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Arab Peace Initiative: Israeli- Palestinian Joint Statement


We are pleased to bring to your attention this important joint statement of Israelis and Palestinians.

On the 28th of this month, the Arab League Summit will be held in Riyadh/ Saudi Arabia. One of the questions that are facing the summit will be: What to do in order to promote the Arab Peace Initiative adopted by the Arab Summit of Beirut 2002?.

The significance of the Arab Peace Initiative is that it provides all interested and concerned parties with a comprehensive solution process in order to solve all the aspects of the Middle East conflict. For Israel it’s significance is that it provides Israel with recognition, normalization and security guaranteed by 22 Arab countries together provided it withdraws from all the Arab territories occupied in 1967 and provided it adheres to “an agreed upon just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem that is achieved in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolution 194”. For the Palestinians it means the establishment of a Palestinian independent state based on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital. For the Syrians it means the return of the Golan Heights.

With the impasse in the peace process, and with the failure of the gradual solutions in the last 15 years, the Arab Peace Initiative provides the alternative way-out towards comprehensive peace and reconciliation.

We, the undersigned, call upon you to immediately act in cooperation with the civil society organizations in your country and with your network in order to:

1) Urge all Middle Eastern governments and in particular the Palestinian and the Israeli ones to join the Arab Peace Initiative in order to open the door for a comprehensive peace process, and to a final solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict.

2) Urge Israeli and Palestinian civil societies to mobilize Israeli and Palestinian public opinion in support of this process and its declared objectives
3) Call your government to act in that direction.

Please also develop any other activities that you feel necessary through statements, joint statements, meetings with the decision makers, or any other type of activities.

In order to inform the others about what we are doing in this regard, please send us the information to walid@panoramacenter.org , or Izhak: schnell@post.tau.ac.il , samankhoury@pdf-palestine.org , Dan: jacobson@post.tau.ac.il.

Good Luck and Best Regards

Walid Salem, Izhak Schnell, Saman Khoury, Dan Jacobson
Bringing Peace Together Project

1) Dr. Fadwa Al-Labadi , Art College in Al-Quds University
2) Saman Khoury , Peace and Democracy Forum
3) Hanna Seniora , IPCRI
4) Ziad Abu Zayyad , PIJ Editor
5) Walid Salem , Panorama Center, and the Society for Democracy and Community Development
6) Eng. Ali Abu Shahla/ Gaza ,
7) Abdullah Kisswani, The Center for Citizenship and Democracy Transformation
8) Iman Ratrout , Al-Quds Open University
9) Usama Abu Karsh , Combatants for Peace
10) Sulieman Al-Khatib, Combatants for Peace
11) Sami Al-Jundi , IPCRI
12) Ashraf Al-Ajrami/Gaza , Writer
13) Ata Al-Qaymari , Director of Al-Masdar Center
14) Adel Ruished , Lecturer in Al-Quds University
15) Lily Feidy , Secretary General (MIFTAH)
16) Dr. Ahmad Majdalani,
17) Dr. Salma Majdalani,
18) Sami Al-Kilani, Palestinian Writer
19) Jonathan Kuttab, Lawyer
20) Nadine Hassassian, Daughter of Ambassador to London Prof. Mannauel Hassassian
21) Dr. Nazmi Al Jubeh ,
22) Naim Ashhab ,
23) Suleiman Abu Dayyeh , Palestine Desk Officer for Fr. Nauman Foundation: Palestine
24) Dr. Yasser Abu Khater , Legal Advisor
25) Michael Younan, GIS CAD Mapping and IT Partner
26) Fadel Tahboub ,
27) Dr. Yousef Natsheh,
28) Abdullah Tayeh : Gaza ,
29) Dr. Mahmoud Kalifeh : Gaza, Writer
30) Rajab Abu Sarriyeh: Gaza , Writer
31) Salem Abu Salem: Gaza , Ministry of Information/Gaza
32) Akram Atallah , Journalist and Writer
33) Dr. Faisal Awartani, Chief Executive Officer: Alpha International
34) Dr. Mohammed Dajani ,
35) Dr. Munther Dajani,
36) Qaddoura Fares, Previous PLC member
37) Rami Nasrallah, Director International Peace and Cooperation Center
38) Zahra Khalidi, Palestine Israel Journal
39) Faisal Al-Shawa: Gaza, Engineer
40) Nabil Abu Mieleq: Gaza, Engineer
41) Mohammed Al-Talbani: Gaza, Head of the House of Commerce in the Middle area of Gaza
42) Hayat Abu-Saleh, the occupied Syrian Golan Heights
43) Fahmi Al-Za’arir, Head of Fatah Youth in West Bank
44) Haitham Arar , Head of the Palestinian Federation of Women- Ramallah Branch
45) Wafa Abdel Rahman, Director/ Filastiyyat Center/ Ramallah
46) Walid Al-Bayed, Head of Fatah/ Ramallah
47) Walid Wahdan, Fatah/ Ramallah
48) Hijazi Al-Ja’abari, Fatah/ Hebron
49) Noor Eddin Shihadeh, Cultural Committee/Tulkarem
50) Hisham Abdel Razeq, Previous Minister of Prisoners
51) Sufian Abu Zaideh, Previous Minister
52) Jihad Abu Znead, PLC Member
53) Said Zeedani
54) Talal Assayad , Fatah/ Al-Tour
55) Rima Rizeq, Secretary
56) Rima Hawwash, Administrative Assistant
57) Fadwa Nummar, Volunteer
58) Wafa Bukhari, Social worker
59) Bassam Qawasmi, Employee
60) Rana Izhiman, Secretary
61) Ra’eda Shabaneh, Employee
62) Najwa Silwadi, Al-Quds University Community Services Center
63) Omar Khatib, Director of Tourist Company
64) Ziad Shamali, Head of Al-Zitinieh Center
65) Iman Narsely, Women Salon
66) Khowla Hirbawi , Social Worker
67) Adel Awadallah, Building Contractor
68) Mohammed Salameh , Head of Al-Oyoun Center
69) Wael Shabab, Director in the Ministry of Youth and sports

Supporting Israeli Signatures for Joint Statement

Ilan Gilon (Former MK)
Eti Livni – Former MK
Janet Aviad
Amos Oz
Prof. Rachel Alterman
Prof. Raphael Walden MD, Physicians for Human Rights
Dr. Zvia Walden
Mossi Raz – Former MK, PN
Prof. Galia Golan – PN
Herzlia Efrati – Machsom Watch
Anat Maor - Former MK
Avshalom (Abu) Vilan – MK
Ran Cohen – MK
Haim (Jumes) Oron – MK
Daniela Yoel
Dr. Zvia Greenfield
David Grossman
Yael Dayan – Deputy Mayor of Tel-Aviv, Former MK
Reuven Kaminer – PN
Dr. Noam Kaminer
Prof. Daniel Bar-Tal
Yehudit Korin
Yaron Friedman
Prof. Moshe Maoz
Dror Mizrachi
Adv. Yfat Sollel
Rachel Bar-Or
Dr. Abigail Jacobson – Hands of Peace
Prof. Dan Jacobson
Dror Etkes – PN
Naftali & Naomi Raz – Peace Initiatives
Frof. Yitzhak Schnell
Daniela Gordon
Yair Tzaban – Former Minister
Prof. Naomi Chazan – Former MK
Dr. Doreet Hopp
Prof. Dan Bar-On
Yosi Marziano
Prof. Dahlia Moore
Dr. Edy Kaufman
Prof. Gad Barzilai
Hillel Schenker – Co-Editor PIJ
Zvi Kesse
Prof. Yigal Elam
Roni Ferber
Dr. Avner Ben-Amos
Prof. Gabi Salomon
Dr. Baruch Ovadia
Gershon Baskin
Elisheva Eitan – Machsom Watch
Ela Greenberg
Prof. Avi Sagi-Schwartz
Danny Gal
Dr. Danny Filk, MD – Chair, Physicians for Human Rights
Shaul Arieli – Geneva Accords
Prof. Tamar Herman
Noga Kadman
Dr. Itzhak Levav MD
Prof. Nissim Calderon
Daniela Beilin
Idit Nathan
Dr. Riva Bachrach
Judith Harel
Michael Mitzman
Prof. Joseph Neuman
Sara Rose
Hagit Ofran
Dr. Menachem Klein _Geneva Accords
Dr. Dorit Eldar-Avidan
Sheila Shoenberg
Yair Inov – PN ( Peace Now)
Rany Trainin
Latif Dori
Adv. Gabi Laski
Ari Kernerman
Benjamin Perl
Dror Mizrachi
Dan Keidar
Alex Massis
Prof. Oren Yiftachel
Dr. Elie Cohen-Gewerc
Miriam Granot
Dina Smadar
Prof. Avshalom Meir
Moshe & Lea Sluzki
Gila Svirski
Dr. Dave Kimche
Sharon Dolev
Judith Hefetz
Silvia Bujavi
Dr. Izhak Greenberg
Sami Michael
Yonah Michael
Susie Becher
Angela Godfrey-Goldstein
Clara Rubinowicz – Lewi
Dr. Anat First
Prof. Elie Podeh
D.r Ami Isseroff, Director, MidEastWeb for Coexistence

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Replies: 13 comments

Whilst the vast majority of people in Palestine and the Middle-East live in ever-increasing poverty, there will be no solution to the Middle-East conflict. It is therefore not the differing multiple religious beliefs, ethnicity or a person’s skin colour that is ultimately the problem, but innovative economics that will be at the very heart of any future solution. This can be seen clearly in the ‘West’ where previously warring tribes/nations now live in harmony due to economic interests and no more. Indeed, EU and US thinking is fundamentally based on this premise and where civil wars and wars in general have been eliminated. The reason is not political solutions, but the application of innovative economic strategies that bind nations together.
Considering this fact, Condoleezza Rice’s many trips, including the current one, are ultimately doomed to failure due to the fact that applied ‘Innovation’ is not seen as even part of the crucial solution. In this respect currently only politics are considered as the only answer in town and where by just giving money will not help at all in the long run. Indeed, this is absolute madness, as so-called integrative politics and religious beliefs in the Middle-East conflict have never worked, as they will not do presently. For whilst senior politicians discuss a political solution, ‘Innovative solutions’ are totally disregarded.
Therefore confronting this un-resolving and contradictory political mindset and thought pattern that has not worked in decades is therefore the most crucial issue here. Indeed, politicians have to move away from a totally political solution perspective to one where politics is surmounted by overriding ‘innovative solutions’ in the ‘field’. Unfortunately our so-called global peacemakers appear to not to have this ‘vital’ knowledge, do not comprehend the unparallel power of Innovation and that where in the end, the solution ultimately resides. Therefore not until an international political consensus is formulated and grounded in innovative solutions/and strategies for regional and global capacity building, little will change at all in these war torn countries. In this respect ‘applied Innovation’ is the ‘only’ end game in town and where our political peacemakers should unquestionably come around to this way of thinking. For if not, the Middle-East could very well become not just a regional problem, but an overriding one with global implications for us all.
Regrettably though as is always the case, the disservice that our politicians do for mankind is that they will not change their ways of thinking or even their entrenched views.

Dr. David Hill, Chief Executive
Bern, Switzerland
UK Postal Address: P O Box A60, Huddersfield, HD1 1XJ, United Kingdom
UK Tel:0044(0)1484 537181
26th March 2007

Posted by david hill @ 03/26/2007 11:08 PM CST

The theme that keeps repeating itself, no matter what category of society you drill down to is; "The haves" dictate the progression of "the have nots". In the western civilization there is a pecking order in which the USA seems to be at the top. Britan seems incapable of making their own military descisioins without the consent of the US. Israel seems to follow this pattern though they seem to be at the mercy of necessity. They must act independently at times when their security is threatened. Of course the US being the economic power house of the west allows them to have a great reach into the political decisions of other western nations. The other western nations seem to act as a functional proxy to the wishes of the USA. The arab nations' top dog appears to be Iran at the moment. Iran is still a small fish in a big pond, not capable of pulling the other Arab nations out of poverty. Maybe this is why we in the US fear them gaining nuclear technology. Will they go the route of north Korea and hold us hostage with the technology or will they somehow over-come the economic strain that exists all around them and use it for fuel only? What exactly is it the Arab nations fear from the west? Obviously, they don't like Israel being our stepping stone into their region. Aggression is nothing more than the response to fear. If we can answer what it is we fear of them and what they fear of us, we may then begin negotiating a resolution. So far, we have only pointed fingers and lobbed bombs. As long as we continue to point fingers and call eachother names, we will not hear what the other side needs. It is silly in today's world that we cannot put away all the excuses (religion, race, nationality) and actually discuss the real issues. Unfotuneately one major issue still remains to be a road block between the west and many Arab countries. Though we still trade with some of them and are not innocent of the crimes ourselves. Human rights. When a nation treats it's dogs better than it's people, it is hard for us in the West to imagine giving aid to ro doing business with them. And that is the political angle our leaders use to justify what is really just economic black balling. So we are still at an impass, because we cannot aid those that would torture their people, and yet until those nations are economically secure those types of leaders will remain in power. Dictatorships do not exist in nations that are wealthy. They require the people to be submissive and broken. So, I guess my question is, how do we aid the people without aiding their masters? The big picture is there are armed thugs holding nations hostage, demanding respect and a piece of the pie from the rest of the world. How do you resolve that?

Posted by OMFG @ 03/27/2007 08:05 PM CST

OMFG raises an interesting issue about the development of democracy and the end of dictatorship. He is right about the link between poverty and dictatorship. He misses however that the root of both sits squarely within primarily feudal social structures with a gender determined primo genitor hierachies.
He raises the issue of western intervention only in conflict terms. Western intervention in relation to aid and intervention through political and economic influence to shield these dictatorships from the consequences of their actions also has a destructive impact.
Aid to the Third World massively reduced infants mortality and extended life expectancy. But it was not accompanied by appropriate social change and economic development. The consequence has been population growth far in excess of the societies ability to sustain them.
The repeated interventions to protect dictatorships from military consequences has impeded the development of the internal crises that societies need as a catalyst for development. Had the developed world stood back from the Arab-Israeli wars and allowed them to develop fully, rather than seeking to impede Israels activity it is questionable whether the "Arab Street" would so enthusiastic for war. Nothing altered European attitudes than total war where bombing struck deep into civilian centres.
Would the Syrian or Egyptian dictatorships have survived if Israel had struck Damascus and Cairo seeking to cause maximum destruction of the civilian infrastructure? What would have been the consequences if the Aswan Dam had been destroyed?
I am far from suggesting that total war is desirable. But we really need to understand how these Third World societies have developed and the degree of social change that must occur long before peace can be achieved. IMO the elevated prospect of an Arab-Israeli Peace Treaty delivering stability across the ME is a mirage. If it were to occur the dicatorships would lose the cloak of deception, but they would not willingly change. In fact such a treaty may augur more bloodshed as civilian populations challenge the continuation of oppression and the dictators seek to hold on to power.

Posted by Rod Davies @ 03/28/2007 01:21 PM CST

I'm not sure I'm reading your post correctly Rod, but it does raise another question that I didn't think of before. Humans do seem to persist in the same behavior unless someone or something intervenes. Will the opressive govenments reamin in power unless the people suffer enough to rise up against them? I can't think of any other scenario in which change has ever come about. The dictatorships will most certainly not change if they do not suffer any consequences for their actionis. Saddam for one, did not change. The UN and other organizations continued to provide aid to the people of Iraq. This aid was diverted from the people and used for Saddam's personal use, leaving the Iraqis still without aid. I noticed in the list above that alot of the signee's were from Fatah. Where are the Hamas signatures? Making peace with half of the Palestinians will not stop the attacks on Israel. Israel has always had a policy of agression against those that attack them. Though the Palestinains are separated by their political views they are still the same blood. A family that contains both Fatah and Hamas sympathizers will still feel hatred if the Hamas members are injured or killed by Israeli reprisals. I would imagine any Israeli military acts against any Palestinian would still be viewed as an attack against all Palestinians. They like most all people, I'm sure, have a sense of national pride, racial pride, etc. So, how does Israel make peace with some Palestinians and call it a day? The Palestinian government must be in a position to control their people. If a significant number of Americans were to routinely attack Mexican border cities, we would be at constant war with Mexico. The citizens of the Palestinian nation must thirst for peace instead of war. until the consequences of their actions, and their neighors actions outweighs their hatred for Israel, the war will continue. This is a hard reality for us Americans, as alot of us view the Palestinians as we do the Navite Americans. I for one absolutely see it that way, being a Native American. But the violence has to end before peace talks. That is the only way. Israeli squatters must stop shooting at the Palestinians in the fields and the Palestinains must stop blowing themselves up in hopes that they will gain respect from the people they kill.

Posted by OMFG @ 03/28/2007 06:51 PM CST

The Arab peace initiative does want Israel to withdraw from jerusalem.
It does happen that in Jerusalem does lie the most sacred jewish site: The wailling wall.
Besides Arabs offer peace if Israel does agree to a "just solution" to the palestinian refugee problem.
What this that just solution ?
According to the arab peace initiave :

"II- Achievement of a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem to be agreed upon in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolution 194. ".

Resolution 194 does say : " 11. /..../ that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so..."
In other words : Arabs offer peace to Israel in case Israel does open its borders to millions of palestinians.

Posted by peter42y @ 03/29/2007 08:02 AM CST

May I suggest that 194 refers to the individuals displaced by the 1948 war and not their descendants and that the UNSC regarded it as such. The return of the descendents of refugees is not an international legal right. I would also suggest that 194 does not include any person would emigrated for whatever reason prior to the 1948 war, nor can include persons of primary foreign nationality.

Posted by Rod Davies @ 03/29/2007 09:38 AM CST

OMFG - the problem for almost the entirety of the 3rd World is addressing the needs of the growing youth population. In the next 10 years millions of present day children will become adults. But there is no work for them and no prospect that they can ever share in the wealth of the developed world. IMO there needs to be a total rethink of our socio-economic structures to address this, and to recognise that improvements in health but be accompanied by massive social change and economic development. In UK there has been an approx 40+% fall in male earnings in relation to domestic products over the last 40 years. The only thing that has sustained UK has been access to 3rd world products which have fallen in price due to over-production.
This si the same problem that faces the entire ME. This situation is what facilitates war.

Posted by Rod Davies @ 03/29/2007 02:01 PM CST

Rod, I never thought of that outside the context of the US. I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but have wondered if that was the basis for America's last several great wars: Desert Storm, Viet Nam, the Korean war and the current middle east conflict. It seems to me we had really shakey excuses for engaging in these conflicts, and most of the official grounds for war was attacks on American intrests. It's funny to me that none of these countries have attacked the United States, yet, they somehow threatened our instrests? War has become globally, a way for colonial nations to secure their economic status and not the security of their people. It appears to me that in the States, we are extremely worse off financially than most know and are blowing our last wad to try to keep the empire alive. Just as the UK, the US depends on low cost imports. China is buying up our debt, which leaves us in a very bad position for negotiations with them. Our jobs are being outsourced to cheaper labor on a daily basis. It seems to me the great social change began years ago. Economic leveling of the playing field is underway. Either we are headed into an era of continuous war or some yet to be seen catalyst will spring up to prod us to change our economic system to a debtless based system. I can't imagine humans changing thier methods of amassing wealth after all these millenia.

Posted by OMFG @ 03/31/2007 02:01 AM CST

Am pleased to read this but distressed at the instant statement pretalks, prediscussions, pre-anything, of Israeli withdrawal from *all* territories captured in '67. Then, apparently, there's nothing for Israel to negotiate. Just say "yes" and it's good to go, right?

Am surprised that so many, even amongst those of us leaning left, have no qualms about just saying good-bye to the Old City of Jerusalem and the Kotel.

Negotiate. Please. Don't just say no ... but don't just say yes, either. Talk and reach common ground ... and compromise and accomodation from both sides.

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Posted by Bwep @ 04/12/2007 02:48 PM CST

The Peace Plan presented to the Israeli's is in reality a "trap". If the Arabs really wanted "peace", they could have settle some time ago and demonstrated their earnest intentions by abiding to at least one of the many "cease-fires" they were to observe. Serious negotiations can only be conducted when one has demonstrated by words and deeds that they mean to abide by the tenents of the plan on the table. To enter into negotiations with a party who has a "history" of circumventing the terms of the agreement before the "ink is dry" is to parley with the devil himself. Peace at "any price" is not peace at all.

Posted by S. Flakes @ 04/21/2007 06:48 AM CST

I have not visited this web site in quite a while but I see not much has changed. How dare those people request to have peace in the middle east, they should be ashamed of themselves for thinking such horrible thaughts. It is clear that most of the people who visit this site and some of those who comment are not interested in peace for the middle east. It is sad to see people who are supposed to be educated twist everything and turn into money. When will these educated people learn that OCCUPATION will not be tolerated and will be the cause of most problems in the middle east?????
Some take the arab peace proposal and make it an economic issue. The people who are poor are not fighting Israel to make a few extra bucks. The Israeli occupation will never be accepted, try and get that idea. The arab proposal will solve the most dangerous part of the problem in the middle east. Some people are saying that the return of Palestinians means the end of Israel. How can that be when some Israel towns and cities wouls welcome a large number of Palestinians accoring to what was placed on this site a few months back?????
Also, once (even if in a hundred years and many thousands killed and billions of dollars wasted) Israel agrees to the arab propsal, a JUST solution will be found with the agreement of all sides and not dictated by Israel.
Some are affraid of the arabs dictating to Israel, well it's about time the arabs started dictating since 50 years of Israel dictating has done nothing but make the middle east a killing field.
It should also be noted that the thinking that Israel is "invincible" should be forgotten since a few hundred members of Hizballah caused major damage to the invincible army and caused the loss of the stupid war that Israel made on Lebanon in 2006. I am certain that most readers of this site will disagree with me and for those I say go ahead and purchase the game that is being advertised above "World of Warcraft"

Posted by Mike @ 04/28/2007 07:45 PM CST

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