Isaac Herzog Details His 10-point Plan for Israeli-Palestinian Peace

T. Belman. And what happens if they don’t abide like they didn’t with Oslo requirements? Who decides if they are in compliance. Israel should be able, in its discretion, to decide and then to build houses and start the 10 year period again. Of course the PA will never agree to this. Also if we are going to allow them to build in area C we should also be allowed to build there beyond the settlements.

The reason that the left and the right differ so much is that the left values peace the right values the land first and foremost. The left is so enamoured with the TSS that they ignore the danger to Israel it brings with it. The right value the land so much they are prepared suffer the slings and arrows emanating from the international displeasure whereas the left can’t stand the ostracism..

Israeli opposition leader’s plan: Sides will agree on decade of calm, during which time West Bank will be a violence and incitement-free zone; settlement construction outside blocs will be frozen, with more powers to Palestinians – only then negotiations.

By Isaac Herzog, HAARETZ

A few days ago a dramatic report by Barak Ravid appeared in this newspaper about a secret summit meeting, held about a year ago in Aqaba by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, King Abdullah of Jordan and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi.

It was on the basis of this meeting, whose occurrence the prime minister has confirmed, together with other steps taken at the same time, that I was prepared to examine with Netanyahu a national unity government in the period March-May 2016.

The information published in Haaretz on February 19 exposed a small part of the great opportunity Israel had to change the face of the entire Middle East, and which could have brought great hope to our people and to the nations of the region. The historic move, which for obvious reasons was covert, was intended to prevent more rounds of violence and bloodshed.

At the time I repeatedly maintained that Israel had a historic chance to make a promising, dramatic strategic move, which required courageous political decisions. My readiness to take a step that was seen as political suicide – after I said in the election campaign “It’s us or him” – stemmed from my uncompromising commitment to save Israel from the one-state disaster and prevent unnecessary additional fatalities on both sides. I felt it was my duty not to turn my back on the specter I saw before me.

Throughout my political life I have been committed to seek peace, so I decided to take the opportunity with an open mind, after receiving explicit requests from the major leaders in our region and in world politics. These leaders saw the Zionist Union’s joining the government as proof that Israel was serious. They even confirmed to me that Netanyahu had explicitly expressed his commitment to advance the move, in which he himself played a major role.

Regrettably, at the crucial moment Netanyahu blinked first and caved in to his rightist allies and to the sum of all his fears. He renounced his obligations and liquidated a real chance for a regional arrangement and for changing the Middle East. For my part, I was ready to bear the brunt of my political allies’ and rivals’ abuse and insults to spare my people and homeland another round of bloodshed, the kind our ministers have been promising us with characteristic arrogance in recent weeks.

Opposition Chairman MK Isaac Herzog at the Knesset.Olivier Fitoussi

President Sissi and King Abdullah made it clear again this week that the basic conditions for a regional arrangement lay in the realization of the two-state vision. Not Jordan as Tzipi Hotovely’s Palestinian state, and not the Sinai Peninsula as Ayoub Kara’s Palestinian state. We, the responsible leaders, must continue to strive for peace and for the two-state solution, because it’s the only possible way.

At this moment, in view of the Netanyahu-Trump meeting, it’s clearer than ever that today, 50 years after the Six-Day War, Israel is at a crucial intersection. At this moment hard, penetrating truths must be voiced.

One truth pertains to the Jewish settlements in the West Bank, whose dimensions now endanger Israel’s existence as a Jewish state. The rampant construction in all the settlements all the time will lead to replacing the Jewish majority state with an Arab majority state. The land confiscation law, the voices calling for annexation, including the annexation of Area C (which includes 60 percent of the West Bank), are the most tangible reflection of this threat. The large settlement blocs are part of the solution. Sweeping decisions about the continued construction in the West Bank are part of the problem.

Another truth pertains to the ongoing rule over another nation. This has reached the danger point that today threatens Israel’s moral character and democracy.

A third truth involves the need to recognize that the attempt to reach a viable peace in one move, in one conference or with a process consisting of agreed formulas and parameters for a permanent agreement, has failed. It has failed again and again – with Ehud Barak who tried it at Camp David, with Ehud Olmert who tried it at Annapolis, and with Benjamin Netanyahu who tried it with Kerry’s outline some years ago.

All those moves ended with disappointment and some even led to increased violence, hostility and suspicion among the leaders and nations.

We cannot accept the status quo, but we must also not repeat past mistakes. We must not jeopardize security, but nor can we go with open eyes toward national suicide.

Confiscation and annexing 2 million Palestinians who will demand full civil rights is not the answer. Only the two-state solution can end the prolonged, bloody conflict. The infrastructure for this existed a year ago and exists today more than ever before.

It exists in the form of a regional desire to take part in a strategic move, due to the presence of serious, strong regional allies and the common interest of Israel and our neighbors to defeat ISIS, block Iran and reach an agreement with the Palestinians. It exists thanks to the Arab peace initiative, whose principles are still valid and must be part of the agreement to separate us from the Palestinians, with the Trump administration’s backing.

These two elements – the regional infrastructure and separation – combined with moves outside the box, could serve as the foundation for a new, updated road map. This would be a realistic, balanced road map that would be the complete antithesis of Naftali Bennett’s plan.

In contrast to the government’s inaction, I suggest an updated road map for a multi-stage process that would include the following 10 steps and components.

1. Renewed ratification by both sides and the international community’s commitment to the final goal of two states, living side by side in peace and security.

2. The sides must set a time frame of up to 10 years, during which the whole area west of Jordan will be declared a place of nonviolence of any kind. They will agree on joint enforcement and uncompromising penalty for any kind of terror or incitement. The UN Security Council will adopt a resolution about it and directly supervise its implementation.

3. The two sides will move during this period toward realizing the two-state vision. Israel will continue to separate from the Palestinians by completing the wall that will protect Jerusalem and the settlement blocs, build a buffer between Jerusalem and the Palestinian villages around the city, and give the Palestinians broader authorities. These authorities will include civil powers in part of Area C, to enable urban development among the Palestinian communities adjacent to the separation fence and the large Palestinian cities. Exactly the opposite of what Bennett is demanding.

4. Israel will suspend construction outside the settlement blocs and avoid all steps to change the reality on the ground in those areas, with the exception of acts required for security, to enable implementing the two-state vision.

5. During this period, Palestinian economic development will be dramatically accelerated, with regional and international help. This will consist of urban development, rehabilitating refugee camps and developing a viable economy and industry.

6. The Palestinians will act to prevent any terror and incitement. They will also formulate a broad national agreement among the Palestinian factions, which would include the West Bank and Gaza Strip under one sovereignty. If they do so, they will be permitted to declare a Palestinian state within temporary borders and it will be clear that this state’s permanent borders will be determined only by agreement. Israel will consider recognizing the Palestinian state favorably and announce that it sees this state as a partner to a permanent status arrangement.

7. The IDF will continue acting throughout the West Bank up to the Jordan River, and around the Gaza Strip. Security coordination with the Palestinian Authority will continue and become even closer.

8. The parties will act to rehabilitate the Gaza Strip and build a port, subject to strict security arrangements, complete demilitarization and destruction of the tunnels.

9. After this period, assuming it passed without violence, the two sides will open direct negotiations, with the backing of the region’s states and the international community. The talks will be held without prior conditions, between two equal partners, seriously and resolutely and lead to a comprehensive, final peace agreement, settling all the controversial issues, setting the permanent borders and resulting in a declared end of the conflict.

10. The region’s states will publicly and forcefully support the moves, as part of a dramatic, broad regional initiative. Israel will advance the setting up of joint Middle Eastern institutions, which will act to develop the region and initiate cooperation in security, economics, water and the passage of goods and workers. Israel will propose to make Jerusalem the center of this regional community.

When a huge storm rages around us and the threat of losing Israel as our nation-state is becoming tangible, a new, realistic process must be started to implement the two-state vision.

An updated process will first of all lead to calm, in which each side will receive its due at every stage. The Palestinians will receive recognition, authority, more territory, and hope for the future. The Israelis will receive security, regional recognition and hope for the future.

It won’t be a wild, reckless stampede toward the unknown at an unknown time. Attitudes will become optimistic and the condition of complete quiet will compel the Palestinians and Israelis to make a supreme effort to prevent violence and terror.

Most importantly, the slide toward annexation – a hell of the kind that seen in Bosnia and now is seen in Syria – will be stopped. The two-state paradigm will be preserved and the peace process between the peoples will become real. The two peoples will separate from each other, the Palestinian economy will advance, the regional infrastructure will develop and the peace initiative’s principles will be implemented.

This is how we’ll save the settlement blocs and keep them under Israel’s sovereignty. It will be Zionism’s real victory. A new reality of security and mutual trust will ultimately forge a peace process and prevent disaster.

MK Herzog is the leader of the opposition, chairman of the Zionist Union and of the Labor Party.

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13 Comments / 13 Comments

  1. Bear Klein

    The idiot Herzog will allow the UN Security Council to help manage Israel and its affairs with the PA.

    Someone invite him on a one way sabbatical decade to a remote Pacific Island with no internet of phone connections please.

  2. dreuveni

    Herzog’s plan fails immediately on point 2:
    Allowing 10 years as a time limit. Is this limit automatically extended to 10 years after each terrorist attack?
    Even if not, from our collective previous experience, the Palis will simply wait for the 10 years to be over (if they ever agree to something so simple-minded) and then claim that the ball is in our court whatever the situation.
    No, this is not a plan, and getting the UNSC involved will not help either. They will always claim that it was Israel’s fault that the frustrated Palis attacked yet again.

  3. Lev Azkhar

    THE TORAH OPINION

    Isaac Herzog is not only a leftist; he is also a defeatist that doesn’t understand Israel’s present oportunity. Herzog clings to a bad dream reality, that is gone.
    His 10 points “solution” reminds me of the 10 defeatist in the Book of Numbers, Chapter 14, verses 37 and 38, that Adonai killed with the plage because they were afraid to trust in Adonai and obey his Command; just like Herzog and his likes do today.
    Out of 12 spies, only 2 lived; the brave obedient Yehosuah and Chaleb; the ones unlike Herzog.
    Here is the portion of The Torah, for us to remember this matter.

    Núm 14:37 the men that spoke evil reports against the land, even died of the plague before The Lord.
    Núm 14:38 And Yehoshua the son of Naue and Chaleb the son of Jephonne still lived of those men that went to spy out the land.

    This is something to think about.

  4. Sebastien Zorn

    More fantasies about peace. This is who we are dealing with:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5CVISBUNUA&feature=youtu.be

    Their false accusations of apartheid would be a better reality than they deserve. They should be herded into Gaza at gunpoint and surrounded by barbed wire. Nobody in or out. Raiding parties should do trap neuter and release like with street cats so they can’t breed in there. When they all die off, re-incorporate Gaza into Israel.

  5. stevenl

    For once I would like to see the plan from the Israeli Sunnis!!! Nobody cares about IL plans. They are ALL KNOWN already. Why waste our time? They have ALL been rejected by the Sunnis!!!

  6. MELECH david

    the original mandate including claim to EAST ISRAEL (east of the jordan) + u n charter article as original mandate was written. arabs being able to show occupancy during otterman period to stay as non or current citizens as long as they still reside in ISRAEL. arabs who did a runner 47-48 who can show they lived in ISRAEL prior to doing a runner, but not their extended families born out of ISRAEL. arabs who entered ISRAEL during brit occupation (as they used brit law it was occupation) be awarded u k citizenship. arabs who entered J-S during illegal Hashemite occupation leave without any reward or be charged as illegal infiltrators.
    get rid of ISRAELS current electoral disaster use u k or Canadian system for a strong gov. able to rule with competence.

  7. xxx
    Every line is full of such nonsense than even Tolkein couldn’t attempt to compete. It’s obviously from cretins like this that the Arab monsters get many of the ideas with which they torment the Jews.

    It’s really hard to believe that there is a Jew living-outside an institution- a “lie-down-and jump-all-over-me- Jew”…. walking around free, and not constrained by keepers.

    His trust in inhuman barbarians is pathetically appealing, and piteously craven, with the statement that it’s either a “sliced lengthways” Jewish state, hemmed in along the Sea…or a State which takes in 2 million bloodthirsty monsters and loses it’s Jewish identity….. He does’t seem to know that it would lose a lot more than that. So full of “ifs”, “perhapses” “shoulds” “coulds” and other crap, that it’s no wonder that the “Zionist “”Union””….would be lucky to get enough seats to get into the Knesset next election.

    Another mystery is who guides his hand from food to mouth 3 times a day..and….diapers he MUST be wearing which require changing…..

    Weeelll..let’s leave him alone in his dreams…. poor chap, that’s all he has.

    But just imagine a sub-moron like him having the chutzpah to try to persuade a strong, well-able -to-look-after-itself country to commit suicide. He talks as if he’s in a glass jar, like an exhibit in an old time pharmaceutical shop…. a cylindrical jar, so that his words come back and he can repeat them again, and again, giving renewed pleasure to the poor creature.

    A mystery why Israpundit thought it neccessary to publish this well rotted drek…it should have been shovelled straight out to the vegetable fields. To think I lived opposite his late father Hymie for several years and saw no sign of lunacy in the family.

  8. Abolish_public_education

    This politician wants us to believe that yet another state (i.e. statism) is the pathway to peace.

    Nay. The only possible way.

    I would sooner believe in the tooth fairy.

  9. MYcomment above, has been in “moderation” whatever that really means, for the past 4-5 hours. What the heck is going on. Am I on a white list or is this just a phony, because when originally on the white list, there were no “in moderstion” signs attached to every little thing. even a single word was in moderation.

  10. Rino Ouellet

    Mr. Herzog must be a very intelligent man, I didn`t get anything of what he was talking about. Of course, I wouldn`t understand a Martian either. Is he from one of those new planets floating around a dim star?

  11. M. Cohen

    What? Are you kidding me!
    No, no and no:
    No ceding an inch of Eretz Israel
    No Palestinian State
    No meeting with Abbas the Terrorist and ilk.
    This is what the Pals have in mind:
    – Eliminate Israel
    – Chase all Jews from Israel
    – Convert or die
    Just ask an Israeli with Moroccan roots: you really need to
    have you head examined!

  12. Raphael

    I commend Herzog for coming up with a plan, un-realistic though it is. Let us recall when Barak offered them 99.9% of what they said they wanted, and they still turned it down. Why did they do so? Because all they really wanted then, as now, is for Israel (and the Jews) to be gone. They could care less about having a cute little country on the “west bank”, or about improving the lives of the “palestinian people”. No peace is possible unless those attitudes change. Until then, Israel must act unilaterally in its own best interests.

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