Thomas Schelling’s Middle East peace plan

With Shlomo Ben-Ami and Jerome Siegal and Javier Solana:

• The U.N. Security Council (or the General Assembly if the United States does not support this approach) will establish a special committee composed of distinguished international figures acting in their own capacity. Possibly it would be headed by a former American statesman or senator.

• UNSCOP-2’s first task would be to determine if there is any possible peace agreement that would be acceptable to a majority of both the Israeli and Palestinian people.

• The committee would go to the region where, over a period of several months, it would conduct a transparent inquiry into the possibility of genuine peace.

First and foremost, it would listen to the Israelis and the Palestinians. Its hearings would be televised. It would conduct public opinion research and study the record of past Israeli-Palestinian negotiations — in particular, the Clinton Parameters and the progress made at Taba and in the Olmert-Abbas round. UNSCOP-2 would seek new ideas for resolving the most difficult issues, such as refugees.

• Assuming the committee concludes that there is sufficient popular support on both sides for a specific peace agreement, it would then develop a draft treaty which it would forward to the Security Council for further action.

• In a departure from 1947, no effort would be made to impose this treaty. Rather, the Security Council would call on Israel and the Palestinians to use the UNSCOP-2 proposal as the starting point for negotiations in which the two sides would seek to determine if they can agree on any mutually acceptable improvements. The United States could be invited into the process to play the role of honest broker.

Here is more.  Elliott Abrams doesn’t seem to like it.


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