The British administration was formalized by the League of Nations under the Palestine Mandate in 1923, as part of the Partitioning of the Ottoman Empire following World War I. The Mandate reaffirmed the 1917 British commitment to the Balfour Declaration, for the establishment in Palestine of a “National Home” for the Jewish people, with the prerogative to carry it out. A British census of 1918 estimated 700,000 Arabs and 56,000 Jews.
In 1937, the British established the Peel Commission. The Commission concluded that the Mandate had become unworkable, and recommended Partition into an Arab state linked to Transjordan; a small Jewish state; and a mandatory zone. The Palestinian Arab leadership rejected partition as unacceptable, given the inequality in the proposed population exchange and the transfer of one-third of Palestine, including most of its best agricultural land, to recent immigrants. In a letter to his son in October 1937, David Ben-Gurion explained that partition would be a first step to “possession of the land as a whole”.
The British Woodhead Commission was set up to examine the practicality of partition. In 1938 the British government issued a policy statement declaring that “the political, administrative and financial difficulties involved in the proposal to create independent Arab and Jewish States inside Palestine are so great that this solution of the problem is impracticable”.
The MacDonald White Paper of May 1939 declared that it was “not part of [the British government’s] policy that Palestine should become a Jewish State”, sought to limit Jewish immigration to Palestine and restricted Arab land sales to Jews. However, the League of Nations commission held that the White Paper was in conflict with the terms of the Mandate as put forth in the past.
In May 1947, the UN formed a Special Committee (UNSCOP) to prepare a report on recommendations for Palestine. On 3 September 1947, the Committee reported to the General Assembly.CHAPTER V: PROPOSED RECOMMENDATIONS (I), Section A of the Report contained eleven proposed recommendations (I – XI) approved unanimously. Section B contained one proposed recommendation approved by a substantial majority dealing with the Jewish problem in general (XI). CHAPTER VI: PROPOSED RECOMMENDATIONS (II) contained a Plan of Partition with Economic Union to which seven members of the Committee (Canada, Czechoslovakia, Guatemala, the Netherlands, Peru, Sweden and Uruguay), expressed themselves in favour. CHAPTER VII RECOMMENDATIONS (III)’ contained a comprehensive proposal that was voted upon and supported by three members (India, Iran, and Yugoslavia) for a Federal State of Palestine. Australia abstained. In CHAPTER VIII a number of members of the Committee expressed certain reservations and observations. The report of the majority of the Committee (CHAPTER VI) envisaged the division of Palestine into three parts: an Arab State, a Jewish State and the City of Jerusalem, linked by extraterritorial crossroads. The proposed Arab State would include the central and part of western Galilee, with the town of Acre, the hill country of Samaria and Judea, an enclave at Jaffa, and the southern coast stretching from north of Isdud (now Ashdod) and encompassing what is now the Gaza Strip, with a section of desert along the Egyptian border. The proposed Jewish State would include the fertile Eastern Galilee, the Coastal Plain, stretching from Haifa to Rehovot and most of the Negev desert, including the southern outpost of Umm Rashrash (now Eilat). The Jerusalem Corpus Separatum included Bethlehem and the surrounding areas.
The land allocated to the Arab State in the final plan included about 43% of Mandatory Palestine and consisted of all of the highlands, except for Jerusalem, plus one-third of the coastline. The highlands contain the major aquifers of Palestine, which supplied water to the coastal cities of central Palestine, including Tel Aviv. The Jewish State was to receive 56% of Mandatory Palestine. The Jewish State included three fertile lowland plains – the Sharon on the coast, the Jezreel Valley and the upper Jordan Valley. The bulk of the proposed Jewish State’s territory, however, consisted of the Negev Desert. The desert was not suitable for agriculture, nor for urban development at that time. The Jewish State would also be given sole access to the Red Sea.
On 23 September 1947 the General Assembly established an ad hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question to consider the UNSCOP report. Representatives of the Arab Higher Committee and Jewish Agency were invited and attended. The ad hoc committee made a number of boundary changes to the UNSCOP recommendations before they were voted on by the General Assembly. The predominantly Arab city of Jaffa, previously located within the Jewish state, was constituted as an enclave of the Arab State. The boundary of the Arab state was modified to include Beersheba and a strip of the Negev desert along the Egyptian border, while a section of the Dead Sea shore and other additions were made to the Jewish State. This move increased the Jewish percentage in the Jewish state from 55% to 61%. The proposed boundaries would also have placed 54 Arab villages on the opposite side of the border from their farm land.
When the UNSCOP plan failed to achieve the necessary majority on 25 November, the lobby ‘moved into high gear’ and induced the President to overrule the State Department, and let wavering governments know that the U.S. strongly desired partition. Proponents of the Plan reportedly put pressure on nations to vote yes to the Partition Plan. A telegram signed by 26 US senators with influence on foreign aid bills was sent to wavering countries, seeking their support for the partition plan. The US Senate was considering a large aid package at the time, including 60 million dollars to China.
The committee voted for the plan, 25 to 13 (with 17 abstentions) on 25 November 1947 and the General Assembly was called back into a special session to vote on the proposal. Passage of the resolution required a two-thirds majority of the valid votes, not counting abstaining and absent members, of the UN’s then 56 member states.
On 26 November, after filibustering by the Zionist delegation, the vote was postponed by three days. According to multiple sources, had the vote been held on the original set date, it would have received a majority, but less than the required two-thirds. Various compromise proposals and variations on a single state, including federations and cantonal systems were debated (including those previously rejected in committee). The delay was used by supporters of Zionism in New York to put extra pressure on states not supporting the resolution.
On 29 November 1947, the United Nations General Assembly voted 33 to 13, with 10 abstentions and 1 absent, in favour of the modified Partition Plan. In the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine, the UN established a partition of Mandatory Palestine at the end of the British Mandate.
On 29 November 1947, the UN General Assembly adopted the Plan as Resolution 181(II).
The resolution recommended the creation of independent Arab and Jewish States and a Special International Regime for the city of Jerusalem. The Partition Plan, a four-part document attached to the resolution, provided for the termination of the Mandate, the progressive withdrawal of British armed forces and the delineation of boundaries between the two States and Jerusalem. Part I of the Plan stipulated that the Mandate would be terminated as soon as possible and the United Kingdom would withdraw no later than 1 August 1948. The new states would come into existence two months after the withdrawal, but no later than 1 October 1948. The Plan sought to address the conflicting objectives and claims of two competing movements, Palestinian nationalism and Jewish nationalism, or Zionism. The Plan also called for Economic Union between the proposed states, and for the protection of religious and minority rights.
Resolution 181(II), the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine, is the basis for the creation and existence of the State of Israel, it is the foundation of Israel’s legitimacy as a country in the international community. Yet, in that same United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine, it called for a free and independent Palestinian state and that the Jerusalem area become a Corpus separatum (“separated body”) and be placed under international regime, conferring it a special status due to its shared religious importance.
For 70 years, there has only been the State of Israel.
How is this a civil society for the Palestinian state or an independent Jerusalem?
Civil societies must first require acceptance of the truth and then appropriate action.
Also, why must it come down to violence? Violence will never solve the problem. Non-violent positive action is what brings change, that is precisely what BDS will accomplish. When it becomes harder for Israel to prosper in the world, while continuing the persecution of the Palestinians, then maybe a civil society for both the Israeli’s and the Palestinian’s can be possible. Both should prosper as nations and people.
BDS Undermines Peace: Argument
Israel has repeatedly offered a variety of compromises that would have allowed the Palestinians to establish a state.
- Zero-sum approach: By contrast, in its rhetoric and in practice, the BDS Movement rejects the peace process. It is routinely dismissive of virtually every peace effort ranging from the 1978 Camp David Peace Accords to the Oslo Process to Obama’s peace efforts. With their zero-sum approach to everything Israeli, they make no attempt to address issues of reconciliation and coexistence. Moreover, they do not acknowledge any Palestinian responsibility or accountability.
Peace is only possible through equal representation, this is in turn only possible through economic exertion.
The Camp David Accords were signed by Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin on 17 September 1978, following twelve days of secret negotiations at Camp David. The two framework agreements were signed at the White House, and were witnessed by United States President Jimmy Carter. The second of these frameworks (A Framework for the Conclusion of a Peace Treaty between Egypt and Israel) led directly to the 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty. Due to the agreement, Sadat and Begin received the shared 1978 Nobel Peace Prize. The first framework (A Framework for Peace in the Middle East), which dealt with the Palestinian territories, was written without participation of the Palestinians and was condemned by the United Nations.
The preamble of the “Framework for Peace in the Middle East” starts with the basis of a peaceful settlement of the Arab–Israeli conflict:
The agreed basis for a peaceful settlement of the conflict between Israel and its neighbors is United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, in all its parts.
The framework itself consists of 3 parts. The first part of the framework was to establish an autonomous self-governing authority in the West Bank and the Gaza strip and to fully implement Resolution 242. The Accords recognized the “legitimate rights of the Palestinian people”, a process was to be implemented guaranteeing the full autonomy of the people within a period of five years. Begin insisted on the adjective “full” to confirm that it was the maximum political right attainable. This full autonomy was to be discussed with the participation of Israel, Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinians. The withdrawal of Israeli troops from the West Bank and Gaza was agreed to occur after an election of a self-governing authority to replace Israel’s military government. The Accords did not mention the Golan Heights, Syria, or Lebanon. This was not the comprehensive peace that Kissinger, Ford, Carter, or Sadat had in mind during the previous American presidential transition. It was less clear than the agreements concerning the Sinai, and was later interpreted differently by Israel, Egypt, and the United States. The fate of Jerusalem was deliberately excluded from this agreement.
The second part of the framework dealt with Egyptian-Israeli relations, the real content worked out in the second Egypt—Israel framework. The third part, “Associated Principles,” declared principles that should apply to relations between Israel and all of its Arab neighbors.
Key points of the West Bank and Gaza section
- Egypt, Israel, Jordan and the representatives of the Palestinian people should participate in negotiations on the resolution of the Palestinian problem in all its aspects.
- (1.) Egypt and Israel agree that, in order to ensure a peaceful and orderly transfer of authority, and taking into account the security concerns of all the parties, there should be transitional arrangements for the West Bank and Gaza for a period not exceeding five years. In order to provide full autonomy to the inhabitants, under these arrangements the Israeli military government and its civilian administration will be withdrawn as soon as a self-governing authority has been freely elected by the inhabitants of these areas to replace the existing military government.
- (2.) Egypt, Israel, and Jordan will agree on the modalities for establishing elected self-governing authority in the West Bank and Gaza. The delegations of Egypt and Jordan may include Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza or other Palestinians as mutually agreed. The parties will negotiate an agreement which will define the powers and responsibilities of the self-governing authority to be exercised in the West Bank and Gaza. A withdrawal of Israeli armed forces will take place and there will be a redeployment of the remaining Israeli forces into specified security locations. The agreement will also include arrangements for assuring internal and external security and public order. A strong local police force will be established, which may include Jordanian citizens. In addition, Israeli and Jordanian forces will participate in joint patrols and in the manning of control posts to assure the security of the borders.
- (3.) When the self-governing authority (administrative council) in the West Bank and Gaza is established and inaugurated, the transitional period of five years will begin. As soon as possible, but not later than the third year after the beginning of the transitional period, negotiations will take place to determine the final status of the West Bank and Gaza and its relationship with its neighbors and to conclude a peace treaty between Israel and Jordan by the end of the transitional period. These negotiations will be conducted among Egypt, Israel, Jordan and the elected representatives of the inhabitants of the West Bank and Gaza. … The negotiations shall be based on all the provisions and principles of UN Security Council Resolution 242. The negotiations will resolve, among other matters, the location of the boundaries and the nature of the security arrangements. The solution from the negotiations must also recognize the legitimate right of the Palestinian peoples and their just requirements.
The framework merely concerned autonomy of the inhabitants of West Bank and Gaza. It neither mentions the status of Jerusalem, nor the Palestinian Right of Return.
The UN General Assembly rejected the Framework for Peace in the Middle East, because the agreement was concluded without participation of UN and PLO and did not comply with the Palestinian right of return, of self-determination and to national independence and sovereignty.
December 1978, it declared in Resolution 33/28 A, that agreements were only valid if they are within the framework of the United Nations and its Charter and its resolutions, include the Palestinian right of return and the right to national independence and sovereignty in Palestine, and concluded with the participation of the PLO. Also the passive attitude of the Security Council was criticised.
On 6 December 1979, the UN condemned in Resolution 34/70 all partial agreements and separate treaties that did not meet the Palestinian rights and comprehensive solutions to peace; it condemned Israel’s continued occupation and demanded withdrawal from all occupied territories.
On 12 December, in Resolution 34/65 B, the UN rejected more specific parts of the Camp David Accords and similar agreements, which were not in accordance with mentioned requirements. All such partial agreements and separate treaties were strongly condemned. The part of the Camp David accords regarding the Palestinian future and all similar ones were declared invalid.
The Oslo Accords are a set of agreements between the government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO): the Oslo I Accord, signed in Washington, D.C., in 1993 and the Oslo II Accord, signed in Taba in 1995. The Oslo Accords marked the start of the Oslo process, a peace process that is aimed at achieving a peace-treaty based on the United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 and 338, and to fulfill the “right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.” The Oslo process started after secret negotiations in Oslo, resulting in the recognition by the PLO of the State of Israel and the recognition by Israel of the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people and as a partner in negotiations.
The Oslo Accords created the Palestinian Authority, whose functions are the limited self-governance over parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip; and, it acknowledged that the PLO is now Israel’s partner in permanent status negotiations about the remaining issues. The most important issues are the borders of Israel and Palestine, the Israeli settlements, the status of Jerusalem, the question of Israel’s military presence in and control over the remaining territories after the recognition of the Palestinian autonomy by Israel, and the Palestinian right of return. The Oslo Accords, however, did not create a Palestinian state.
Stated goals of the Oslo Accords were among other things, Palestinian interim Self-Government (not the Palestinian Authority, but the Palestinian Legislative Council) and a permanent settlement (of unresolved issues) within five years, based on Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338. Although the agreements recognize the Palestinian “legitimate and political rights,” they remain silent about their fate after the interim period. The Oslo Accords neither define the nature of the post-Oslo Palestinian self-government and its powers and responsibilities, nor do they define the borders of the territory it eventually would govern.
A core issue of the Oslo Accords was the withdrawal of the Israeli military from Palestinian territories. The plan was a withdrawal in phases and a simultaneous transfer of responsibilities to the Palestinian authorities for maintaining security. Oslo II, Article X.2 reads:
“Further redeployments of Israeli military forces to specified military locations will commence after the inauguration of the Council and will be gradually implemented commensurate with the assumption of responsibility for public order and internal security by the Palestinian Police …”
And Article XI.2.e:
“During the further redeployment phases to be completed within 18 months from the date of the inauguration of the Council, powers and responsibilities relating to territory will be transferred gradually to Palestinian jurisdiction that will cover West Bank and Gaza Strip territory, except for the issues that will be negotiated in the permanent status negotiations.”
The first phase included the withdrawal from the Areas A and B. Redeployments from Area C would follow in subsequent phases. Article XI.3 states:
“″Area C″ means areas of the West Bank outside Areas A and B, which, except for the issues that will be negotiated in the permanent status negotiations, will be gradually transferred to Palestinian jurisdiction in accordance with this Agreement.”
The issues that will be negotiated, according to Article XVII.1, are:
“Jerusalem, settlements, specified military locations, Palestinian refugees, borders, foreign relations and Israelis; and … powers and responsibilities not transferred to the Council.”
By excluding Jerusalem and the settlements from the areas to be transferred to the Palestinians, Israeli presence, including the military to protect them, would not change without a negotiated agreement. The Accords also preserve Israel’s exclusive control of the borders, the airspace and the territorial Gaza waters. Oslo II, Article XII:
“In order to guarantee public order and internal security for the Palestinians of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the Council shall establish a strong police force as set out in Article XIV below. Israel shall continue to carry the responsibility for defense against external threats, including the responsibility for protecting the Egyptian and Jordanian borders, and for defense against external threats from the sea and from the air, as well as the responsibility for overall security of Israelis and Settlements, for the purpose of safeguarding their internal security and public order, and will have all the powers to take the steps necessary to meet this responsibility.”
The first step was a partial Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and Jericho and transfer of some powers and responsibilities on civil matters to the interim Palestinian Authority. All to agree upon within two months from October 1993 (Oslo I, Annex II).
Then, Israeli troops to withdraw from populated Palestinian areas to pave the way for Palestinian elections to establish the Council. The Council would replace the PA, and the Israeli Civil Administration in the West Bank would be dissolved (Oslo II, Article I). Further redeployments of Israeli troops would follow upon the inauguration of the Council, as detailed in the Protocol, Annex I of the Accord. Article I, 5. of Oslo II reads:
“After the inauguration of the Council, the Civil Administration in the West Bank will be dissolved, and the Israeli military government shall be withdrawn….”
Twenty years later, however, the withdrawal of Israeli troops did not take place, and the Civil Administration still has permanent military presence in more than 80% of the West Bank (Area B and C).
Permanent status negotiations about remaining issues would start not later than May 1996 (two years after the signing of the Gaza–Jericho Agreement; Oslo I, Article V) and be concluded before May 1999 (end of 5 year interim period).
BDS Undermines Peace: Argument
- Peace is not their end-game: BDS is modeled on the campaign against South Africa, which also was not designed to promote peace, but to dismantle the state. Thus, BDS leaders abhor cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians and often attack organizations that seek to bring the two sides together in a peaceful manner.
The Anti-Apartheid Movement (AAM), originally known as the Boycott Movement, was a British organisation that was at the centre of the international movement opposing South Africa’s system of apartheid and supporting South Africa’s non-whites. The AAM changed its name to ACTSA: Action for Southern Africa, in 1994, when South Africa achieved meaningful democracy in the form of multiracial elections.
The Sharpeville massacre on 21 March 1960, when 69 unarmed protesters were shot dead by the South African police, triggered an intensification of action. The organisation was renamed the “Anti-Apartheid Movement” and instead of just a consumer boycott the group would now “co-ordinate all the anti-apartheid work and keep South Africa’s apartheid policy in the forefront of British politics”, and campaign for the total isolation of apartheid South Africa, including economic sanctions.
In November 1962, the United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 1761, a non-binding resolution establishing the United Nations Special Committee against Apartheid and called for imposing economic and other sanctions on South Africa. All Western nations refused to join the committee as members. This boycott of a committee, the first such boycott, happened because it was created by the same General Assembly resolution that called for economic and other sanctions on South Africa, which at the time the West strongly opposed.
Following the passage of this resolution, the Anti-Apartheid Movement spearheaded the arrangements for international conference on sanctions to be held in London in April 1964. The conference was named the International Conference for Economic Sanctions Against South Africa.
The Conference established the necessity, the legality and the practicability of internationally organised sanctions against South Africa, whose policies were seen to have become a direct threat to peace and security in Africa and the world. Its findings also pointed out that in order to be effective, a programme of sanctions would need the active participation of Britain and the US, who were also the main obstacle to the implementation of such a policy.
Faced with the failure to persuade the West to impose economic sanctions, in 1966 the AAM formulated a strategy whereby they would shift toward spearheading “an international campaign against apartheid under the auspices of the United Nations.” AAM’s proposed strategy was approved by the UN Special Committee on Apartheid and then by the General Assembly. This new partnership formed the basis for all future action against apartheid. The man originally responsible for the new strategy gives this summary:
“The strategy was to press for a range of measures to isolate the regime, support the liberation movement and inform world public opinion; to continue pressing for effective sanctions as the only means for a peaceful solution, and at the same time to obtain action on other measures which could be decided by a majority vote in the General Assembly; to isolate the major trading partners of South Africa by persuading other Western countries to co-operate in action to the greatest feasible extent; and to find ways to promote public opinion and public action against apartheid, especially in the countries which were the main collaborators with the South African regime. This also meant that we built the broadest support for each measure, thereby welcoming co-operation rather than alienating governments and organisations which were not yet prepared to support sanctions or armed struggle.”
In 1994, there were the first democratic elections in South Africa.
BDS Undermines Peace: Argument
Thus, BDS leaders abhor cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians and often attack organizations that seek to bring the two sides together in a peaceful manner.
Israel and the PLO began to engage in the late 1980s and early 1990s in what became to be the Israeli–Palestinian peace process, culminated with the Oslo Accords in 1993. The situation became more complicated with the split of the Palestinian Authority in 2007, the violent split of Fatah and Hamas factions, and Hamas’ takeover of the Gaza Strip. The Hamas takeover resulted in a complete rift between Israel and the Palestinian faction in the Gaza Strip, cancelling all relations except limited humanitarian supply.
Israel’s GDP per capita is more than $35,000, and the unemployment rate is at 5%. Israel maintains a strong currency and has the best protection of property rights of all the economic systems in the Middle East. Israel is a member of the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), and is also known as the “entrepreneurship country”. Palestine has not been able to form a completely independent economic system. Foreign direct investment is almost non-existent. Israel is ranked 19 on the UN’s Human Development Index ranking of 177 countries, while Palestine is in the lower 100’s. In addition to agriculture, Palestine’s main economic income is aid from the international community and Palestinian labor in Israel or other places. As of 2014, 1 out 6 Palestinians are jobless. In January 2015, Israel withheld tax transfers to the Palestinians in response to the Palestinian membership application to the International Criminal Court.
William B. Quandt, in the introduction of his book Peace Process, says:
Sometime in the mid-1970s the term peace process became widely used to describe the American-led efforts to bring about a negotiated peace between Israel and its neighbors. The phrase stuck, and ever since it has been synonymous with the gradual, step-by-step approach to resolving one of the world’s most difficult conflicts. In the years since 1967 the emphasis in Washington has shifted from the spelling out of the ingredients of “peace” to the “process” of getting there. … Much of US constitutional theory focuses on how issues should be resolved – the process – rather than on substance – what should be done. … The United States has provided both a sense of direction and a mechanism. That, at its best, is what the peace process has been about. At worst, it has been little more than a slogan used to mask the marking of time.
Since the 2003 road map for peace, the current outline for a Palestinian–Israeli peace agreement has been a two-state solution. Israel’s position is that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas be the negotiating partner in the peace talks, and not Hamas. Hardliners believe that Israel should annex all Palestinian territory, or at least all minus the Gaza Strip. If Palestine were declared a state, then immediately, Israel, by its present occupation of the West Bank will be in breach of the United Nations Charter. Palestine, as a state, could legitimately call upon the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense under Article 51 of the Charter to remove Israel from the occupied territories. Palestine, as a state, would be able to accede to international conventions and bring legal action against Israel on various matters. Palestine could accede to various international human rights instruments, such as the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It could even join the International Criminal Court and file cases against Israel. The one-state solution is opposed by Israel because the very nature of Zionism and Jewish nationalism calls for a Jewish majority state, whilst the two-state solution would require the difficult relocation of half a million Jewish settlers living in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
After the 1967 Arab–Israeli war, the United Nations Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 242 calling for Israeli withdrawal from the territories occupied during the war, in exchange for “termination of all claims or states of belligerency” and “acknowledgement of sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every state in the area”.
In September 1974, 56 Member States proposed that “the question of Palestine” be included as an item in the General Assembly’s agenda. In a resolution adopted on 22 November 1974, the General Assembly affirmed Palestinian rights, which included the “right to self-determination without external interference”, “the right to national independence and sovereignty”, and the “right to return to their homes and property”. These rights have been affirmed every year since.PLO acceptance of two-state solution
The first indication that the PLO would be willing to accept a two-state solution, on at least an interim basis, was articulated in the mid-1970s. Security Council resolutions dating back to June 1976 supporting the two-state solution based on the pre-1967 lines were vetoed by the United States, which supports a two-state solution but argued that the borders must be negotiated directly by the parties. The Palestinian Declaration of Independence of 15 November 1988, which referenced the UN Partition Plan of 1947 and “UN resolutions since 1947” in general, was interpreted as an indirect recognition of the State of Israel, and support for a two-state solution. The Partition Plan was invoked to provide legitimacy to Palestinian statehood. Subsequent clarifications were taken to amount to the first explicit Palestinian recognition of Israel.
Proposed in the Fall of 2000 following the collapse of the Camp David talks, The Clinton Parameters included a plan on which the Palestinian State was to include 94-96% of the West Bank, and around 80% of the settlers were to become under Israeli sovereignty, and in exchange for that, Israel would concede some territory (so called ‘Territory Exchange’ or ‘Land Swap’) within the Green Line (1967 borders). The swap would consist of 1-3% of Israeli territory, such that the final borders of the West Bank part of the Palestinian state would include 97% of the land of the original borders.
In July 2002, the “quartet” of the United States, the European Union, the United Nations, and Russia outlined the principles of a “road map” for peace, including an independent Palestinian state. The road map was released in April 2003 after the appointment of Mahmoud Abbas (AKA Abu Mazen) as the first-ever Palestinian Authority Prime Minister. Israel was required to dismantle settlements established after March 2001, freeze all settlement activity, remove its army from Palestinian areas occupied after 28 September 2000, end curfews and ease restrictions on movement of persons and goods.
From December 2006 to mid-September 2008, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority met 36 times; there were also lower-level talks. In 2007 Olmert welcomed the Arab League’s re-endorsement of the Arab Peace Initiative. In his bid to negotiate a peace accord and establish a Palestinian state, Olmert proposed a plan to the Palestinians. The centerpiece of Olmert’s detailed proposal is the suggested permanent border, which would be based on an Israeli withdrawal from most of the West Bank. Olmert proposed annexing at least 6.3% of Palestinian territory, in exchange for 5.8% of Israeli land, with Palestinians receiving alternative land in the Negev, adjacent to the Gaza Strip, as well as territorial link, under Israeli sovereignty, for free passage between Gaza and the West Bank. Olmert’s 6.3-6.8% annexation might work out closer to 8.5%, 4 times the 1.9% limit the Palestinians argued a swap should not exceed. Israel insisted on retaining an armed presence in the future Palestinian state. Under Abbas’s offer, more than 60 percent of settlers would stay in place. Olmert, for his part, was presenting a plan in which the most sparsely populated settlements would be evacuated. Regarding Jerusalem the leaders agreed that Jewish neighborhoods should remain under Israeli sovereignty, while Arab neighborhoods would revert to Palestinian sovereignty.
Following the conflict that erupted between the two main Palestinian parties, Fatah and Hamas, Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip, splintering the Palestinian Authority into two polities, each claiming to be the true representatives of the Palestinian people. Fatah controlled the Palestinian National Authority in the West Bank and Hamas governed in Gaza. Hostilities between Gaza and Israel increased. Egypt brokered the 2008 Israel–Hamas ceasefire, which lasted half a year beginning on 19 June 2008 and lasted until 19 December 2008. The collapse of the ceasefire led to the Gaza War on 27 December 2008.
In June 2009, reacting to President Obama Barack’s Cairo Address, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared for the first time conditional support for a future Palestinian state but insisted that the Palestinians would need to make reciprocal gestures and accept several principles: recognition of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people;demilitarization of a future Palestinian state, along with additional security guarantees, including defensible borders for Israel; Palestinian would also have to accept that Jerusalem would remain the united capital of Israel, and renounce their claim to a right of return. He also claimed that Israeli settlements retain a right to growth and expansion in the West Bank. Palestinians rejected the proposals immediately. Later that year, the White House announced that it would host a three-way meeting between President Obama, Prime Minister Netanyahu, and President Mahmoud Abbas, in an effort to lay the groundwork for renewed negotiations on Mideast peace.
On 25 August 2014, Abbas announced that he would be presenting to John Kerry a new proposal for the peace process; on 3 September 2014 Abbas presented the proposal to John Kerry. The Abbas plan called for nine months of direct talks followed by a three-year plan for Israel to withdraw to the 1967 lines, leaving East Jerusalem as Palestine’s capital. As part of the plan, Israel will freeze all settlement construction as well as release the final batch of prisoners from the previous talks. The first three months of the plan would revolve around the borders and potential land swaps for the 1967 lines. The following six months would focus on issues including refugees, Jerusalem, settlements, security and water. Abbas stated that if Israel rejected the proposal he would push for charges against Israel in the International Criminal Court over the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict. Additionally if rejected, Abbas stated he would turn to the UN Security Council for unilateral measure for a Palestinian State. In December 2014, Jordan submitted the Abbas proposal to the UN Security Council, which failed when voted on later that month. Abbas signed the papers to join the International Criminal Court the day after. Israel responded by freezing NIS 500 million ($127 million) in Palestinian tax revenues.
Despite the long history of conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, there are many people working on peaceful solutions that respect the rights of peoples on both sides.
BDS Undermines Peace: Argument
- BDS advocates the “one-state” solution: Under the false premise of being “apolitical,” BDS advocates claim they are not advocating any one solution. In reality, this is purposeful ambiguity, as their three demands clearly spell out a “one-state” outcome, which has no basis in international law and which is code for the destruction of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. While disavowing any interest in a formula for concluding an Israeli-Palestinian agreement, their preconditions make it impossible to see an outcome whereby an independent state of Palestine would coexist beside a secure Jewish state. Meanwhile, BDS proponents use this ambiguity to try to recruit well-meaning people unaware of the movement’s true agenda, BDS is, therefore, a recipe for disaster, not coexistence. Creating “one state” with the “right of return” would mean that there would be no Israel and no self-determination for the Jewish people. This is not a basis for peace but a formula for perpetual conflict.
The only way there can be peace in the Middle East and Jerusalem for both the Israeli’s and the Palestinians, is that there is a healthy and properous Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, and an independent, healthy and properous Palestine as the nation-state of the Palestinian people, and an independent State of Jerusalem, not including the Knesset or the Supreme Court of Israel, for all who worship to pray. This State of Jerusalem will be divided in half, one side which contains mostly Jewish people
- Isolation not compromise: Rather than encourage compromise, efforts to isolate Israel only make its citizens feel more vulnerable and raise the already high level of risk associated with evacuating additional territory.
- Just as anti-peace as the Arab boycott: The Arab League boycott, which has been in force since 1945, before the creation of the state, did nothing to help the Palestinians achieve independence nor did it prevent Israel from becoming one of the world’s economic success stories.
- The progressive argument: Progressives are usually the ones to oppose BDS-style maneuvers against countries like Cuba or Iran. They tend to be attentive to the arguments that isolation is ineffective, counterproductive, or immoral. They should ask themselves: Is collective punishment a solution that we should embrace? Why should we accept this method against Israel when we oppose it in every other context? The same progressive argument used against isolating any country can be made for Israel: it hurts moderates, and makes compliance seem like folding to international pressure.