An ATFP Presentation The American Task Force on Palestine 815 Connecticut Ave, Suite 200 Washington, DC 20006 Phone 202-887-0177 Fax 202-887-1920 www.americantaskforce.org
Table of Contents • The Two Narratives • Where is Palestine? • Side-by-Side Comparisons: • Religion • Economy • Military • Population • Is there a military solution to the conflict? • Why is it in America’s interest to get involved? • How we resolve the conflict – the Two State Solution • Peace Initiatives: • Arab League • Roadmap • Grassroots (People’s Voice & Geneva Initiatives) • Do the two sides agree on the details for peace? • What do the polls show for the two-state solution? • What do Americans think about it? • How do we do it? What’s required and will it work? • Is there support among Israelis for ending the occupation? • What are the challenges to the two-state solution? • The Israeli barrier • The Israeli settlements • Violence against civilians • Restarting the peace process
Recognizing the Two Narratives The Palestinian Narrative: • Fear of Dispossession / 20th Century Jewish Immigration • Nakba of 1948 • The 37-year Occupation (West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem) • Spiritual connection to the Holy Land The Jewish Narrative: • History of Jewish Persecution • Holocaust • Israel as Jewish ‘Safe Haven’ • Spiritual connection to the Holy Land
Two Perspectives “I have spent a great deal of my life…advocating the rights of the Palestinian people to national self-determination, but I have always tried to do that with full attention paid to the reality of the Jewish people and what they suffered by way of persecution and genocide.” – the late Edward Said, leading Palestinian American intellectual, Professor of literature at Columbia University and well-known author “When Israelis ask me about the Palestinians, I tell them they live like us, they suffer like us, they laugh and cry like us. They are just like us, but they suffer more than us.” – the renowned Israeli immunologist, Dr. Zvi Bentwich, founder of Israel’s first and largest AIDS clinic and member of Physicians for Human Rights
Brief Historical Background The area known as Palestine was part of the Ottoman empire for 400 years until World War I, at which time Palestine fell under British control. In 1947, the U.N. proposed partitioning the area into two states. In 1967, the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem came under Israeli occupation. The two-state solution envisions a Palestinian State in these areas which we’ll refer to as Palestine.
The Composition of the Holy Land Source: 2003 CIA World Fact Book - Palestine data consists of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Economic Comparative Analysis In the land between the Mediterranean sea and the Jordan river… Israel Unemployment 1 out of 10 Growth rate -0.8% Palestine Unemployment 1 out of 2 Growth rate -18% GDP Per Capita Annual Budget UN HDI Rank $117.4 Billion $19,500 $45.1 Billion 22 out of 177 GDP Per Capita Annual Budget UN HDI Rank $2.4 Billion $700 $1.2 Billion 102 out of 177 A Palestinian has to work for 28 years to earn what an Israeli does in one year Sources: United Nations 2004 Human Development Index (HDI), 2003 CIA World Fact Book.
Military Comparison Israel Palestine Israel continues to maintain tens of thousands of troops in the West Bank and Gaza – Israel invaded and occupied those areas in the 1967 war Main Battle Tanks – Combat Aircraft – Artillery – 2001 Military Expenditures – Official Active Forces – 3,950 438 1,542 $10.1 billion 167,600 0 0 0 $85 million 35,000 Source: Center for Strategic and International Studies “We can argue with the Palestinians about who’s to blame; but about who is suffering worse – there is no argument. They are a destitute nation living in an elaborate prison under the guns of the Israeli army.” Jerusalem Post Editorial, March 3, 2004
Demographic Analysis The 2004 population is: 4.9 million Jewish, 4.9 million Palestinian (Muslim & Christian) Sources: Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, American Jewish Committee. CIA World Fact Book. 1931 British Census. The total population today between the Jordan river and the Mediterranean Sea is just under 10 million. This area includes Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. In contrast, the census taken in 1931 shows a total population of 1,035,821.
The Conflict has taken 4,000 lives in 4 years From September 29, 2000 to January 5, 2005 Sources: Middle East Policy Council, The Guardian Unlimited
American National Interest Why is it in the U.S. interest to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? “Attitudes toward the United States have gone from bad to worse” “The bottom has fallen out of Arab and Muslim support for the United States” The Muslim World Population – 1.4 Billion This one example represents an 80% decline Q: “What can the U.S. do to improve relations with the Arab world?” A: Resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict Sources: Pew Research Study on Global Attitudes. Zogby International poll of Arabs attitudes, September 2002.
The U.S. Intelligence Community The official report on Current and Projected Threats to the National Security of the United States concluded that resolving the Israeli Palestinian conflict will: “Significantly reduce negative feelings toward the U.S. in the region,” “Without it, the U.S. should expect Arab and Muslim hostility to increase further, threatening prospects for the future.” It goes on to conclude that, “Why do they hate us?.. For the most part, you get one answer, over and over again, and with little variation. They hate us because of our policy toward Israel and the Palestinians.” An About-Face on America, The Washington Post, August 24, 2004 Sources: U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Haaretz Daily 11/03/03. Against All Enemies by Richard Clarke 2004.
How Do We Resolve the Conflict? The Formula for a Two State Solution: Israel and Palestine based on 1967 borders with a shared & open capital in Jerusalem and a just settlement to the refugee problem This will result in the following: A new state of Palestine, viable and independent, consisting of the West Bank and Gaza Strip with Arab East Jerusalem as its capital. A state of Israel, secure within its borders, fully recognized by all 22 Arab countries along with peace agreements with each Arab country resulting in normalization of relations and an official end to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Two States Along The Green Line “Two states, Israel & Palestine, living side-by-side in an enduring peace would do more to defeat this terrorism than bullets alone can ever do.” British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Sept 28, 2004
The Arab League The Historic Arab Peace Initiative Recognizing that a military solution will not achieve peace or security, the Arab League voted on March 28, 2002 and proposed that following: • The full Israeli withdrawal from all the territories occupied since 1967. • The achievement of a just solution to the Palestinian Refugee problem to be agreed upon in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolution 194. • The acceptance of the establishment of a Sovereign Independent Palestinian State on the Palestinian territories occupied since the 4th of June 1967 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital. The Arab League would: • Consider the Arab-Israeli conflict ended, and enter into a peace agreement with Israel, and provide security for all the states of the region. • Establish normal relations with Israel in the context of this comprehensive peace. This offer was repeated in March 2005 Source: The Beirut Declaration of the League of Arab States, 2002.
Phase II Phase III • Successful execution of Palestinian elections • Ratification of Palestinian constitution • Continued Palestinian institution building and political reform • International conference of the Quartet (U.S., E.U., Russia and the U.N.) to support Palestinian economic recovery • Start process of establishment of a Palestinian state with provisional borders maximizing territorial contiguity • Promotion of formal international recognition of a Palestinian state • Stabilization of Palestinian institutions and effective security performance • Second international conference of the Quartet to endorse permanent status resolution by 2005 • Parties reach final agreement to end the conflict which addresses: borders, Jerusalem, refugees, settlements & an end to the occupation based on UN Resolutions 242, 338 and 1397 The RoadMap for a Two-State Solution A peace plan devised by the US, UN, Russian Federation and the EU - “The Quartet” Phase I • Palestinian leadership issues unequivocal statement of Israel’s right to exist and calls for end to violence and terrorism • Israeli leadership issues unequivocal statement of support for an independent, viable and sovereign Palestinian state and calls for end to violence against Palestinians • Palestinians will draft a constitution, appoint a prime minister, create security organizations to combat terror, and hold free elections • Israeli govt. dismantles settlement outposts, freezes settlement activity and takes measures to improve the humanitarian situation UN Resolution 1397 affirms the vision of two states – Israel & Palestine living side by side Summarized from the roadmap to a two-state solution to the conflict, May 2003.
Two Popular Peace Initiatives The U.S. Congress “applauds” the “serious” efforts towards peace put forth by the Geneva Accord and the People’s Voice initiatives. • The People’s Voice initiative has six principles which address the core issues of a two-state solution. It has already received over 253,755 Israeli and 161,000 Palestinian signatories • The Geneva Accord takes this a step further into a detailed blueprint of a permanent peace agreement and has received endorsements from world leaders and Nobel Peace Prize winners These grassroots initiatives between Israelis and Palestinians are complementary and are consistent with the Roadmap
Joint Israeli & Palestinian Public Opinion 76% of Israelis and Palestinians favor a two-state solution The OneVoice poll of 23,000 Palestinians and 17,000 Israelis as reported in AP and Ha’aretz found that 76% on each side endorsed the two-state concept - a Palestinian state existing beside a Jewish state, "each recognizing the other as such, both democratic and respecting human rights, including minority rights." Sources: Associated Press and Ha’aretz, May 2004.
Additional Palestinian Public Opinion • 78% believe that the current Israeli measures, including the building of the separation barrier reduce the chances for the establishment of a Palestinian state. • 85% support a mutual cessation of violence. • 59% support taking measures by the Palestinian Authority to prevent attacks on Israelis if an agreement is reached on a mutual cessation of violence. • 86% of the Palestinians believe that they cannot count on Arab States to support them in regaining their rights. The 1993 Oslo Accord marked an historic turning point for Palestinians – they formally recognized, “the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security.” Furthermore, they reduced their claims to just 22% of the land of historic Palestine (West Bank, Gaza Strip & East Jerusalem). Source: Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, October 2003. Oslo Accords, 1993.
International Support for Two-States Dozens of current and former world leaders including several Nobel Peace Prize Winners support the two-state solution Martti Ahtisaari, Former President, FinlandAli Alatas, Former Foreign Minister, IndonesiaOscar Arias Sánchez, Former President, Costa Rica, Nobel Peace Prize 1987 L. Axworthy, Former Foreign Minister, Canada Alexander Bessmertnykh, Former Foreign Minister, Soviet Union Carl Bildt, Former Prime Minister, Sweden Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Former UN Secretary-GeneralLakhdar Brahimi, Former Foreign Minister, AlgeriaF. Cardoso, Former President, BrazilI.Carlsson, Former Prime Minister, SwedenLord Carrington, Former Foreign and Defence Secretary, UK and NATO Secretary-General Jorge Castañeda, Former Foreign Minister, Mexico Claude Cheysson, Former Foreign Minister, France Jacques Delors, Former President, European CommissionJiří Dienstbier, Former Foreign Minister, Czechoslovakia Ruth Dreifuss, Former President, Switzerland U. Ellemann-Jensen, Former Foreign MinisterG.Evans, Former Foreign Minister, AustraliaMark Eyskens, Former Foreign and Prime Minister, Belgium I K Gujral, Former Prime Minister, India J.Figueres, Former President, Costa RicaM. Fraser, Former Prime Minister, Australia Hans-Dietrich Genscher, Former Foreign Minister, Germany Bronisław Geremek, Former Foreign Minister, PolandMikhail Gorbachev, Former President, Soviet Union, Nobel Peace Prize 1990 B. Hawke, Former Prime Minister, Australia B. Hayden, Former Foreign Minister, AustraliaRaffi Hovannisian, Former Foreign Minister, ArmeniaFW de Klerk, Former President, South Africa, Nobel Peace Prize 1993W. Kok, Former Prime Minister, Netherlands Masahiko Komura, Former Foreign Minister, Japan Budimir Lončar, Former Foreign Minister, YugoslaviaBarbara McDougall, Former External Affairs Secretary, Canada G. Michelis, Former Foreign Minister, ItalyB.Noev, Former Defence Minister, BulgariaLord Owen, Former Foreign Secretary, UKSurin Pitsuwan, Former Foreign Minister, ThailandAugusto Ramírez-Ocampo, Former Foreign Minister, Colombia Fidel V Ramos, Former President, PhilippinesJerry John Rawlings, Former President, Ghana Mary Robinson, Former President, Ireland Michel Rocard, Former Prime Minister, FranceSalim Ahmed Salim Former Prime Minister, Tanzania, and Secretary-General OAUCornelio Sommaruga, Former President, International Committee of the Red Cross K.Sorsa, Former Prime Minister, FinlandEduardo Stein, Former Foreign Minister, Guatemala Pär Stenbäck, Former Foreign Minister, FinlandMax van der Stoel, Former Foreign Minister, Netherlands Thorvald Stoltenberg, Former Foreign Minister, Norway Hanna Suchocka, Former Prime Minister, Poland Alex Sceberras Trigona, Former Foreign Minister, Malta George Vassiliou, Former President, CyprusHubert Védrine, Former Foreign Minister, France Franz Vranitzky, Former Federal Chancellor, AustriaErnesto Zedillo, Former President, Mexico Source: International Crisis Group, December 2003
Official U.S. Support for Two-States "[T]he Israeli occupation that began in 1967 will be ended through a settlement negotiated between the parties, based on U.N. Resolutions 242 and 338, with Israeli withdrawal to secure and recognized borders." -President Bush June 24, 2002 "Israel must be willing to end its occupation, consistent with the principles embodied in Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, and accept a viable Palestinian State in which Palestinians can determine their own future on their own land and live in dignity and security." - Former Secretary of State Powell November 19, 2001 “We realize that there can be no lasting peace for either side until there is freedom and security for both sides.” – Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, August 19, 2004 Source: White House and State Department websites
American Support for Two-States American officials who have issued statements of support: Former National Security Advisor Richard Allen Former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski Former National Security Advisor Anthony Lake Former National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane Former Ambassador to the United Nations Thomas Pickering Former President Bill Clinton Former President Jimmy Carter Former Secretary of State Madeline Allbright Former Secretary of State Warren Christopher Former Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci Former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara "Israelis need to end the occupation that began in 1967."Former U.S. National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice, Haaretz, August 27, 2004 Source: International Crisis Group, December 2003
American Public Opinion Nearly 9 out of 10 Americans believe that a peaceful solution to the Israeli - Palestinian conflict is an important foreign policy goal of the United States and 64% favor making a major effort to be even-handed in order to combat international terrorism. But only 3 out of 10 Americans realize that the creation of a sovereign Palestinian State is necessary for a peaceful solution of the conflict Sources: Mar. 2002 Gallup Poll. Oct. 2001 Newsweek. Nov. 2001 U. Md. PIPA September 2004 Chicago Council on Foreign Relations Global Views 2004.
The Basis of a Two-State Solution • It worked in Lebanon (1978 - 2000) occupation ended after 22 yearsAttacks decreased 91% • It worked in Egypt (1956 - 1982) occupation ended after 26 yearsAttacks virtually ceased • It will work in Gaza & West Bank (1967 - ?) occupied for 37 years and counting Ending the Occupation is the Only Formula for Peace and Security That Works Source: IDF and Jaffe Center for Strategic Studies
Israeli Support for Ending the Occupation • 59% of the Jewish Israelis support a unilateral withdrawal of the army from most of the occupied territories and dismantling most of the settlements • 1,371 Israeli soldiers now refuse to play a role in, “the continued oppression of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories.” • Four former Israeli security service chiefs called on Israel to withdraw from the West Bank and Gaza Strip and dismantle most of Jewish settlements • Ami Ayalon, ex-Shin Bet chief, “I favor unconditional withdrawal from the Territories – preferably in the context of agreement but not necessarily” Photo: Ami Ayalon “The Occupation of Palestinian territory is eroding Israel’s international standing. The U.S. is virtually our only friend, so we must remember that it, too, supports a withdrawal almost to the borders of 1967.” – Ehud Olmert Current Deputy PM of Israel Sources: The Forward 8/20/04. DaHaf poll, May 6, 2002 by Peace Now. Refuseniks Watch. Yedioth Ahronoth, November 14, 2003
Israeli PM’s Acknowledge the Occupation "I think that the idea of keeping 3.5 million Palestinians under occupation is the worst thing for Israel, for the Palestinians and also for the Israeli economy." "(Israel's) control over the Palestinians cannot continue without end. Do you want to stay forever in Jenin, Nablus, Ramallah and Bethlehem? That is not right.” - Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon. May 27, 2003 “Israel must give up all of the land that it captured in the 1967 Middle East war. If you keep 10 percent of the land you keep 100 percent of the conflict.” - Former Prime Minister, Shimon Peres. February, 24 2004 Photo: Ariel Sharon Photo: Shimon Peres Israeli Prime Ministers from both ends of the political spectrum have acknowledged that Israel’s presence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip is an Occupation
Current Challenges to a Two-State Solution • The current path of the Israeli barrier in the West Bank • The 200+ Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories • Violence Against Civilians • Restarting the Peace Process
Challenge: The Path of the Israeli Barrier The barrier’s path has been projected to annex between 7% – 45% of Palestinian land. This will: • Completely surround 100,000 people in 42 towns • Reduce the available water supply by 1 billion gallons • Confiscate hundreds of thousands of acres of land • Severely restrict travel to jobs, hospitals and schools • Adversely affect 4 out of 10 Palestinians The Israeli Supreme Court has ruled that the West Bank is “in belligerent [Israeli] occupation…subject to international law” And the International Court of Justice at the Hague has ruled that the path of the barrier in the West Bank is illegal and must be torn down and compensation paid to the Palestinians adversely affected by it. “Only a separation route based on the path of law will lead the state to the security so yearned for” – Supreme Court of Israel Sources: B’Tselem, Gush Shalom, Ha’aretz, International Court of Justice
A Look at the Israeli Barrier from Space Before After CLOSE UP: Qalqilyah was a relatively rich Palestinian town, nicknamed the ‘bread basket.’ After the Wall was constructed around it the cost of shipping goods has tripled. Consequently, 600 stores have been forced to close and now 75% of the town’s 40,000+ residents depend on humanitarian assistance from overseas.
The Israeli Barrier on the Ground Archbishop Pietro Sambi, of Jerusalem said the wall, “cuts in half monasteries, convents, churches and cemeteries.” The pictures above are of the wall in Bethlehem
Challenge: The Israeli Settlements The Israeli settlements are illegalaccording to international law • “International humanitarian law prohibits an occupying power from transferring citizens from its own territory to the occupied territory” - Fourth Geneva Convention, article 49 • “Israeli settlement activity in the occupied territories must stop” - President Bush, June 2002 • “Every American administration, going back to President Carter, and including President Reagan, President Bush, President Clinton and the current President Bush, have opposed the policy of the government of Israel on settlements” - Former Senate Majority leader George Mitchell Israel successfully evacuated the settlements in Sinai, Egypt and plans to do it in Gaza
1997 2003 The hill top pictured above is Abu Ghneim mountain. The second picture was taken during the construction of the Har Homa settlement. Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories increased35% in 2003 even though population growth was just 5.32% over the same period. That is almost 7 times higher than “natural growth” therebyillustrating the high vacancy rates found in settlements. Israeli Settlements on Palestinian Lands “I don't think there is any greater obstacle to peace than settlement activity.”- Former U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker, May 22, 1991. Sources: Foundation for Middle East Peace, Peace Now
Illegal Settlement Outposts on the Rise "The settlement outposts worry us a great deal, and we were happy to let the Americans lead the dialogue with Israel regarding upholding its commitments in the framework of the road map [evacuating all of the settlement outposts built since March 2001]. But not a thing happened. Ignoring for a moment the expansion of construction in Ma'ale Adumim (near Jerusalem), how is it possible to build a two-state model at a time that Israel is building infrastructures for additional settlements, paving a road from Ariel to the Jordan Rift, and linking Ma'ale Adumim to the Ben-Gurion Airport highway? How is all this compatible with the principle of a Palestinian state that is territorially contiguous?” - Marc Otte, European Union special representative for the Mideast peace process, Ha'aretz, Oct. 29, 2004
Is It Too Late For Two States? Some people argue it is too late by pointing to the fact that there are literally hundreds of Israeli settlement compounds throughout the occupied Palestinian territories with more being built every day. According to Condoleeza Rice, “Settlement expansion is not consistent with our understanding under the road map.” Question: Have you tried visualizing the settlements without the settlers? Evacuating the settlements is a key ingredient for a just and final peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The Central Conference of American Rabbis in a letter to President Bush stated, “No peace can be established without…the dismantling of certain Israeli settlements.” Sources: Brit Tzedek v’Shalom Jewish Alliance for Justice & Peace, Americans for Peace Now, CCAR 6/11/03
Minor Border Modifications: 1-to-1 land swap Border modifications around the West Bank may allow for some settlements near the Green Line to be absorbed into Israel in exchange for equal portions of land to be transferred from Israel to the new Palestinian State. The example here is from the Geneva Accords, an unofficial agreement drafted by Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in 2003. This type of compromise has considerable support, but any final agreement must be arrived at through direct negotiations between the two parties. This is the most likely two-state solution seen by many Israelis and Palestinians
Challenge: Violence Against Civilians ATFP categorically and unequivocally condemns all violence directed against civilians no matter who the victims or perpetrators may be. Confronting violence against civilians is the moral and political obligation of everyone. “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person”
Violence Against Israeli Civilians • Addressing the issue of terrorism has traditionally focused only on the military aspect • Equally as important is to address the root causes of terrorism (otherwise, the cycle of violence and counter-violence will continue) • Many believe that the Israeli occupation beginning in 1967 has created an atmosphere of despair and hopelessness for Palestinians • These conditions coupled with the manipulation of religion have provided a fertile breeding ground for terrorism • Ending the occupation would result in a new era of freedom, hope and opportunity that would greatly reduce the conditions in which terrorism breeds • This will result in lasting peace and security for both Israelis and Palestinians “If there is no occupation at all, Israelis won't be violating Palestinian human rights and Palestinian terrorism against Israelis will at least decrease, if not end”- Yossi Alpher, former senior advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak
Violence Against Palestinian Civilians “Palestinian violence against Israeli civilians can only be understood in the context of the Israeli occupation and its intense, systematic violence against Palestinian civilians.”- Rashid Khalidi, Resurrecting Empire, Beacon Press 2004 While civilians constituted a majority of the over 900 Israelis killed since the second intifada, they also were the majority of the over 3000 Palestinians killed by Israelis during the same period. “The original violence, the primordial, ongoing violence, is the violence of the side that imposed through its military superiority a reign over another nation….Even without tanks and helicopter fire, the Israeli presence in the West Bank and Gaza is violent and has been since 1967.” - Amira Hass, Ha’aretz, August 25, 2004
Challenge: Restarting the Peace Process The U.S. should make the Roadmap peace agreement the top priority for the Secretary of State. Active daily involvement is needed to oversee the implementation of each step carried out by both sides simultaneously. > For Israelis: • Freezing construction on the separation barrier encroaching on Palestinian land • Completely stopping all settlement activity – including construction in existing settlements • Ending targeted assassinations of Palestinians • Removing some of the 700+ checkpoints that exist within Palestinian areas • Creating conditions for the Palestinians to fulfill their security and political obligations > For Palestinians: • Maintaining a system of free and democratic elections • Reforming Palestinian institutions • Consolidating the security services • Declaring a prompt and effective end to all acts of violence – including incitement The U.S. needs to articulate a clear, unequivocal end-game for the process which is “based on the 1967 borders” for it to have legitimacy among the Palestinians. Just as importantly, it will invigorate the majorities of Israelis and Palestinians who support a two-state solution. Source: Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, Sept. 2004
Final Goal – Peace in the Middle East The Future State of Palestine