Supported by Novartis International AG, Seeds of Peace organized the first Middle East Youth Summit in Villars, Switzerland, in May, 1998. The Summit brought together Seeds of Peace graduates from Egypt, Israel, Jordan, the Palestinian National Authority and the United States to explore new ways to move forward the stalemated Middle East peace process.
In small committees, the young leaders addressed the final status negotiation issues of Jerusalem, Land, Refugees, Sovereignty and Security and drafted a Declaration of Principles.
The delegates met daily to debate their positions and to seek out new compromises together.
Leaders of the region, including Her Majesty Queen Noor al-Hussein of Jordan, President Flavio Cotti of Switzerland, former Prime Minister of Israel Shimon Peres, and Chief Negotiator of the Palestinian National Authority H.E. Saeb Erekat, honored the efforts of the young negotiators by addressing them in daily plenary sessions. On the last day of the Summit, First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered a special address and took questions via satellite from the White House.
The outcome of the Youth Summit, The Charter of Villars, appears below. It can be seen as a starting point for future negotiation towards a lasting and genuine peace.
The Charter contains many suggestions for resolving seemingly intransigent positions on both sides. These are meant to guide leaders in finding new, creative and workable avenues toward compromise. It was the hope of the delegates to the Youth Summit that the official representatives of the Israeli and Palestinian people will be able to use The Charter of Villars as a model for agreement, and as the basis for a possible peace treaty.
Charter of Villars
Introductory Letter »
Declaration of Principles »
Values of Sovereignty »
Jerusalem Committee »
|Security Committee »
Land Committee »
Economic Committee »
Refugee Committee »
To all of us, peace represents the hopes and dreams that have always been absent from our lives. The void left by the lack of these realized dreams has forced people to turn to violence as an answer to their problems.
For the first time, the Permanent Status negotiations have been started, not by our governments, but by those the peace truly affects.
We here at Seeds of Peace have decided that we will make our peace over the negotiations table not over the battle field.
Our leaders have shown us the way, the way of Menachem Begin and Anwar El Sadat and all of those who have sat at the negotiating table since. It is time to forge ahead and not allow the wheel to turn back because our peace is hanging on a very thin rope.
Our goal at this conference was to build a base for the peace we have always wished for.
The treaty that is enclosed within might seem like an illusion to those who do not know and understand what we have experienced at Seeds of Peace. Let us assure you that what you are about to read is in fact representative of our beliefs. It was reached behind closed doors and it reflects our desired reality.
We hope that this treaty will act as a model for you, the leaders of our countries, to base your own agreements on or take suggestions from, but at the very least, we are convinced that it will show you that peace between our two nations is possible.
We stressed the idea of our common future together because it is the truth, and we hope that this achievement of peace will act as a key into peoples` minds, opening their thinking to include the benefits of peace.
Seeds of Peace and Novartis have helped make this Middle Eastern Youth Conference possible, and we thank them for having helped us learn so many important lessons.
We have realized the difficulty and challenge involved in the negotiation of complex and emotional issues such as the ones we discussed. But we have also realized that when you let people say what they want and what they need, you understand them better, and from understanding you can build respect.
Most important of all, we have realized that no matter how complicated an issue may be, we can not turn away in submission. Instead, we must welcome the challenge of shaping our own common future.
We felt the responsibility of having to come here, and we did our job. Now it is your turn.
Israeli, Palestinian, Egyptian, Jordanian and USA Delegates
Declaration of Principles
During the past decades the Middle East has known and experienced nothing from the Israeli-Arab confrontation but painful and bloody results. The younger generation of the region has grown up in the shadow of this horrible conflict and has seen little besides the ravages of war and the brutality of violence.
As young adults we can learn the lessons from these bloody chapters, and then leave the past behind us by striving to achieve the true, just, equal, permanent peace of the future. We, Seeds Of Peace, have united at The Middle East Youth Summit in Villars, Switzerland from 1 May to 7 May, 1998 to end the senseless fighting and lay the groundwork for a new era of peace and prosperity for all. We have realized the value of peace as the only viable solution to end the conflict—a peace in which we reject the use of violence as a weapon of terror, a weapon of oppression, and a weapon used for the advancement of political aims and goals.
We recognize each other’s mutual legitimate political rights, as well as the importance of human rights and freedom of belief and religion. We desire the right to coexist side by side within a true, secure, permanent peace. We hope for two strong democratic societies. We agree that the basis for a strong and lasting peace must be centered around mutual cooperation between the two sides, including economic cooperation, ecological cooperation, cooperation in combating terrorism, and cultural and educational exchange.
Declaration of Principles
We, Seeds Of Peace delegates, know that it is truly possible to build friendship out of hatred. We who have begun to reap the benefits of our camaraderie are ready and willing to take on the responsibility of striving for a permanent, just, and secure peace based on the following principles:
Article 1: We desire the right to live in peace. We have put the violence of the past behind us, rejecting it as the way to a solution. We have chosen to achieve our goals and resolve our conflicts in a tolerant, non-violent manner, committing ourselves to peace and justice for all.
- When there is peace, we believe that we should resolve our differences by discussing the problem that may threaten the state of peace. We respect the non-violent struggle for justice and equality. We should discuss our differences, argue when we disagree, and negotiate until we find a solution that can stop the threat, both in the short term and for the future. Under no circumstances will we choose violence as a solution or as a means to achieve our goals. Any solution itself must not have negative effects that will interfere with a lasting peace. It must be agreed upon by the two parties.
- We reject solving our problems by taking any action that does not take both peoples’ opinions and rights into account.
- We are committed to keep order and to prevent terrorism or the incitement to violence from being a part of our lives. We will work to dismantle any infrastructure that supports violence against innocent people. If there are violent acts, then there should be a coordinated response to ensure safety and security for all sides. Both sides should cooperate to minimize the negative repercussions of the violent acts on both peoples.
- In a state of peace, both sides should be committed to keep the area safe and to respect the borders that will be established.
Article 2: We, the young generation of the peoples involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict promise not to forget the past but affirm that we must head together towards the future. Learning lessons from yesterday and looking for a brighter tomorrow, we agree that:
- The history of this conflict has made us feel insecure, unprotected, stressed, pressured, afraid, angry, sad, depressed, and tired of living in the past.
- Both sides made mistakes in the past, and we truly desire not to repeat them in our common future.
- We need to recognize and understand each other’s suffering in order to reach a mutual understanding of our shared history.
- There are different perspectives of history which we do not have to agree on, but each should be equally respected.
- Different versions of the same history are one of the main reasons for the disputes and mistrust between the two nations. Rather than allowing different versions of history to become a barrier to our relationship, mutual policy decisions that require historical data (such as numbers and dates) will be provided by the United Nations. (For principles dealing with the history curricula for both Israeli and Palestinian schools, see Article 3.)
Article 3: Education on both sides is crucial to promote and preserve peace. The ability of people to cooperate and coexist is dependent upon their education, which is key to their values and their thinking. Sustained educational efforts should emphasize the mutual benefits of peace and coexistence for a better future and way of life. Such efforts should not be neglected nor denied in order to attain peace. Striving to understand each other—not as enemies or as stereotypes but as complex human beings—we believe that:
- Education systems should guide the young to accept the importance of human rights and teach them to solve conflicts and stand up for their values in a non-violent manner.
- Israeli and Palestinian schools should teach children critical thinking skills to prepare them for more democratic and tolerant societies.
- Educational programs for people of all ages, including exchange programs, should be designed to help people from both groups understand each other. Such programs should discourage incitements to violence and emphasize the advantages of peace and coexistence.
- Both groups should learn about the other peoples’ history, culture and traditions in an objective and respectful fashion.
- Mass media, including TV programs and commercials, should support these educational efforts of both peoples.
- There should be cultural exchange—such as festivals, exchange of arts, tourism of each other’s museums and collaborative creative work—all undertaken with sensitivity to the cultural and religious values of both peoples.
- We are committed to act wisely and respect each other, even when we disagree on major issues. An emphasis on education is critical to ending the violence.
Article 4: We respect all the religions of our region, including Christianity, Judaism and Islam. We strive to live side by side, each person with his or her belief.
- We reject misinterpreting or distorting religion to include the killing of innocent people or as an excuse for violence.
- We call on influential members of our religious communities to find common values, to interpret traditions in ways that support coexistence, and to emphasize those texts that support peace.
Article 5: Economic cooperation is a vital necessity in order to attain and keep a secure and lasting peace. Economic growth should be based on mutual trust and cooperation. We agree that:
- Economic advantage should not be used as a political weapon.
- The economic interests of each society should be respected.
- Each society has the right to manage and develop the resources on their land provided they do not further harm others.
- Medical aid and access to medical resources should not be used as a political tool.
- There should be freedom of access to the religious and tourist sites for all.
(The importance of economic cooperation and further recommendations to achieve economic growth are outlined in the section on Economic Cooperation, below.)
Article 6: In conclusion, we envision our future relationship to be based on mutual respect in which the citizens of each country enjoy human rights, including the freedom of movement and residence within the borders of their countries. Our negotiations should be based on equality and trust. We trust each other to implement this treaty in the spirit of partnership and reconciliation in which it was written. We mutually commit ourselves to fulfill all of the obligations of this treaty.
Declaration of Principles Committee
Final Version, unanimously accepted by secret ballot by the Declaration of Principles Committee. Wednesday, May 6, 1998, 11 p.m. Plenary Voting Results: PASSED Israeli Delegates: 100% Palestinian Delegates: 95% Jordanian Delegates: 100% Egyptian Delegates: 100% American Delegates: 100%
Values of Sovereignty
Sovereignty means complete power, jurisdiction, or control over the body of politics of the state. It is associated with statehood and involves independence with no external control over all aspects of life, government, and resources. The issue of sovereignty is a dynamic asset of the human condition. It is a vision into the ideals we, the youth of our nations, hold for society.
Sovereignty governs both political and philosophical interests of society. We recognize the basic universal necessity to feel respected and represented. We decided to learn from the past and not relive the life of terror, fear and war to begin a new peaceful existence. It is in this spirit that we call for the birth of a Palestinian State. For the well-being of the Palestinian people and the world, the new state should have a democratic system. Thus, it would proudly join the democratic world in which it would become an active participant in peaceful world interaction.
Under a democratic system of government the interests of the people in the development of their emotional fulfillment, pride, and contentment would be achieved. The state would establish diplomatic relations with countries of the world in joining a global village. The establishment of a sovereign state would enable equality for the Palestinian government amongst the governments of the world. It would also create representation for the Palestinian Diaspora. Such diplomacy would increase international trade and improve the economic status of the Palestinian nation.
In order to develop the economy of each state, economic cooperation is required to bring prosperity and development to the region. Developing a stable infrastructure is important for the living conditions of the Palestinian people, both economically and socially. This stability would ensure the benefit of the entire region, and would extend the ability for people to people communication.
The satisfaction with security for the Israeli people must be met as it is the fundamental concern for the establishment of a Palestinian state. The creation of a Palestinian state in itself would solve many problems of security. A Palestinian government could provide the authority over the actions of the people with greater efficacy than from an outside force. We recognize that an independent state has the right to a military force, yet in the prospect of trust, which is our most dire need at the given time, we must compromise on this issue.
Our expectations are that this new sovereign state would provide freedom of movement. To accomplish this, the borders between the contiguous nations, including the new state of Palestine would provide for safety, security, and ease of passage.
Many bridges need to be built to connect the hearts and minds of the two states to create a real trust, not between two governments but between two peoples. In order to achieve real peace, we need to have real partners. The compromise that is yielded in declaring a state of Palestine stands caressed in the warm glow of peace. We envision the formation of a society in the image of the peaceful coexistence, which we have come to appreciate at Seeds of Peace Camp. This existence should evolve with trust provided through the initiation of cooperative social and educational programs and facilities. Uncovering our trust is the key to making agreements through negotiation, just as it is the key to the successful introduction of a state.
Conditions for a Sovereign Palestinian State
The emergence of an independent Palestinian state should be based upon the fulfillment of the following conditions. These conditions should satisfy the needs of the Palestinian people for self-expression while addressing the fears and concerns of the Israeli people. While the first condition is a prerequisite of statehood, the remaining conditions are concurrent; the obligation begins immediately and continues through the creation of a Palestinian State.
- Formal and Final Revocation of the Palestinian Covenant
- We call upon the Palestinian leadership to convene the Palestinian National Council (“PNC”) for the purpose of deleting any and all articles that call for the destruction of the State of Israel. These include any and all articles that are inconsistent with all agreements signed by the parties, including the Oslo Accords, and the expressed desire of Palestinians and Israelis to live together in peace.
- These articles, which were referenced in President Arafat’s letter to President Clinton, dated January 18th 1998 (Specifically, Articles 6-10, 15, 19-23, 30, and parts of Articles 1-5, 11-14, 16-18, 25-27, and 29) should be physically and permanently deleted from the Palestinian Covenant.
- Following revocation by the PNC, the President of the Palestinian National Authority, as Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (“PLO”) will deliver a public speech, both in English and Arabic, unequivocally supporting and approving the action.
- Immediately following this speech, the Prime Minister of Israel should publicly acknowledge the action of the PNA and affirm that this issue has been settled finally and fully to the satisfaction of the Israeli government.
The revocation of the Palestinian Covenant is still a disputed issue between our leaders. We recognize that further progress regarding sovereignty may be hindered unless this issue is fully and finally resolved. Therefore, we suggest the following solution:
- Provisions/Limitations on the Palestinian State Security Force
- The establishment of a Palestinian State Security Force. This force would be used solely for internal defensive purposes. It would not possess offensive weaponry or acquire destabilizing weapon systems. The force would be limited in size and equipment by prior agreement. While the Palestinian security force will have sovereignty over all land within its jurisdiction, Israel will retain sole control over airspace but will agree to defend the state of Palestine from air attack should the situation arise.
- The Palestinian State Security Force will increase in size in proportion to the size of the territories within its jurisdiction.
- The creation of demilitarized zones. These zones will only be drawn in areas where there is potential for armed conflict (i.e. Hebron) and will be jointly patrolled by Israeli and Palestinian security forces.
While a Palestinian police force already exists under the terms of the Oslo Accords, a sovereign Palestinian state will need additional resources to insure the safety and security of its citizens and to meet the legitimate security concerns of Israel. To satisfy this condition, we recommend the following action:
- Addressing the Safety and Security Concerns of Israel
- A joint security task force will be established with the purpose of destroying extremist forces and stopping terrorist attacks. The Palestinian authority will work aggressively to stop terror and provide assistance to the Israeli government in this effort.
- The Israeli security forces will work aggressively to fight extremists within Israeli society.
- The obligation to fight terror should be consistently applied and enforced.
- Both parties recognize the importance of education in fighting terror and achieving safety and security.
- The Palestinian and Israeli Ministries of Education will develop a committee on “Educating for Peace.” Representatives of this committee will work together to create a curriculum to implement education programs regarding peace in their schools. (Seeds of Peace would be happy to assist in the development and implementation of this curriculum). In addition, efforts should be made to educate Palestinian and Israeli adults regarding the benefits derived from peaceful coexistence. These educational programs should begin immediately and could include the creation of public service announcements or other campaigns aimed at reaching a wide segment of the society.
We recognize that the State of Israel exists in an atmosphere of hostility and hatred. Various states in the region still refuse to recognize the right of Israel to live in peace and security with its neighbors; they threaten or act to destroy Israel through military means or by sponsoring terrorist activities against Israeli citizens. The birth of a Palestinian state, which shares political, economic and geographic ties with Israel, must address these concerns.
- Control of Borders
While this condition overlaps previous conditions regarding security, it is necessary to determine and define recognizable borders of a future Palestinian State that exists on contiguous land. For an interim period of time, we recommend all borders should have both Israeli and Palestinian border control representatives. Eventually, however, the ultimate goal is to allow for the free flow of goods and people and to live side by side like Switzerland and France.
- Development of Economic Infrastructure
- Efforts should be pursued to grow an independent Palestinian economy. The average Palestinian must be able to reap the benefits of peace and independence.
- Economic initiatives with Israel and surrounding Arab countries should be encouraged to promote financial stability. Greater financial independence and stability will also enhance security measures.
- The Joint Fund for a Democratic Palestine (“JFDP”) will be instituted to begin raising funds for and encouraging investment in a Palestinian state.
An emerging Palestinian state must be able to provide for its citizens. In order to contribute to the stability and prosperity of the region, it must first build a strong and viable economy that can provide jobs and expand opportunities for its people.
- The Palestinian people should commit themselves to a democratic form of government. Part of this commitment should include free and open elections with the principle of one person, one vote.
- Freedom of speech.
- Freedom of religion.
- Freedom of the press.
- Equal rights for all.
- Appropriate checks and balances on the exercise of power in order to preserve and protect these principles.
Democracies seldom go to war against other democracies. Therefore, we should welcome the existence of a Palestinian state that is based upon the highest ideals of a democracy and reflects democratic principles. A democratic Palestine will be more likely to live in peace with all of its neighbors.
The Benefits and Interests of a Palestinian State
The New Palestinian Sovereign state will be of vital benefit to the region in numerous ways, particularly in the areas of security, economic cooperation and democracy. We believe that such issues hold the key to regional normalization between Israel and its Arab neighbors.
- Sovereignty: The Issue of Security
- AFFIRMING that with greater control by the Palestinian government over both its people and their territory, they will ensure greater responsibility toward both the Israeli and Palestinian people.
- CALLS UPON both parties to ensure a joint effort to combat all acts of terrorism and violence.
- URGING both sides to commit themselves in establishing and/or creating, both international and national conferences, that would enhance security cooperation between all parties such as the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) and the Conference on Security and Cooperation in the Middle East (CSCME).
- RECOGNIZING that both parties will refrain from the use of force and/or weapons, such as conventional, non-conventional and nuclear against one another.
- ACKNOWLEDGING that both parties will not support, cooperate or take part in any acts of hostile alliance and coalitions in the region.
The delegates of the state of Israel and the Palestinian National Authority hereby agree, that the rise of the Palestinian state will contribute to the security of both parties involved and in turn create regional stability in the area. This agreement is thereby witnessed by the United States of America, The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the Arab Republic of Egypt.
AFFIRMING that the Government of the state of Israel recognizes the need for establishing a Palestinian state. ALSO AFFIRMING that the Palestinian National Authority recognizes the existence of the Jewish state of Israel, as its neighbor. EMPHASIZING that by the act of mutual recognition that will take place in due time, an end will be put to decades of hostility and violence. In achieving this agreement, all parties will benefit in the following ways: All parties believe that by establishing a Palestinian state, a sense of accountability regarding security will prevail.
- Sovereignty: The Issue of Economic Cooperation
- EXPRESSING views of appreciation towards the international community for their financial support.
- ACKNOWLEDGING The importance of an economic partnership between both parties especially in areas of mutual interest. In that acknowledgment, the two sides agree to create an Israeli/Palestinian continuing committee for economic cooperation, focusing among other things, on the following:
- Development Programs prepared by experts on both sides shall address the issues of water, electricity, energy, finance, transportation, communication, trade, industry, and environment. In belief that a mutual interest exists in increasing the standard of living of all parties.
- An infrastructure is to be created dealing specifically with labor relations and employment. This will guarantee the employees working in both Palestine and Israel safety and security.
- ENCOURAGING both parties to cooperate in social welfare issues and human resource development plans.
- AFFIRMING that the new Palestinian state will remain using the Israeli Shekel. Once Palestinian economy is stabilized, a committee will be formed to study the prospect of a Palestinian currency.
- RECOGNIZING that the Palestinian state will have full authority and ability to both import and export products at their own will.
- ENCOURAGING multinational firms to start franchising and investing in the newly established Palestinian state.
In order to create a stable environment for economic development, it is agreed that economic cooperation between all parties is necessary. Furthermore, this will ensure world recognition and acceptance of the new established Palestinian state into the global economy. We believe that the money invested previously in defense and military shall be shifted onto more peaceful and domestic use.
- Sovereignty: The Issue of Democracy
- RECOGNITION by all parties of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights chartered on the 10th of December 1948 by the General Assembly of the United Nations.
- BY ENSURING the freedom of speech, religion and press, the Palestinian state will reflect the needs and beliefs of the Palestinian people, and will specifically be implemented by the process of free elections.
- A system of checks and balances must be created to guarantee that no government entity will have more authority over the other.
In attempt to establish a stable country all parties believe that democratization, the process which first began on 20 January 1996 must be continued. Furthermore, we recognize the importance of the acknowledgment of the basic human rights that any Democracy enjoys. In that, we have agreed to the following:
Section 1: Introduction
We are a group of Israeli, Palestinian, Egyptian, Jordanian, and American youth committed to peace and coexistence in the Middle East. Based upon trust and mutual understanding—the fundamental principles of Seeds of Peace—we have come together to negotiate one of the most emotional and controversial issues of the Arab-Israeli conflict: Jerusalem.
Through the hope which Seeds of Peace has given us, we have gained the courage to face the crucial question of Jerusalem—a problem which many believe insoluble, and even non-negotiable. We, the members of the Jerusalem committee, Arabs and Israelis alike, recognize that Jerusalem is a city of historical significance and deep religious meaning to both Arabs and Israelis. It is of cultural, geographical and economic importance to both the Palestinian and Israeli people. Its ancient holy sites are sources of emotional attachment to Jews, Christians and Muslims. The dispute over the city is important to us, because it affects our peoples, our families, and our friends.
The problems this committee has examined are by no means clear-cut; we have faced extreme difficulty in reaching even the simplest of agreements. Yet through the sharing of personal stories, debate of political issues, and negotiation, we have persisted. Our commitment to peace and to each other has supplied the strength needed to overcome our frustration. In mutual recognition of the significance of Jerusalem to both the Israeli and Palestinian peoples, we of the Jerusalem committee have reached the following agreements on the best methods of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict over the city, of upholding equal and fundamental rights for all of its inhabitants, of improving the quality of life for all of its residents, and ultimately of resolving the national aspirations of both of the peoples who see Jerusalem as their only capital city.
Section 2: Declaration of Principles
After half a century without resolution, the bitter conflict over Jerusalem continues to divide the city’s inhabitants and to prevent Jerusalem and her residents from enjoying full freedom, security, economic prosperity and international recognition. Our Jerusalem committee includes seven Jerusalemites, four Israeli and three Palestinian, who have grown up fearing to cross into “the other side” of the city, and witnessing firsthand the violence and inequality that result from two neighboring populations existing in a state of unresolved hostility. It is our desire to see all Jerusalemites equally possessed of their fundamental human rights and enjoying the improved quality of life that a peaceful solution of the Jerusalem question will bring. We resolve that the following principles must be guaranteed in any agreement regarding the status of Jerusalem, and in the absence of any such agreement, should be implemented and upheld by the authorities and institutions controlling the city until such agreement is reached.
- Full access to Jerusalem’s holy sites must be guaranteed for all people as long as they do not pose a threat to human life, the holy places themselves, in accordance to and respecting the religious customs observed at that site.
- No wall should divide Jerusalem.
- The fullest possible access must be guaranteed for all people to any and every part of Jerusalem, as long as they do not pose a threat to human life or property and in accordance to the jurisdiction in the particular part of the city.
- Fundamental human rights must be equally ensured for all residents of Jerusalem regardless of race, religion, or nationality.
- All residents of Jerusalem must have the right to participate in the legislative authority of the city, regardless of race, religion, or nationality.
It is our will to improve the quality of life in Jerusalem for all of her inhabitants by confronting the following negative conditions that exist in the holy city today:
Lack of personal security: Throughout our lives, Jerusalem has been the scene of terror attacks and bloody confrontations. Innocent people, Israelis, Palestinians, and foreign visitors, have become the victims of violence for doing no more than walking in Jerusalem’s streets, riding the bus, or praying in the holy places.
Together we denounce the use of violence as an instrument of terror, of oppression, or of advancing political goals. The Israeli members of this committee avoid traveling within the Old City and most Palestinian sections of the city, and the Palestinian members of this committee avoid traveling within most Israeli sections of the city, for fear of harassment and violence. In addition, people around the world refrain from visiting Jerusalem due to its reputation as a volatile and dangerous place. We aspire to reach an agreement which better satisfies the aspirations of all of Jerusalem’s inhabitants, in order to stabilize the situation in the city, so that all Jerusalemites will feel free and safe to travel anywhere in their home city, and so the people of the world will feel fully comfortable visiting. The Israeli members of the committee would like to enjoy the markets, restaurants, and holy and historical sites of the Old City and East Jerusalem. The Palestinian members of the committee would like to enjoy the cafes, shopping malls, and theaters of West Jerusalem. All of the city’s inhabitants would like to enjoy the prosperity that will result from maximizing the city’s tremendous potential as a haven for tourism and religious pilgrimage. A just, mutually agreeable resolution of the conflict over the city is the best way to reduce the violence and tension endemic to Jerusalem of today. Such a solution is urgent, because we wish that Jerusalemites will enjoy their full rights and maximum prosperity within our own lifetimes.
Lack of International Recognition: Both the Israeli and Palestinian peoples see Jerusalem as their national capital. This status has never been recognized, however, by the overwhelming majority of the international community. The unacknowledged status of Jerusalem as the national capital prevents both peoples from fully exercising their rights to self-determination and sovereignty. In addition, the disputed and undefined status of Jerusalem also impairs the financial development of the city, as numerous international corporations refrain from locating their offices in the city.
Inequality in Municipal Services and Fundamental Rights: A fundamental condition for creating a more peaceful Jerusalem is the equal maintenance of all sections of the city, and the equal maintenance of fundamental rights of all residents of the city, regardless of their race, religion or nationality. In Jerusalem today, there exists a tremendous disparity between the quality of infrastructure in Israeli and Palestinian sections of the city. We resolve that this situation is a violation of equal rights which inflames the division between the Israeli and Palestinian populations in the city, and that action must be taken by the authorities and institutions of Jerusalem in order to equalize and improve the status of infrastructure in all of the city, and to ensure equal distribution of municipal services in the future.
In order to advance this goal, we recommend the establishment of two municipalities, one Israeli and one Palestinian, within the current boundaries of the city of Jerusalem, and the establishment of an Inter-Municipal Council for Infrastructure (IMC4IF) made up of an equal number of Israeli and Palestinian representatives, with the responsibility of coordinating between the municipalities and deciding on all infrastructure matters that affect both sides (see section 3). We affirm the right of residence for all Jerusalemites, regardless of race, religion or nationality. Our agreement will not tolerate any policy that would deprive residents of Jerusalem of their right to travel and return to reside in Jerusalem, or to marry non-residents of Jerusalem and retain their right to reside in Jerusalem. This agreement will guarantee the right of residents of Jerusalem to bring all members of their nuclear family to reside with them in Jerusalem without any interference on the part of either municipality.
We affirm the right of all residents of Jerusalem, irrespective of race, religion or nationality, to build upon privately-owned land in accordance with municipal building codes and community standards. Such codes and standards, however, must be determined according to substantive aesthetic criteria and not according to the race, religion, or nationality of the owner or the majority of inhabitants in the area in which the land is located. It is our belief that the system of two municipalities will ensure the greatest degree of fairness in this aspect of life in Jerusalem.
Mutually Exclusive Education: The current approaches to education regarding Jerusalem within both the Israeli and Palestinian societies present a one-sided vision of Jerusalem as the capital city of only one side. In order to increase support for the agreement and peace within Jerusalem, this educational approach must be replaced with a new program, one geared at instilling the values of human rights, equality, understanding and mutual respect of the cultures and religions of all peoples living in Jerusalem. This program will teach the history of both the Palestinian and Israeli peoples and their specific connections to the city of Jerusalem. A new generation of Israeli and Palestinian students will be taught to see two peoples living in Jerusalem, and to see the city through their eyes. Exchanges between Palestinian and Israeli schools in Jerusalem will be an integral part of the new curriculum, which will make coexistence not simply a value but a way of life in Jerusalem.
Section 3: Municipal Agreements
Members of the Committee recognize the importance of Jerusalem for both sides on the basis of religion, history, human population and culture. We also recognize that fundamental human rights must be maintained to guarantee security and peaceful coexistence. Both sides will share the city, therefore a mechanism that fulfills the needs of both sides to the fullest extent possible must be created. The Committee believes that the following proposal fulfills the civic rights of Palestinians while not infringing upon those of the Israeli citizens. The following proposals were agreed upon:
- Religious sites will be controlled by an authority of the corresponding religion.
- Jerusalem will have two municipalities, one Palestinian and one Israeli, within the city’s current municipal boundaries.
- An Inter-Municipal Council for Infrastructure (IMC4IF) will be established with representatives from both municipalities.
- The first responsibility and function of the IMC4IF is Inter-Municipal Coordination: The IMC4IF will be responsible for keeping each municipality aware of development in the neighboring municipality. The IMC4IF will meet regularly, and its members will be responsible for exchanging updated information on current developments and issues in their respective jurisdictions.
- The second responsibility and function of the IMC4IF is Management of Infrastructure: The IMC4IF will manage the development of all infrastructure that is shared by both municipalities or which affects both of them. Infrastructure includes sewage, roads, telephones, electricity, and any other facets of urban civilization that the committee chooses to approve.
- The IMC4IF, like the two municipalities, will operate within the current municipal boundaries of the city of Jerusalem.
- The IMC4IF has decision-making authority only on issues of infrastructure or other issues shared by both municipalities or affecting both of them.
- Each municipality reserves the right to annex neighborhoods and territories adjacent to their current boundaries but not infringing upon the territory of the other municipality.
- Each municipality will undertake the responsibility of shared financial or infrastructure consequences from the type of annexation activity denoted in item 8.
- The IMC4IF will work for the benefit of the city as a whole.
- The officials of the IMC4IF will be appointed by the two municipalities according to their qualifications and expertise in relevant fields, and not according to political or electoral calculations.
- There will be an equal number of Israeli and Palestinian representatives on the IMC4IF.
- Compensation will be guaranteed to any residents of Jerusalem who lose property as a consequence of the agreement.
- The status of the Old City and the inter-municipal borders was not discussed and therefore remains open for future negotiations.
Section 4: The Establishment of a Palestinian Capital in Jerusalem and the Elimination of Terrorism
We, the members of the Jerusalem committee, affirm the following agreement regarding the establishment of a Palestinian capital within the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem and the elimination of the infrastructure of terrorism. The State of Israel will recognize and declare the Palestinian national right to establish a Palestinian capital of a sovereign Palestinian state, within the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem. The Israeli members of the committee base this recognition on the following principles:
- Human life. Jerusalem has been seen by the Jewish people as their exclusive capital for thousands of years, and it is deeply painful to concede sovereignty in any section of it. However, human life is the one value that takes precedence over the value of sovereignty over all of Jerusalem. It is our belief that the only effective way to end the bloodshed in our country is by reaching a comprehensive agreement to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, including a resolution of the issue of Jerusalem.
- Recognition of the Importance of a Palestinian Capital. As stated in the preamble to the Jerusalem Committee Agreement, the Israeli members of the committee recognize the strength of Palestinian national aspirations to claim their capital in the city of Jerusalem. Therefore, it is our belief that the objective of establishing a functioning capital in Jerusalem will inspire the Palestinian people to eliminate terrorism and achieve things that were previously thought impossible.
This declaration will be implemented if and when the following conditions must be fulfilled:
- Terrorism will be eliminated before the implementation of the declaration. Israeli and Palestinian security forces will cooperate in destroying the infrastructure of terrorism.
- The Jewish neighborhoods built by Israel in East Jerusalem will not be evacuated as a consequence of this agreement. Their sovereignty is subject to further negotiation. Their residents will have the option to choose their citizenship (i.e. Israeli or Palestinian) at the conclusion of these negotiations.
- There will be no Palestinian army in Jerusalem.
- The Israel Defense Forces will withdraw from Jerusalem only with the implementation of the declaration.
- Palestinian security forces will work with Israeli security forces in the area agreed upon as the Palestinian capital during the period in between the declaration and the implementation.
- Immediately upon implementation of the declaration of the establishment of a Palestinian capital in Jerusalem, the Palestinian state will recognize the part of Jerusalem remaining under Israeli sovereignty as the capital of the sovereign state of Israel. Both Israel and Palestine will demand international recognition of their joint sovereign status within the city of Jerusalem.
A committee consisting of an equal number of Palestinian and Israeli representatives and representatives of the United Nations will be assigned to clarify and define the practical meaning of the elimination of terror, and when this elimination is accomplished. The representatives will be selected on the basis of expertise in the fields of security and fighting terror will meet at two-month intervals in order to evaluate the progress of the elimination of terrorism. Upon achievement of the elimination of terrorism according to the criteria decided upon by said committee, Israel is committed to recognize and declare the Palestinian capital in Jerusalem of the sovereign Palestinian state, and to begin the redeployment of Israeli forces in Jerusalem according to article 4 (above). There will be simultaneous Palestinian recognition of the Israeli capital in the Israeli section of Jerusalem in accordance with article 6. This committee recognizes the need for an interim agreement that will discuss settlements, boundaries, and the status quo before this declaration is implemented.
We, the Israeli, Palestinian, Jordanian, Egyptian and American delegates who have gathered together at the first Middle East Youth Summit in Villars, Switzerland to negotiate the final status of the Israeli-Palestinian peace accords begun in Oslo five years ago, agree to work towards the establishment of a Democratic State of Palestine that will live side by side with Israel in peace. We, the Israeli delegation and the Palestinian delegation of the security committee agree to the following:
- The Palestinians recognize the Jewish State of Israel. Accordingly, Israel recognizes the right of the Palestinians to create the State of Palestine.
- We believe that security is a basic human right for every human being. It is our right to have freedom from fear, worry and suffering. We agree that every human being should be able to feel safe from any threats to their personal living space and should be free to build bridges of trust and cooperation so that human, legitimate and political rights for all are guaranteed.
- Our desire is to secure a just and lasting peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians in order to put an end to decades of conflict and to live in peaceful coexistence, mutual dignity and security.
- We agree, based on mutual trust and cooperation, that necessary measures will be taken to prevent and combat terrorism of all kinds. This includes refraining from organizing, instigating, inciting, assisting or participating in acts or threats of hostility and violence.
- Both parties agree to the complete sharing of information concerning terrorist activities threatening either of the two parties.
- The governments agree to introduce an educational system that includes a curriculum that encourages peace, democracy, coexistence, tolerance and conflict resolution.
- Both parties agree to promote tourism, exchange scientific technology and support infrastructure in order to create jobs which will in turn create prosperous conditions that will reduce terrorist activity.
- Based on clause 1, we agree on a temporarily demilitarized Palestinian State. We also agree that a joint Palestinian-UN peacekeeping force under US command will protect and patrol borders of a future Palestinian State. Note – The usage of the term “country” refers to the future State of Palestine.
Terms of Cooperation on Terrorism Cooperation between Israel and the future State of Palestine is the key to long-lasting peace and prosperity for our two nations. Despite our history as enemies, we, the Israelis and Palestinians must now become partners. Today, we face a common threat from extremists on both sides of the conflict, Israeli and Palestinian. In order to combat terrorism, which threatens the rule of law and order in our societies, damages our economies and endangers our peoples, we have agreed to fight terrorism together.
- We agree that there must be complete cooperation in combating and preventing all acts of terrorism.
- We agree that there must be complete sharing of all information concerning terrorist activity between the proper Palestinian and Israeli authorities in order to prevent any future violence that jeopardizes the well being and safety of both the Israeli and Palestinian peoples.
- Terrorists are to be tried in the country in which they committed the attack. In the event that the person or persons who commit a terror attack flee back to their country of origin, they must face trial in the country in which the attack took place. In principal, we have agreed that neither the Israeli nor Palestinian security forces has the right to pursue a suspected terrorist or criminal across the other government’s borders. However, certain cases, for instance, hot pursuit of terrorists and criminals, will be left open to discussion and determined through further negotiations.
- Both governments must actively cooperate, including sharing of information and strategy. In addition, each government is responsible for doing everything in its power to arrest suspected terrorists-criminals and bring them to justice according to the terms of this agreement.
- To ensure a just and fair trial, the accused will be tried in a court of justice in the country in which the attack took place. A group of representatives from the country in which the trial is not taking place (if the trial takes place in Israel, a group of Palestinian observers will be present to report on the proceedings. Likewise, if the trial takes place in the future state of Palestine, Israeli observers will be present in the courtroom) will observe the trial to ensure due process of law. For the same reason, the media will have full access to the proceedings of the trial.
If the suspect or suspects is found guilty and convicted, the guilty party or parties will be imprisoned in the country in which they were tried. The same committee of observers will also have the right to visit the convicted party or parties in prison to inspect prison conditions and ensure that the prisoners are treated in accordance with international humanitarian laws.
- Those connected with the planning of the terrorist attack who may be involved in organizing and planning but may not actually commit the crime, will be brought to trial in their own country unless they have crossed the borders.
- Both states agree to abide by international humanitarian law.
Methods of Combating Terrorism
Military Enforcement Enforcement and implementation of these principles is of primary importance. Smuggled weapons and contraband present a threat to both of our securities, but respecting each country’s sovereignty is also critical. Therefore, we have agreed that the State of Palestine will be protected from external threats by a combination of Palestinian Police and UN Peacekeeping Forces under American command. Israeli troops will be responsible for defending and patrolling its borders and we have agreed that border crossings between Israel and the future State of Palestine will consist of two separate checkpoints monitored on the Palestinian border by Palestinian Police and UN peacekeeping forces and on the Israeli border by the IDF. These arrangements will be reevaluated by a commission a year after implementation to review the feasibility and security requirements of this arrangement and enable both parties to find another solution if necessary.
- The Israeli and Palestinian governments agree to confiscate all illegal weapons and prohibited materials that may be used to produce any types of weapons, bombs etc.
- The Israeli and Palestinian governments agree to enforce closure of terrorist institutions.
- The Israeli and Palestinian governments will make a concerted effort to locate and eliminate terrorist labs for building ammunition-weapons and other forms of arms.
- The Israeli and Palestinian governments will prevent arms smuggling and dealing along their borders.
- Both the Israeli and Palestinian governments agree to cooperate to the fullest extent on gathering and sharing information on terrorism, arms dealing, smuggling and other activities that undermine the security and stability of each country.
- The government of the future State of Palestine must have exclusive control over the educational system. Private schools and other independent educational institutions, for all age levels from pre-kindergarten through universities, must all comply with the national standards set up by the democratic Palestinian government.
- A curriculum to encourage peace, democracy, coexistence, tolerance and conflict resolution – the building blocks of peace – will be introduced to the school system. A joint committee of Palestinian and Israeli educators will work together on developing a peace curriculum that will be introduced to Israeli and Palestinian school children beginning at the earliest age and continuing to the most advanced levels of study, from kindergarten through university.
- A special educational committee composed of Palestinian and Israeli government officials and UN representatives will be established to review the implementation of national educational standards, in particular those relating to peace and conflict-resolution studies in Israel and the future State of Palestine. This committee will inspect schools on a quarterly basis for the next six years.
- Both the Israeli and Palestinian governments will encourage and promote the establishment of peace movements, for youth and the general population.
- A joint committee of Palestinian and Israeli educators and media specialists will develop programs to increase awareness and raise support for peace in Israel and the future State of Palestine. The Governments will promote television and media programming on peace, for example, television shows like Sesame Street with peaceful messages that promote coexistence.
- All statements calling for the destruction of Israel will be eliminated from school textbooks and official governmental printed materials. Likewise, official government statements and official printed materials from the Israeli government will eliminate political statements that deny recognition of a Palestinian State. For example, official usage of terms such as Judea and Samaria when they are not historical references.
- Financial aid to the Palestinian government will begin now and continue for six years. Israel, the UN, the IMF and World Bank will commit to helping to build the infrastructure of a Palestinian State so that the Palestinian State can securely establish itself and its democratic institutions. The Palestinian government will draft a list of budgetary requirements that will be presented to all donor nations or international institutions for review. The UN, IMF and World Bank will supervise the proper allocation of donated funds.
- Welfare Agencies
- Infrastructure projects like building sewers, roads, water pipelines, electricity, and telecommunication systems etc.
Social Services Financed under this agreement are:
- Each government agrees to monitor hospitals, schools and other welfare institutions operating within its borders.
- We have agreed that it is important that the elected Palestinian government should invest in the creation of social welfare, health and educational institutions that serve the Palestinian public as a way of competing with the social welfare organizations supported by terrorist organizations.
- The Palestinian government will make its annual Financial Report available to all donor nations for review.
- After this five year period has passed, a joint Israeli-Palestinian commission will convene to re-examine the financial aid agreement in order to determine the conditions of a future financial aid agreement.
- The funds distributed under this accord will not be delayed or postponed as long as the funds made available to the Palestinian government are spent on the social service and infrastructure items agreed upon by the Israeli and Palestinian governments. In the event a dispute arises between the Palestinian government and the Israeli government over another aspect of the Israeli-Palestinian accords, the funds allocated for social services and infrastructure will not be suspended or withheld.
- The Palestinians agree to the importance of political pluralism (having political choices and parties with different points of view) and will do everything in their power to encourage and ensure political diversity.
- Both parties agree to publicly denounce terrorism.
- The Palestinian government agrees to enter into agreements with countries sponsoring terrorism that will prohibit sponsorship of terrorism in the future State of Palestine.
- Laws in both countries will be enacted and enforced strictly and fairly against terrorism and terrorists.
We, the Palestinian delegation of the security committee recognize the Jewish State of Israel—its right to exist and defend its borders. And we, the Israeli delegation of the security committee recognize the right of the Palestinians to create the State of Palestine—its right to exist and protect its borders. In drafting this agreement we recognize the legitimate security concerns of both the Israelis and the Palestinians to defend themselves against external and internal security threats. Therefore, we have agreed that:
- The future Palestinian state will be allowed to have a force stronger than a regular police force in order to guarantee its citizens’ safety and safeguard law and order. This security force will essentially form the foundation of a Palestinian National Guard that will synthesize the power of the police force and a light army. The future Palestinian National Guard we envision will be allowed weapons such as armed jeeps, machine guns, tear gas and other light arms.
- The future Palestinian State agrees to operate without a full-fledged army which would include a navy, air force, tanks, missiles, heavy artillery and weapons of mass destruction until a trilateral committee of U.S., Israeli and Palestinian military leaders to review the security situation and reevaluate the security requirements of the future Palestinian State. This trilateral committee will reconvene at a later date to reevaluate the terms of this agreement.
- Each nation has the complete sovereign right over its own airspace.
- If Israel is attacked through the future state of Palestine’s airspace, Israel has the automatic right to defend itself using Palestinian airspace.
- Israel may not use Palestinian airspace to initiate an attack on a foreign country. However, if Israel is attacked and responds in its own defense by using Palestinian airspace, the Palestinian national preserves its sovereign right to file a protest through official means only and expects a formal apology.
Securing Israeli and Palestinian Borders The borders of Israel and the future state of Palestine will be separated by a demilitarized zone protected and patrolled by Palestinian Police and United Nations Peacekeeping Forces under American command on the Palestinian side of the border and the Israeli Defense Forces on the Israeli side of the border.
Supervision and Enforcement A special committee of the high ranking Israeli and Palestinian leadership in the security forces must meet every week to increase cooperation and ensure security in the region. At this time updates should be provided of weapon confiscation, arrest of known terrorists and other security measures being taken to guarantee implementation of agreements on both sides. Suggested Proposals for Securing Borders (for the record the following were proposed, though not adopted by the members of the committee).
Proposal A Assuming that the future state of Palestine had its eastern most border along the Jordan River alongside the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the following security arrangements would be implemented:
- The borders separating Israel from a State of Palestine would be separated by a demilitarized zone protected by armed United Nations troops and the Palestinian Police on the Palestinian side of the border and the IDF on the Israeli side of the border.
- In order to ensure Israel’s security and safety and accommodate Palestinians’ need for sovereignty over their borders, two narrow strips of territory along the Jordan River valley would be leased to Israel by the Palestinians. Early warning stations with radar and other detection devices would be placed in these areas.
- The Palestinian Police and UN Troops would have full control over the border crossing area between Jordan and the future state of Palestine and Israel would not be able to have any IDF soldiers along this border area.
- If the border of the future state of Palestine is drawn along the Jordan River then the Palestinian Police will patrol and protect the border along with armed UN security forces.
- If the border of the future state of Palestine ends short of the Jordan River with Israeli sovereignty over territory along the border with Jordan, the IDF will have full control to protect and patrol the border.
Guidelines for determining the borders of the State of Israel and the future state of Palestine:
- We are discussing the territories occupied in 1967 and leaving out the entire issue of Jerusalem to the Jerusalem committee.
- This agreement will consider the validity of exchanging land for land.
- This agreement will look specifically into heavily populated settlements and those close to the Green Line border and not near Palestinian villages.
- There may be issues of security zones for both sides but they will not be addressed here and will be addressed by a separate committee. However, we will address the security of the settlers.
- This agreement will be implemented after the bilateral declaration of the State of Palestine as determined by the Sovereignty Committee.
- The majority of Israeli settlers in the West Bank will remain under Israeli sovereignty according to sufficient land exchange for the future State of Palestine.
Land for land Exchange will include:
- One hundred percent of the Gaza Strip will be turned over to a Palestinian state. There will be three highways between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Traffic may enter or exit these highways in the Gaza Strip or West Bank only. These highways will be at the shortest crossing between the North of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, the central region of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, and the South of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
- These highways can be in the form of tunnels, bridges or any other no-access form.
- There will be joint Palestinian and Israeli funding for these highways. International funding and assistance should be requested. (Unless Novartis will be willing to make another contribution for peace in the Middle East.)
- As an example of two possibilities for land exchange, we will look at the Etzion Bloc and Betar. The two possibilities of land exchange will be either for land of equal size and value near the Gaza Strip or for land of equal size and value on the Israeli side of the Green Line border near the area of exchange.
- In the Etzion Bloc, Israeli citizens will live under Israeli law as residents of Israel.
- The area of the Etzion Bloc will be surrounded by a 500 meter security ring except in the East where the distance between the Etzion Bloc and Palestinian villages will be divided in half but shall not exceed 500 meters for the Etzion Bloc security ring.
- The actual municipal boundaries of the Etzion Bloc will be mutually agreed upon by the Israeli and Palestinian authorities.
- The same rules of the Palestinian government regarding arms of citizens will apply to the Israelis living in the Etzion Bloc. There will be no heavy artillery or armaments in the Etzion Bloc. The security forces inside this area will be of police only and not Israeli defense forces.
- The area of Etzion Bloc will be exchanged near the Gaza Strip for land of equal size and value.
- The settlements of Betar and Hadar Betar will be annexed to Israel together with a piece of land that will connect the area of Betar and Newe Daniyyel. ( Please refer to the attached Map A to better understand the following description. ) A piece of uninhabited land connecting the State of Israel with the Etzion Bloc at Newe Daniyyel, that includes the two settlements of Betar and Hadar Betar but does not include the village of Nahhalin, will be exchanged with uninhabited land of equal area and value, adjacent to the present border, immediately west of the land being exchanged.
- The area near the Gaza Strip that will be given to the future State of Palestine will be developed before the transfer to the future State of Palestine with the financial help of Israel and the international community.
Agreement on the status of Israeli citizens in the future Palestinian state
Definition: All Israeli settlements that will be under the authority of the Palestinian state will be referred to as “Jewish communities”.
- Settlers may choose to live in the future Palestinian state and under Palestinian authority or move to Israel.
- Settlers should be given the full choice of living in the future Palestinian state or moving to Israel without worry about financial considerations. Each government is responsible for its own citizens and should compensate the people who choose to leave their land and live under their own government in a fair way according to their properties and personal status.
- Settlers who choose to stay in a Palestinian state will automatically receive residency permissions and remain Israeli citizens.
- Settlers staying in the Palestinian state will enjoy the same rights as other Palestinians. They will enjoy religious freedom and form their own municipalities, taking into consideration their Muslim and Christian neighbors. The municipal boundaries of a Jewish community will be determined according to the population of the settlement taking into consideration natural growth.
- Sparsely populated settlements that come in the way of Palestinian expansion and viability will not enjoy the privileges of a regular Jewish community. They will have the choice of:
- Moving into a more populated settlement;
- Moving to the state of Israel; or
- Staying where they are together with the Palestinians under regular Palestinian municipal law.
- During the first year after the declaration of a Palestinian state, there will be Israeli security inside the Jewish communities that are under Palestinian authority. Then, for a period of two years, there will be joint Palestinian and Israeli cooperative police. From that point on, all security will fall under Palestinian police and authority. The police force will be comprised of Palestinian and Jewish Palestinian residents.
- During the first year after the declaration of a Palestinian state, there will be joint Palestinian and Israeli cooperative police surrounding the municipal boundaries of the Jewish communities. From that point on, all security surrounding the municipal boundaries will fall under Palestinian police and authority.
The Land Committee
Economic cooperation is a vital necessity in order to attain and keep a secure and lasting peace. Stronger economies would mean an increased standard of living among our peoples, resulting in:
- The building of political cooperation, helping to ensure political stability.
- The improving of the social relationships between the two societies.
- The creation of a will for peace, reducing the feeling of despair by creating a feeling of hope for a prosperous future.
- The organized movement of goods and labor between the two markets.
- The general strengthening of the economies within the region.
- Joint efforts to maximize the sharing of the region’s natural resources including water, energy, and electricity.
- Independent, yet interconnected and cooperative economies, decreasing the chance of economic sabotage by either government and increasing the feeling of equality both within and between each peoples.
- Equal opportunity for a better life.
In order to achieve economic growth based on mutual trust and cooperation, we are committed to:
- Open trade borders for the free movement of goods to increase trade, including:
- the right to export without limitation and to import consistent with security agreements
- free movement of legal workers except in special cases of economic or security concerns, as these have been agreed upon in this document
- not stopping the flow of natural, electric or communication resources as a political tool
- not interrupting trade between the two markets except in the case of security, as it is agreed in this document.
- International investment, including:
- joint efforts to attract international investment
- striving for balanced trade through investment and cooperation
- working together to establish a common and interconnected infrastructure of roads, water pipes, sewers, energy, electricity and communication.
- working together to pressure the international community to uphold agreements made to either society.
- Respecting the economic interests of each society, by:
- knowing and recognizing each economy’s interests
- affirming our mutual commitment to economic growth through local development and empowerment
- allowing developing economic policies which pursue independent interests without hurting the other economy
- not using economic advantages as a political weapon
- accepting that each society has the right to manage and develop the resources on their land provided they do no further harm to the other society
- upholding the right of each country to seek its own resources independently, but striving to seek new resources together from other countries through new development
- Economic and environmental cooperation, including:
- establishing a joint Economic and Environmental Cooperation Committee, the EECC. The EECC will be half Palestinian and half Israeli, with a co-chair from each party. Its mandate will include:
- making joint economic and environmental studies
- finding out where people will benefit the most from new business and strive to bring it there
- developing and enforcing environmental regulations
- being informed of all industrial and agricultural development close to the border
- coordinating the joint exploitation of water, electricity, and energy resources
- encouraging joint investment in science, industry, tourism and medicine in each economy
- working together to establish a common and interconnected infrastructure of roads, water pipes, sewers, energy, electricity and communication
- ensuring the safe passage of all resources
- ensuring the division of resources consistent with EECC decisions
- sharing information needed for cooperative projects ideas and plans
- cooperation in solving ecological problems
- experts working together to test and find solutions
- scientific research together
- raising environmental awareness together through booklets, the mass media and education
- scientific and industrial cooperation through:
- the exchange of qualified people
- joint research institutes
- joint scientific and industrial education
- cooperation in developing communication, media and tourism, including:
- joint investment in tourist sites and the tourist industry
- the creation of joint tourism agencies
- the joint development of tourism and religious sites
- freedom of access to the religious and tourist sites
- establishing a joint Economic and Environmental Cooperation Committee, the EECC. The EECC will be half Palestinian and half Israeli, with a co-chair from each party. Its mandate will include:
- Cooperation in humanitarian and social concerns, including:
- affirming our mutual commitment to the social welfare of everyone in the region
- affirming our mutual commitment to economic growth through local development and empowerment
- medical aid in cases of humanitarian need both for individuals and in general crises
- medical aid not being refused as a political tool
- medical cooperation through
- joint medical research (including AIDS and Cancer research)
- joint medical education and training One suggestion would be that the money contributed per country would be in accordance with the size of the country’s Gross National Product (GNP).
Economic Cooperation Committee
As peoples, the Israelis and Palestinians both have known the painful reality of exile in their histories. They both know of sorrow and of longing. They both are profoundly troubled by the tragedy of refugees in their war torn area.
We, the delegates of the Middle East Youth Summit, acknowledge that many refugees live in deplorable conditions, and that all of them live in political limbo. They represent a living reminder of our need to establish justice, stability, and decency in our region. We believe that as we approach the new millennium it is not possible for countries to practice policies of isolation. We believe that the issue of Palestinian refugees must be addressed in a spirit of global cooperation as an effort to restore stability to the Middle East. We urge the world community to recognize its obligation to humanity. We must confront this refugee problem and commit our social and financial resources towards resolving it.
In addition to its humanitarian dimension, this situation also has dangerous social, economic, political, and security implications for this region. Without its resolution, no viable and lasting peace agreement is possible.
We endorse the establishment of an independent Palestinian state next to the independent Jewish State of Israel. We see this new state as fulfilling the long-standing national longings of the Palestinian people and as a necessary precondition for the resolution of the refugee issue. It is within this context that we propose the following recommendations.
In recognition of the will of the world community to provide decent conditions to those currently residing in refugee camps, we wish to abolish the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and call for the establishment of a Multinational Committee for Palestinian Development (MCPD), which will oversee the dismantling of refugee camps and the development of Palestinian facilities and services that integrate these Palestinians into societies. These functions will be carried out by various subcommittees dealing with the development of new communities in the host countries and in the State of Palestine.
The MCPD will be funded by countries in the region as well as by concerned donor countries and organizations. We agree that all Palestinians be offered citizenship according to the policies of the State of Palestine. Additionally, in the spirit of cooperation the Committee will urge the host countries who currently house refugees to offer citizenship to those Palestinians who choose to remain where they are currently located. Furthermore, where the refugee communities are offered citizenship, the MCPD will invest funds and human resources geared toward the building of economic stability and self-sufficiency of these new citizens. In return for granting the Palestinian refugees citizenship in host countries, an effort would be made by the MCPD to support these hosts by reciprocating them in the form of significant economic incentive, possibly major debt forgiveness. These measures will seek to ensure that Palestinians will no longer suffer the tragedy of statelessness. Upon exiting the refugee camps, all refugee families would receive a lump sum of money determined on a per capita basis with which they could start a new life. The funds for this purpose will come from international contributions to the MCPD. Priority will be given to those families living in refugee camps; however, refugees living outside of the camps will also be eligible on need-based grounds.
In addition, the MCPD will initiate and maintain a rehabilitation program in the State of Palestine that will focus on meeting the educational, health, and housing needs of the Palestinian refugee population. Particular attention will be paid to development of infrastructure and industry that will contribute to the economy of the Palestinian people. It is fully recognized that enhancing the strength and viability of the Palestinian economy will assure the reintegration of the refugees and will contribute to the stability of the region. We particularly recognize the need to develop adequate Palestinian educational and training opportunities, especially in the new computer technologies that will be so significant in the commerce of the next century.
Although, we understand, in principle, that all Palestinians have the right to return to their homes, whether in Palestine or Israel, in practice, we have agreed that the implementation of this right in Israel is unrealistic, and is not possible because Israel was established as the only Jewish state. As such, it has the right to maintain its Jewish character, and Jewish majority as it sees fit. We also recognize that Israel has special security needs. However, we feel that there is a segment of the refugee population that can return to Israel without jeopardizing either of these concerns. Therefore, five years after the establishment of the State of Palestine, all former refugees wanting to return to Israel can apply to do so. Under the condition of family reunification, a limited and agreed upon number of Palestinians will be allowed to return. The following conditions will be required for application under this family reunification plan. The applicant is a Palestinian refugee:
- whose village still exists;
- whose family currently lives in the village;
- who is prepared to become a citizen of the State of Israel and revoke any other citizenship; and
- who was not involved in illegal activities in the past and does not pose a threat to Israeli security.
There is a nine-year time limit for the filing of the application to Israel under this family reunification plan. As with any sovereign state, Israel will have the final say in how many and which former refugees will be allowed to return. Those applicants who are denied citizenship by Israel, in spite of meeting the criteria will be granted additional compensation by the committee.
With this concerted multinational effort, we believe that we can facilitate the permanent reintegration of Palestinian refugees into society. The effect of this reintegration would be to stabilize our area and to ensure human dignity for all affected.
The Refugee Committee
Plenary Voting Results: DID NOT PASS Israeli Delegates: 91% Palestinian Delegates: 50% Jordanian Delegates: 77% Egyptian Delegates: 67% American Delegates: 83%