Peace progress in the Middle East
Peace ” can Israel and its 23 enemies reach an agreement by the end of 2008?
The Middle East Peace Dialogue Network (MEPDN), http://www.mpdn.org, provides support for over 60 Israeli Jewish and Palestinian groups in various venues, such as workshops, sports, music, etc. MEPDN also supports a Children’s March for Peace in the fall and a Festival for Peace in the spring, in Northern Israel. In three years, 18,000 Jewish and Arab children have participated, which has now become a “tradition” with government support. Because of school segregation, these children would not otherwise meet. The children hand out cards for future contact.
MEPDN, in cooperation with an Israeli, Dr. Yossi Beilin, Knesset member, has committed $1 million to two NGOs to prepare a detailed Regional Peace Plan (RPP) for Israel to say to the 23 countries that still are at a state of war since 1948, “Here’s what we want and here’s what we will give for peace.” Of course, security is at the top of the list. The RPP will be offered to all who support peace. Israel has agreed to the two-states solution but has yet to say what that means. The RPP will cover all issues in the utmost detail.
Gaza is a disaster because Israel’s previous PM, Sharon, never engaged the PA and international community for a demobilized zone with international military support. It’s not smart to abandon land without detailed agreements. Terrorist always fill that “vacuum.” The Hamas can be dealt with after a West Bank agreement and economic growth is obtained. Gaza will be free of the Hamas oppression. Elections will do that in 2009.
Richard C. Goodwin
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