The resident said that Beilin, Burg, and Mitzna are interfering with Israel's elected leaders from carrying out their chosen policy vis-a-vis the Palestinian Authority. It should be noted that in the United States, the Logan Act of 1799 stipulates that a U.S. citizen who "without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries out any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or any agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or any official or agent thereof, in relations to any disputes or controversies with the United States" is liable to a fine of $5,000 and/or imprisonment of up to three years.

From Israeli newspaper.
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ebrown p
Reply Fri 17 Oct, 2003 03:08 pm
This is to be expected. Sharon and the Palestinians leadership have never been willing to do what it takes to achieve peace.

This plan is workable. It leads to a secure Israel and a viable Palestinian state. It is in line with all norms of international law. And it requires sacrifice and concessions from both sides.

Sharon and Hamas have offered an alternative. Increasing violence and bloodshead. Murder of Civiliians. Destruction of Homes. Blood of children and interminable conflict.

The opposition of the leaders and extremists of both sides who are continuing this barbaric conflict is predictable but pathetic.

What is your solution Au?

Driving the Israeli's into the sea is both extreme and impossible. Continued occupation and repression of millions of Palestians is as well.

Finally there is arising a real voice of reason in the region.

Au, what is the alternative?
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Reply Fri 17 Oct, 2003 03:17 pm
Bush's roadmap was a good start. But neither side will give an inch. Nothing will work unless the will is there. One thing I am certain of is that unless the PAL can control the terrorist organizations and present a united front there can be no starting point. As for Israel since it is a democraticly elected government they will accede to the will of the people.
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ebrown p
Reply Fri 17 Oct, 2003 03:43 pm

Bush's roadmap was *nothing*, and the proof is clear. Both sides are going to need to make sacrifices. Why not specify up front what those sacrifices are going to be?

As far as the will of the people, I hope the people have the will to stop this senseless reciprocal violence.
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Reply Fri 17 Oct, 2003 04:01 pm
Simply because neither side is willing to compromise. You can only spell out the conditions that both sides are willing to accept. Presently neither side is willing to accept the others minimum requirements.
You ask what the alternative is. You are looking at it.
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