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A brilliant suggestion

Submitted by Robin Messing on Sun, 12/09/2012 - 5:21pm

Peter Beinart and Alan M. Dershowitz have a brilliant suggestion for jumpstarting the peace process between the Israel and the Palestinian authority.  Read the whole article, but pay particular attention to the partial settlement freeze they propose:

The challenge is clear: to offer Abbas a settlement freeze that keeps Israel from creating facts on the ground that imperil the contiguity of a future Palestinian state while ensuring Netanyahu that, this time, limitations on settlement growth will mean serious, direct negotiations, right away. That’s doable. As one of us has previously suggested, the opening step would be for Abbas to begin direct talks, and for Netanyahu to reciprocate with a settlement freeze. Then the two leaders could agree to divide the West Bank into three chunks. The first, and largest, chunk would consist of territory outside the large settlement “blocs,” territory that all reasonable people acknowledge should be part of a Palestinian state. In that territory, the settlement freeze would continue. In the second chunk would be those settlements—like Ariel in the northern West Bank—that past Israeli leaders have insisted be incorporated into Israel (perhaps with land swaps) but Palestinian negotiators have deemed unacceptable. In those, the settlement freeze would remain so long as both sides kept negotiating in good faith, as determined by the United States. The third chunk would consist of those settlements near the green line like Gilo or Maale Adumim, which even Palestinian representatives conceded would remain part of Israel in the 2003 Geneva Accords signed by former Israeli and Palestinian negotiators. In this chunk, Israel could continue to build.