Yuval Rabin proposes response to Arab Peace Initiative

Late prime minister's son says will soon publish Israeli counter-proposal to 2002 Arab plan; includes Palestinian state in '67 borders.

November 26, 2010 20:11
2 minute read.
Yuval Rabin with Bill Clinton

Yuval Rabin with Bill Clinton 311 AP. (photo credit: AP)


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Yuval Rabin, late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin's son, will soon publish what he calls the "Israeli Peace Initiative" (IPI) in response to the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative (API). Rabin made the announcement in an article on the website Bitter Lemons this week, written with businessman Koby Huberman. In the article, they suggested Israel should present a counter-proposal to the API, reflecting its own strategic interests.

The pair wrote that they will soon publish the IPI in Hebrew, Arabic and English. The IPI is based on the authors' interpretation of "Israel's genuine strategic interests," their assumption that Israeli leaders will only make concessions in return for the greater Arab-Israeli conflict ending, and the adoption of "existing proposals and solutions already negotiated in the past 19 years since Madrid, without reinventing the wheel."

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The proposal will be structured in four chapters, each containing what the authors call, "visions." The first is the end-to-conflicts vision, which includes the "Israeli Palestinian scenario." It envisions a "Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders and one-on-one land swaps," a solution to the refugee problem inside a Palestinian state, mutual recognition of national identities of both states, and a reiteration of the principles in the Declaration of Independence. The first chapter also deals with the Israeli-Syrian and Lebanese conflicts.

Other visions, making up the remainder of the IPI, are regional economic development, and moves toward regional recognition and normal relations. However, the authors are clarify they are not politicians and thus, they do not deal with more technical issues like water. Additionally, they note that they are not presenting a diplomatic process to translate their proposal into political progress.

In the past year-and-a-half, Rabin and Huberman shared drafts of their proposal with Arab figures, and "were encouraged to hear them welcoming the very fact that Israelis are responding to the API," they wrote.

The authors admit that their IPI does not contain what "Israelis have been dreaming and hoping for," but say they believe the initiative has potential to achieve "a secure homeland for the Jewish people, enjoying full regional recognition."

Concluding their preliminary message, Rabin and Huberman say, "15 years after Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's assassination, we hope to see brave regional and international leaders translate the API and IPI visions into practical and synchronized progress."

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