Tags: jared kushner | benjamin netanyahu | israel | preamble agreement

Kushner Should Lead Creation of Preamble Agreement for Israel Peace

Kushner Should Lead Creation of Preamble Agreement for Israel Peace

Senior Advisor Jared Kushner in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on February 1, 2017, in Washington, D.C. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

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Tuesday, 14 February 2017 02:09 PM Current | Bio | Archive

With Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arriving in Washington this week, Jared Kushner, who has remarkable in his modest, unassuming posture throughout these first days of the Trump administration, will be in a position to give advice to President Donald Trump.

Here are some original ideas on the so-called peace process that he might consider.

First, forget the past, specifically the approach taken by the previous administration, where progress depended on a change in Israel's policy on settlements.

Next, consider that although the nature of a final agreement may be difficult to formulate outside what the parties themselves accept, an intermediate step needs to be envisaged much in the same way as a preliminary to a business agreement, wherein the parties set down their objectives in a Heads of Agreement or a Preamble to an agreement.

What’s needed from the Israelis:

1) Acceptance that preventing the establishment of the Palestinian State is no longer an acceptable negotiating position. The head-in-the-sand policy of waiting for “reasonable” negotiating partners is no longer viable.

2) Acceptance that a final peace settlement will need to be negotiated after, not before, the establishment of a Palestinian State, with the interim step to be the acceptance of the creation of the State, accompanied by demilitarization and other security measures to insure protection against intrusion from the outside violence in the region.

3) The abandoning of no compromise negotiating positions such as Palestinian acceptance of Israel as a Jewish State, non-return of refugees, agreeing to final borders, and the final status of Jerusalem.

What’s needed from the Palestinians:

A) An acceptance that what is important is the establishment of their State, not winning on all outstanding negotiating points.

B) The postponing of negotiating demands to a subsequent negotiation phase that will follow the coming into existence of their State with the result that what they achieve will depend on building confidence through a period of good neighborly relations.

C) Designation of a negotiating partner to represent the future Palestinian State that is not committed to the destruction of Israel, even if this may require a referendum to appoint a unified government, where Hamas, listed as a terrorist organization, would be relegated to a minority role.

D) Acceptance that during a first period of existence of Palestine, Jewish settlers will be protected until in a second phase their final status is determined.

E) Agreement to demilitarization and non-violence, and compliance with international law, with a recognition of the right of any nation that’s attacked to take any and all measures to insure its own security and the security of its people.

The nations in the region, namely Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and countries in the Persian Gulf need to accept that Palestinians living inside and outside Palestinian territories need legitimate status in the region in terms of the right to travel, to work, and to attend universities — rights which have not been denied only by Israel but also the Arab surrounding states themselves. Only if the isolation of Palestinians from its Arab neighbors is no longer assumed and accepted can economic and social as well as political solutions be achieved.

Regarding the settlements, they are an important issue and are not helpful. But whether Jews will have a presence in Palestine, where they will live, and whether the fact that they exist can be a means to trade territory for Arab settlements in Israel can only be approached not as an entry point to discussions but as a part of a process.

In summary, both sides must accept that a process does not mean the forcing of concessions.

The most fruitful way forward is a modest acceptance that a first step is not a final step and a solid change of facts on the ground can facilitate reaching a peace agreement at a later phase.

Mark L. Cohen has his own legal practice, and was counsel at White & Case starting in 2001, after serving as international lawyer and senior legal consultant for the French aluminum producer Pechiney. Cohen was a senior consultant at a Ford Foundation Commission, an advisor to the PBS television program "The Advocates," and Assistant Attorney General in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He teaches U.S. history at the business school in Lille l’EDHEC. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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With Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arriving in Washington this week, Jared Kushner, who has remarkable in his modest, unassuming posture throughout these first days of the Trump administration, will be in a position to give advice to President Donald Trump.
jared kushner, benjamin netanyahu, israel, preamble agreement
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2017-09-14
Tuesday, 14 February 2017 02:09 PM
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