< < <
Date Index
> > >
Fwd: New Plans for Peace in the Middle East
by Adam Starr
11 March 2002 20:34 UTC
< < <
Thread Index
> > >
Note: forwarded message attached.

Adam T. Starr
Undergraduate of Political Science, UVic
3009 Quadra Street, Victoria, British Columbia
V8T 4G2 Canada
(011) (250) 472-1223
adam@hornbyisland.com or reunitedhornby@yahoo.com

Do You Yahoo!?
Try FREE Yahoo! Mail - the world's greatest free email!

Wednesday, March 6, 2002
Susan V. Thompson, ed.

Read online, subscribe, or unsubscribe at:

1. Introduction: New Hope?
2. Background Information
3. The Saudi Plan
4. The Mitchell Report
5. The Peres/Abu Ala Plan
6. The French Plan
7. Hope at the Grassroots
8. Get Involved
9. About the Bulletin

The unprecedented escalation of violence in the Middle East
over the last several months has prompted world leaders to
come up with some new peace initiatives. Several of these
have been floated over the past year, the most recent being
the peace plan put forth by Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi plan has generated intense interest
internationally. However, the plan is sketchy on several
important details. This week, as a first follow-up to our
ActionForum on the same subject, we are taking a closer look
at the Saudi Plan, along with a few of the other major peace
plans. Each plan has its weaknesses, but it may be that one
of them--or a new plan which incorporates the best aspects
of each -- will eventually create a lasting peace in the
Middle East. Whatever happens, it is unquestionably a
positive sign that the recent plans have aroused the hopes
and scrutiny of so many world leaders.

It is also a positive sign that the Bush administration has
showed some support for the Saudi plan. The American
influence in the Middle East is very large, and most
countries acknowledge that any lasting peace must be created
with US cooperation. The American influence in the Middle
East is powerful, and most countries acknowledge that any
lasting peace can only be created with the cooperation of
Israel's oldest and strongest ally.

Naomi Chazan, deputy speaker of the Knesset in Israel, said
in a recent lecture that in over thirty years of working in
Israeli politics, she could not remember a time as difficult
as the last 17 months have been. But, she added, it may be
that the terrible violence that is now occurring on a daily
basis in Israel and the Palestinian territories will finally
and firmly push both sides to the negotiating table.
Although some plans seemed less probable than others, she
said, none should be ruled out: any plan, if agreed to by
both sides, could form the basis for a working relationship.

The plans we discuss below are an indication that the gap
between the Palestinians and the Israelis may be narrowing
to the point that a bridge can be built across it. And while
building that bridge will entail conflict, controversy and
foment, each tenuous advance marks a step toward peace and
away from war. That makes all the difference.

Next Week: The United Nations

Our previous bulletin on "Reviving the Middle East Peace
Process" is a good place to start.

You can also read several documents on this page that deal
with the history of the Middle East conflict and the various
peace plans up until the Mitchell report.

Crown Prince Abdullah is in charge of the day-to-day affairs
of the Saudi kingdom. He recently put forth his ideas for
creating peace in the Middle East. His recommendations have
not been presented as a formal plan yet, but they are
generating discussion and interest worldwide. Many are
hailing the Saudi peace "plan" as being the first real step
towards creating peace since the violence began to escalate.
However, the plan is still little more than an idea, and has
very few details. The question is whether the Saudi plan is
a real alternative, or whether it is simply generating
excitement because there are so few viable alternatives.

What is the Saudi plan? This article explains the basics,
which include returning the Israeli state to its pre-1967
borders in exchange for recognition of the Israeli state by
all Arab countries.

The Saudi plan is extremely simple, but that is because it
leaves the more complicated questions unanswered. Issues
such as the right of return of Palestinian refugees are not
even addressed.

The plan has received some support, but, on the whole,
reactions to it are mixed.

Israeli foreign minister Shimon Peres, who recently floated
a peace plan of his own, is backing the Saudi plan while
acknowledging that it has several large flaws. Meanwhile,
another representative of Israel calls the plan "suicide."

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has rejected the Saudi plan.
He is unhappy about the lack of support for his own peace
initiative, proposed last year, which included general
elections, the return of Palestinian refugees, and the
dismantling of weapons of mass destruction.

The Palestinian militant group Hamas has rejected the Saudi
plan on the basis that lands considered part of historic
Palestine would be included in the Israeli state.

Reactions to the peace plan from people in the Gaza strip.

A representative of the EU recently met with Crown Prince
Abdullah to discuss his ideas on peace, and it is rumored
that the EU supports the plan. Other countries such as
Russia and China have also expressed support.

After a lukewarm initial reaction, the Bush administration
seems to be warming to the Saudi plan.

America has sent an envoy to the region to show support for
the plan, which some people are still dismissing as
ill-conceived since the details of the plan are still

Will the Saudi plan need an American occupying army to make
it work? This author looks to the example of Lebanon, and
argues that it will.

The Mitchell Report, released last year, includes the
recommendation that all Israeli settlement activity be
stopped in order to create confidence in the peace process.
It also recommends that all violence be stopped before
negotiations move forward.

A quick summary of the main points of the Mitchell report.

This is the full Mitchell Report, including a history of the
failure of the Camp David negotiations and the rise of the
new Intifada.

Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres floated a peace plan
last year and again this year after talks with the speaker
of the Palestinian parliament, Ahmed Qureia (a.k.a. Abu

In April 2001, Peres tabled a peace plan. Learn the basics
of the plan from this article.

Palestinians rejected this original plan in December 2001.

Peres has recently come up with a new version of the peace
plan proposed last year. So far it has garnered a very poor
response and has already been rejected by Sharon. The basics
of the new plan are a cease fire and the declaration of a
Palestinian state, with the details of borders to be worked
out later.

This January, French recommendations for Middle East peace
were also made. They include moving forward with peace
initiatives even if the violence does not stop first, as
well as declaring a Palestinian state and holding general

The EU has put some support behind the French plan, while
acknowledging that the US has so much influence in the
Middle East that a peace agreement cannot be brokered
without significant US involvement.

While plans for peace are debated at the diplomatic and
governmental levels, a new movement has been growing among
Israeli reserve soldiers. Several hundred are refusing to
serve in the occupied territories. It may well be that while
leaders debate and/or reject a unilateral Israeli withdrawal
from the occupied territories, the very soldiers who are
carrying out the occupation will withdraw.

"The Occupation Begins to Crack" is a concise description of
the movement and its influence.

"Why I refuse to fight in the occupied territories" is a
personal account by Asaf Oron, one of the original
dissenting reservists.

The letter of intent by the soldiers:

There is a also a new Palestinian movement growing that is
working to stop the occupation without violence. Members of
the movement are disrupting Israeli troop and settlement
movements while working to prevent Palestinian rock throwing
and other acts of violence; they are holding press
conferences on their views; and they are working to build a
viable secular Palestinian opposition to the occupation.
Edward Said, a member of this new movement (which could
eventually become a political party), calls on people from
within the US and other countries to help mobilize support
for this peaceful opposition to the Israeli settlements.

If you would like us to include an action, giving idea, news
article, or source in the bulletin, please write to
bulletin@9-11peace.org and describe your item in the subject

The 9-11Peace.org bulletin is looking for volunteers to help
us with research. If you think you've got the time,
know-how, and energy to do this well, please write to Eli or
Susan at editor@9-11peace.org. Put "Volunteer" in the
subject line, and add a brief paragraph summarizing your
experience and interest.

The 9-11Peace.org bulletin is a weekly newsletter providing
resources, news, and action ideas to over 25,350 people
around the world. The full text of the bulletin is online at
http://www.9-11peace.org/bulletin.php3; users can subscribe
to and unsubscribe from the bulletin at that address also.
The bulletin is a project of 9-11Peace.org. Contact
bulletin@9-11peace.org for more information.

< < <
Date Index
> > >
World Systems Network List Archives
at CSF
Subscribe to World Systems Network < < <
Thread Index
> > >