This 10-Point Plan Can Still Bring Durable and Justice-Based Peace to Palestine and Israel

Palestine Israel

In cases of prolonged conflicts analysts often explain the many factors due to which peace has not been possible and is difficult to achieve. These learned scholars often make very important points. Yet another very important additional aspect needs to be mentioned—that nothing can stand in the way of peace once there is an overwhelming desire on the part of most people for peace. Hence the efforts for peace including durable peace should never stop.

It is in this spirit that a 10-point plan for binging justice-based and durable peace to Palestine and Israel is presented below.

  1. There should be immediate ceasefire and cessation of all hostilities on both sides.
  2. A conference of Israel, the Hamas, the Palestine Authority and leading regional countries including Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Iran in particular (as well as possibly others) should be called at which the Hamas as well as all authorities will give a firm commitment to behave only in accordance with international law and to agree for peaceful co-existence on the basis of a two state solution. Within a year or so Israel will withdraw its settlements from the West Bank and all OECD countries led by the USA will be called upon to help Israel financially to overcome the economic burden of this. At the same time these countries will be asked to create a fund, to which other leading countries can also contribute, to help all victims of recent violence on both sides, with special emphasis on Gaza, so that a big and adequate program of relief and rehabilitation can be in place soon. Once all this is agreed to, then both sides should not pursue allegations against each other (of war crimes, terrorist violence etc.) as this would retard the process of peace.
  3. All hostages should be released immediately. All prisoners should be released immediately by both sides, leaving aside possibly very few whose release may cause a serious threat to peace and peace process. Their release too at a later date after the peace efforts have consolidated can be considered.
  4. A plan to share all resources on the basis of considerations of equality and justice as well as international law should be prepared. This includes resources ranging from water and fisheries to oil and gas.
  5. Peace process should be strengthened by many-sided efforts including on fronts like culture, music and sports.
  6. Inter-faith harmony should be strengthened at all levels. This should be a continuing effort. In particular consensus should be created for according respect to places of worship of others, so that in heritages sites of great importance to followers of different religions, there can be very peaceful co-existence, possibly supervised by the United Nations, and visitors of diverse religions can come to these great heritage places in conditions of safety and peace.
  7. Educational programs of all sides should emphasize peace and harmony so that the new generation can grow up with different values which are conducive to durable peace.
  8. Transparency should be promoted by all sides in place of secretive functioning.
  9. The UN, all countries and their peace movements should support this peace process.
  10. The future governance in Gaza and West Bank should be on the basis of free and fair elections with voting rights for all, and the first such election should be overseen by the United Nations. In due course of time a government common to both West Bank and Gaza can also be constituted, based on the unity of the two Palestinian territories and a constitution for Palestine can be drawn up. This constitution should be a secular constitution with equal rights to followers of all faiths. Only those political parties which (in terms of their future functioning) give a guarantee of staying away from terrorism and related activities and abiding by basic democratic norms should be allowed to contest. Palestine should remain close to the non-aligned movement, and should seek to promote and maintain peaceful relations with all neighbors.

Bharat Dogra is Honorary Convener, Campaign to Save Earth Now. His recent books include Planet in Peril, Protecting Earth for Children, Man over Machine, Earth without Borders and A Day in 2071.           

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