Monday, May 20, 2013

The Arab Peace Initiative Makes Its Way to the Knesset

Most Israelis are familiar with the Arab League resolution from 1967 in Khartoum, Sudan—if not by name, then certainly by its principles. Its infamous “Three No’s”—no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it—made up the strategy of the Arab League for the decades to come, and validated the fears of most Israelis. Those principles meant to the Israeli public that no matter what policy may be adopted for the territories occupied in the Six Day War, Israel’s neighbors would always consider it a tumor on the map of the Middle East. That approach of the Arab world does not justify the expansion of Israeli settlements into the West Bank and Gaza, but it certainly explains in part the dwindled resistance of the moderates in Israel against their creation. 

On the other hand, most Israelis are not aware of the Arab Peace Initiative (API). I myself came across it by sheer coincidence, through a PR stunt by the OneVoice Movement. A month later I joined OneVoice, which has been working since to spread the word about it and propel Israeli politicians to give it a chance. The initiative offered to reverse the Khartoum resolution with a triple “Yes.” Yes to ending the conflict, yes to security cooperation, and yes to normalization with Israel. In 2007, U.N. General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon urged Israel to restart the peace process based on the API. The Israeli Foreign Ministry, however, had considerable reservations about the initiative. The MFA spokesman, Mark Regev, said that “if the Arab initiative is take it or leave it, that will be a recipe for stagnation.” 

knesset-caucus-cropped-openz
                                                   Dept. Foreign Minister Elkin.

For the rest of the story: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/05/20/the-arab-peace-initiative-makes-its-way-to-the-knesset.html

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