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Declaration on Mideast Peace by Arab-Jewish Dialogue Group of the South Bay in Santa Clara County, CA

A declaration of peace by members of the Arab-Jewish Dialogue Group of the South Bay in Santa Clara County, California regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Declaration on Mideast Peace by Arab-Jewish Dialogue Group of the South Bay in Santa Clara County, CA

June 25, 2003

Committed as we are to a peaceful settlement to the Israeli Palestinian conflict and in recognition of the national aspirations of both communities, we, members of the Arab-Jewish Dialogue Group of the South Bay in Santa Clara County, California, would like to issue the following statements regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:

We call upon:

(1) Israel to immediately declare its intent to withdraw, in a period not to exceed 2 years, from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip areas, to approximately its 1967 borders. Upon cessation of the violence by both sides, Israel shall withdraw to the pre-September 2000 positions and freeze activities on all new settlements and all expansions on existing settlements, including ``natural growth'' expansions.

(2) The Palestinian leadership and public, and the Israeli government and public to stop all acts of violence against any and all people and property, and to stop all actions that may hinder the ability of all people to continue their everyday lives in peace.

(3) An international ``Peacekeeping Force,'' acceptable to both parties, to be put into place to help prevent violence and to help all residents to live in peace. Both Israel and Palestine shall actively cooperate with this ``Peacekeeping Force'' that will mediate local disputes. At a mutually agreed time, these activities will transition to local policing authorities.

(4) The Israeli people and the Palestinian people to respect the lives and properties of each other, and to develop exchanges and relationships on all levels, from the political to the personal, toward the goal of increasing understanding and becoming good neighbors and future economic partners. The success of this process depends upon the peaceful and sustained exchanges and relationships between the two peoples.

We support:

(A) A two state solution. Israel and Palestine are to live side by side and as neighbors in peace, to normalize human life in the region, and to fully cooperate in the economic, artistic and cultural areas. Doing so will help Israel and Palestine realize their potential to be a gateway between Western and Arab economies for economic development, business development, global trade and exchange.

(B) A free, democratic, viable and demilitarized Palestinian State is to be established in the West Bank and Gaza. Internationally funded development grants and loans shall be provided to facilitate the economic viability and prosperity of the new Palestinian State. It is essential that the funding sources represent a true cross section of the major economies of the world as well as Palestine's Middle Eastern neighbors.

(C) Jerusalem is the Holy City for three faiths and is important historically, nationally, and culturally for the Israelis and Palestinians. It can and should be the City of Peace. The political solution for Jerusalem should not lead to its physical division. It is agreed that the city shall remain physically united.

The 1967 West Jerusalem shall be the capital of Israel, including the Jewish neighborhoods built after 1967, as well as the old Jewish Quarter in East Jerusalem including the Jewish Western Wall. The pre-1967 East Jerusalem shall be the capital of the Palestinian State. All citizens of both States and visitors shall have unlimited and unhindered freedom of access and worship at all the Holy sites. Any and all adjustments to the 1967 ``borders'' of Jerusalem shall be done per item (D).

(D) The final fate of the settlements will be decided by negotiations and should be finalized and implemented within two years. Any adjustment of borders to annex some settlements to Israel, including those in the Jerusalem area shall be based on fair exchange of land by both States, Israel and Palestine, and shall not exceed 4 percent of the West Bank land area.

(E) Upon full implementation of all the measures outlined above, the two States are to start negotiations on the fate of the Palestinian refugees and their properties in Israel. The Palestinian refugees should be much encouraged to accept fair compensation, settle in the Palestinian State or to become full citizens of the Arab countries where they reside now. A limited number of the Palestinian refugees, the number to be decided by negotiations, shall be allowed to go back to Israel.

(F) Upon the implementation of all of the above points, both the Israeli and Palestinian electorate will be asked to vote on acceptance of the agreement. A majority vote by both sides will be accepted by citizens of both countries that the conflict is to be proclaimed at an end and no additional demand will be made by either Israel or Palestine.

(G) Should any dispute arise, that dispute is then to be submitted either to a committee selected by Israel and Palestine, which might be the World Court of Justice in the Hague or other international body selected by mutual consent. The committee/court decisions are to be final and must be unequivocally accepted by both sides.

Signed, in no particular order:

Carmel Dekel, Jamal F. Zeid, Victor Barda, Avi Urban, Reyad Katwan, Robert Bergman, David Aboujoudom, Philip S. Levine, Larissa Keet, Susan Ng, Steve Matusow, Rita Norton, Frank H. Cohen, Jan L. Feldman, Melanie Aron, Ron Wolk, Michael Abkin, Nazih Malak, Libby Traubman, Elisa Koff-Ginsborg, Allan R. Divor, Bill Zeid, Reyad Katwan, Bart Charlow, Randolph Splitter, Len Traubman, Amy L. Lansky

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