Sunday, April 11, 2010

To achieve Mideast peace, Obama must make a bold Mideast trip By Zbigniew Brzezinski and Stephen Solarz

This article sets forth a proposal for peace between Israel and the Palestinians and claims that the terms are known to everyone but need to be negotiated. This may be a good outline, but Zbigniew Brzezinski was Jimmy Carter's National Security Adviser, and we know how successful that was.

A mid-east piece agreement would be a victory for Obama and I am not certain that his policies against Israel are not a prelude to negotiations of this type. It is too early to tell but heavy criticism of these policies by conservatives may come back to bite us in the months to come.

The basic outlines of a durable and comprehensive peace plan that Obama could propose are known to all:

First, a solution to the refugee problem involving compensation and resettlement in the Palestinian state but not in Israel. This is a bitter pill for the Palestinians, but Israel cannot be expected to commit political suicide for the sake of peace.

Second, genuine sharing of Jerusalem as the capital of each state, and some international arrangement for the Old City. This is a bitter pill for the Israelis, for it means accepting that the Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem will become the capital of Palestine.

Third, a territorial settlement based on the 1967 borders, with mutual and equal adjustments to allow the incorporation of the largest West Bank settlements into Israel.

And fourth, a demilitarized Palestinian state with U.S. or NATO troops along the Jordan River to provide Israel greater security.

Most of these parameters have been endorsed in the Arab peace plan of 2002 and by the Quartet. And the essential elements have also been embraced by Barak and another former Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert.
Read WaPo article here.

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