This blog has supported the right of Palestinians to enter negotiations with Israel based on an agreement there will be no further expansion of settlements in order to ensure they have an opportunity to achieve a fair resolution of issues. Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu, who previously demanded pre-conditions before negotiating like acceptance of the state of Israel as being Jewish, now insists there can be no pre-conditions but both sides must accept the current situation. We now urge Abbas to call the bluff of Netanyahu and enter into negotiations even though there currently ahs been somewhat of a hold on further settlement expansion. We understand concerns of Palestinians that Israel is working to crush the rights of Muslims in East Jerusalem by destroying their homes in order to build new ones for Jewish residents.
At this point in time, Netanyahu holds trump cards in any negotiation. But, negotiation is the only card left for Abbas. Come prepared with dramatic new approaches and challenge Netanyahu to reject them. We propose:
1. Jewish settlers in the West Bank can retain five percent of the area in exchange for land elsewhere.
2. Creation of a “Marshall Plan” for the region in order to develop the Palestinian economy as well as those of Israel, Egypt, Syria and Jordan.
3. Establishment of a new Middle Eastern Peace University whose faculty would be drawn from all existing nations as well as student body.
4. A commission be established to develop fair distribution of water to all inhabitants.
5. Removal of Israel’s blockade of Gaza and establishment of an international force to supervise the border.
6. Creation of a Mediterranean Union which would include Israel.
7. Those areas of East Jerusalem which are predominantly Muslim would have local autonomy.