I was curious as to your opinions on what a realistic peace between Israel and teh Palestinians would look like.  I am not asking for your ideal situation but a practical one that you believe would be accepted by both Jews and Arabs. What red lines do you think neither side would cross and where is there room for compromise.  Lets try to keep this thread civil without attacking anyone.

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East Jerusalem should be under the sovereignty of the Arabs, but a certain part could be under the sovereignty of both like the religious areas with a rabbinical council working with the waqf and so on." - I dont see Israelis agreeing on this... The old city, city of david , mount Olives are the heart of the Jewish religion.  The temple mount is the place Jews have prayed towards for 3,000 years and is the holiest place for Jews worldwide.  I do not see how Jews would allow Arabs to control these areas.  I can see how maybe an international force would control these areas while all the Arab villages in East Jerusalem go under Arab sovereignty and the Jewish under Israeli.  Remember almost 200,000 Jews live in East Jerusalem as much if not more than the Arab population.


"Israel would not accept all those refugees, but it could acknowledge what occurred and accept a token number of say 200-300,000 and help the rest settle in the West Bank" - here too I think there is an issue.  I think maybe a few thousand (single digits) refugees will be let into Israel and the rest will be compensated.  I also think that there will have to be room left to recognizes the hundreds of thousands of Jews who were expelled from Arab countries in the 40's and 50's. There will probably be some sort of request for mutual compensation or at least mutual  responsibility.


As for the border with Jordan- Israel would not want Palestinians there and might declare it a weapon free zone that will be policed by international force.


I cannot imagine Israel would let Jews live under a Palestinian state.  You can see what happened in Gaza - they transfered all the 10,000 inhabitants.  I think all teh major settlement block will exist and there will be a greater land swap within Israel proper.


All this would only happen if the Palestinian state is demilitarized. Also there will have to be international assurances by the US and UN as to Israelis security.


After saying that, I dont think this can happen any time soon.  Israel has to firmly trust Palestinians.  If what happened in the Gaza happens in the west bank - it would make life in Israel not tolerable...





"East Jerusalem has Jews.  That's true.  The Negev has Arabs should the Negev be part of Palestine" - the diffrence here is that Israel has internation sovereignty over the Negev and it is not in dispute.  East Jerusalem is disputed land both Arabs and Jews claim it as their own. There is also a diffentr approach Israel claims the land is disputed while Palestinians claim it is occupied.  Israel says that since there was never a Palestinian state there is nothing that is inherently Palestinian.  For example empty hills in the west bacnk where no body live, who does it belong to?


Thats why I believe the idea of what ever is Jewish remain in Jewish state and Arab can be in the Palestinian state. of course some minor corrections should be made to allow contigous land as possible. This might be done through "safe Passage and bypass roads, transfering civillians should be the last choice.

Important to note the for Jews there is no place in teh world more holy then Jerusalem and the temple mount.  They can not and will not allow Arabs to control the areas.  This means any agreement with an international force will require free and open access to all religons to all site including allowing Jews to finally pray on the temple mount.


"I think the number for refugees is way too low.  A few thousand out of 4.5 million?" - 100% it is purely symbolic and perhaps in some case family reunification.  Remember 60 years ago there were millions of refugees, after the holocaust and world war 2.  Vast majority of the we resettled in different areas and did not go back to their home.  In fac the only refugees from that time period who still exist are the Palestinian and this is mostly due to the fact that Arab countries did not accept them and integrate them into their society mostly for political reasons.  As Ehud Barak said when Mideastern Jews cwere thrown out of their countries we greeted them as brothers not as refugees - that is why there are no Jewish refugees from the flight of ARab countries.


By the way vast majority of emigration form Arab countries were being forced out: .  I have plent of friends who had a great life in their Arab coutries till they were forced to leave and everything they had was taken from them.


As for Palestinian refugees if you ask most Israelis - they will tell you something to thjis effect : - remember Arab refugees were created in a context of war started by Arab countries - there was nobody going around and systematically forcing civillians from their home, although there are always exceptions.


In terms of collective responsibility of the Arab world.  Any peace deal with Palestinians will have to be in a greater context with peace with Arab countries.  They will have to accept responcibility for theri part in the making of refugees.






I think Gershon is helping to set out the vision eg in his latest Jerusalem Post article


"When the Palestinians take to the streets, the squares and the checkpoints in mass nonviolent demonstrations, they will win. We will eventually sit with them and negotiate final borders, and we will find a way to share Jerusalem as the capital of two states, and we will find a common way to address the refugee issue.

And when it is all over, we will thank young Palestinians for leading us to our freedom and our liberation, because we Jews, we Israelis, do not want to occupy another people. We want to live in peace with all our neighbors. So in the name of Israel, in the name of Palestine and in the name of peace, I say to the people of Egypt – thank you!"


Encountering Peace: Thank you in advance, Jerusalem Post

By GERSHON BASKIN 02/14/2011 


Stewart, I would appreciate we stick to the topic...what do you think is a viable peace agreement.



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