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Encountering Peace: Our window of opportunity

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By Gershon Baskin, co-chairman of IPCRI, the Israel Palestine Center for Research and Information.
The Jerusalem Post, June 5, 2013 (Excerpts)

 

The ticking clock is not the closing of the window on the two-state solution, but on the political and perhaps physical lifespan of the current Palestinian leadership, which is truly willing and able to make the necessary concessions for peace and end the conflict.

If, God forbid, the territories explode into another round of violence, thousands of Palestinians and Israelis will once again lose their lives and billions of dollars in damages will be done to the physical infrastructure of the Palestinian towns and cities. All of this is unnecessary and leaders that allow it to happen will be committing criminal acts against their own people.

The Kerry initiative, backed by President Barack Obama, is the best way forward for both sides. Israel will have to come to terms with a nonmilitarized Palestinian state on 22 percent of the land between the river and the sea, that has control over its own external borders.

The sovereign Palestinian state will accept security arrangements that ensure and protect Israel against the possibility of our neighbors creating a terrorist enclave with the ability to shoot planes out of the air at Ben-Gurion Airport. This has to be part and parcel of the deal.

The Palestinians have to accept an agreement that will implement the Palestinian refugees’ right of return to their state and not to Israel proper. We will both have to accept sharing Jerusalem, enabling both states to have their capitals in Jerusalem without dividing Jerusalem physically. There are answers and solutions available for every single detail of a negotiated agreement that will enable each side to enjoy peace and security and develop long-lasting, peaceful relations between them.

The most Zionist thing for Israel to do is to make peace with our Palestinian neighbors based on two states for two peoples. The most Palestinian nationalistic thing for Palestinian leaders to do is to make peace with the State of Israel based on two states for two peoples. Leaders on both sides who oppose to this are enemies of their own people who are willing to take risks at the expense of the lives of hundreds and thousands of their own people.

 

Read the full article HERE.

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