(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
The Labor Party’s secretary-general, Deputy Knesset Speaker Hilik Bar, will present his diplomatic plan on Wednesday to the Japanese parliament, the Diet.
Bar was invited to present his plan in his capacity as head of the Knesset’s pro-two-state-solution caucus. He will be speaking to the parliament at an international leadership conference.
“The Japanese are excited to hear that there is a caucus in favor of ending the conflict and a plan that gives hope for two states for two peoples,” Bar said. “I tell them that there is no other solution.”
Bar said he has not lost faith in the two-state solution following the election of US President-elect Donald Trump and that he does not accept the eulogies for the never-formed Palestinian state delivered by Bayit Yehudi MKs following Trump’s victory.
“If Trump cares about Israel as he says he does, he should want the conflict to end,” Bar said. “There are two solutions: One state or two. One state would end the Zionist dream, while two would guarantee Israel’s future as a Jewish democratic state with a Jewish majority.”
The Labor MK’s visit to Tokyo is part of a long series of presentations to legislatures and universities that have invited him to discuss his plan since he presented it in the Knesset in July 2015.
He has presented it at the European Parliament in Brussels, the United Kingdom’s House of Commons, the United Nations in Geneva and several state legislatures in the US, as well as Harvard University.
Bar’s diplomatic outline calls for Israel to recognize a Palestinian state.
Borders would be determined based on pre-1967 lines, with land swaps to account for settlement blocs, and the two sides would negotiate on Jerusalem, security arrangements, the refugee issue, etc.
The recognition and approval of “Palestine” joining UN institutions will be conditional on it not undermining the need to negotiate and Palestinians recognition of Israel.
The plan also stipulates that when there is a Palestinian state, Jews may securely live in it as residents or citizens, thus creating an option for Israelis not to be expelled from their homes.
Palestinian citizens would have “privileged access” to places of worship, tourism, academia and trade in Israel, and vice-versa.
The outline also deals with Israel’s relations with Diaspora Jewry. It says the government should give world Jewry an “advisory status on issues of national importance and matters of foreign policy” and educate them in Hebrew, Jewish history and Zionism to strengthen their Jewish identity, while still promoting the Zionist idea of “the negation of the Diaspora” and encouraging them to move to Israel.