New Geneva Accords Proposals
The Geneva Initiative will be presenting a new plan for a two-state solution to the United Nations and to the Biden Administration. The Accord – Geneva Accord (geneva-accord.org)
It lays out in some detail the way the Occupation of Palestinian territory by Israel could be brought to an end, and a Palestinian state with some real autonomy could be created. It seems to be a genuine attempt to find a workable solution.
However, Jeff Halper, an active campaigner from within Israel for Palestinian rights for many decades, and our speaker at our webinar last November writes:
The proposals have been summarised as :
- End of conflict. End of all claims.
- Mutual recognition of Israeli and Palestinian right to two separate states.
- A final, agreed upon border.
- A comprehensive solution to the refugee problem.
- Large settlement blocks and most of the settlers are annexed to Israel, as part of a 1:1 land swap.
- Recognition of the Jewish neighbourhoods in Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and recognition of the Arab neighbourhoods of Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital.
- A demilitarized Palestinian state.
- A comprehensive and complete Palestinian commitment to fighting terrorism and incitement.
- An international verification group to oversee implementation..
The “two-state solution” indeed “sounds” extraordinarily sensible, as Dominic says (in the Lib Dem Voice The Geneva Accord Proposals to resolve the Palestine – Israel Conflict (libdemvoice.org), but in fact only one “side” will hate it, the Palestinians, because it institutionalizes their displacement and legitimizes Zionist/Israel rule de facto over the whole country (the truncated Palestinian mini-state notwithstanding). The Israeli “side” – and I write this as an Israeli – simply sees it for what it is, a PR stunt to cast Israel as the peace-maker and normalize its control over the country, particularly because Beilin & Co. know it will never be implemented. Its use is “sounding sensible” and thereby eliminating any other option, like a single bi-national or democratic state, that would actually resolve the conflict and not merely manage it.
You have to understand the code behind the Geneva Initiative’s plan. Referring in a few words to the points posted above:
1. “End of conflict, end of claims” is at the head of any agreement Israel proposes to the Palestinians in order to foreclose any genuine peace-making that threatens Israeli control. The Palestinians see the two-state solution, which they know places them in a Bantustan, as a step towards a single state, once the peoples begin to trust each other. Israel, ruing over 78%of historic Palestine not including the city/settlements of the West Bank it will never relinquish, wants the status quo forever, and so demands that the Palestinian signature “ends all future claims,” i.e. the completion of a just peace.
2. Mutual recognition of each other’s states and borders. The issue isn’t only a Palestinian state, its whether that mini-state on truncated enclaves is genuinely sovereign, territorially coherent, in control of its borders and economically viable. The answer is no. If you read the fine print in the Geneva agreement, Israel keeps its main settlement blocs (bullet 5), control of all the borders, control of the airspace and the electro-magnetic sphere (communications), military control (bullet 7), Palestinian foreign relations. Bullet 6 is just on paper. There is no more Palestinian “East Jerusalem,” it just does not exist anymore as a coherent urban area. It is just a bunch of small, disconnected Arab neighbourhoods (think Sheikh Jarrah). Still sound extraordinarily sensible?
3. “Comprehensive solution to the refugee “problem” means, in Israeli code, no refugees come back into Israel, from where they originated. If the Palestinian mini-state on enclaves on 22% of Palestine wants to accept the 5 million refugees, that’s not our affair.
Just look at the list. It revolves ALL around Israel concerns and demands. Is there even one small point that indicates any concern for whether the Palestinians can actually build a future for their children? If you were a Palestinian, do you even find yourself in this plan? The time has finally, finally, finally come to leave the moribund two-state solution behind and begin to think about real, just peace-making. Jeff Halper 17th Feb 2022