New bid to jumpstart Middle East peace

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 7, 2011

Forty prominent Israeli opinion-makers, including former senior officers in the IDF and other Israeli security services, have published a new peace initiative, including the foundation of a Palestinian state with a capital in East Jerusalem and an Israeli retreat from the Golan Heights.

The intention of the signatories is to try to motivate the Israeli government to restart the peace process. Among them are former IDF chief of staff Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, and former chiefs of Shin Bet Ya'acov Perry, Ami Ayalon, and former Mossad chief Danny Yatom.

The initiative is similar to the Clinton peace plan that was proposed at the Camp David summit in 2000 and includes plans for a retreat by Israel from most of the West Bank and the Arab neighbourhoods of East Jerusalem, with minor border alterations.

They propose that Israel and the international community compensate the Palestinian refugees, who will not be allowed to return to live within Israel's borders.

On the Golan Heights, they propose a retreat from almost the entire territory over a five year period with certain security assurances.

Even a Shas rabbi’s daughter has signed

The signatories explained in interviews that they were motivated by the recent revolutions in Egypt and other Arab countries to call upon the Israeli leadership to seize the initiative and make a push for peace on all fronts.

In addition to the former generals and service chiefs, a number of other prominent Israelis have signed the initiative, including Rebbetzen Adina Bar-Shalom, the daughter of the spiritual leader of the Shas party, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.

Last updated: 12:25pm, April 7 2011