This past week, a copy of this recently-drafted document has been mailed to every Israeli home, and tens of thousands of copies are being distributed by major Palestinian newspapers. It has to me the smell of hope, and so I’ve taken the liberty of doing some code cleanup and publishing it here at ongoing, in the interests of having a publicly-available version that is marked up in good clean HTML and you don’t have to read surrounded by advertising. For context, see the write-up in Ha’aretz. Updated December 1: The Accord is being signed today in Geneva by those who believe in it, in the presence of multiple Nobel Peace Prize Winners. The authors have published a piece on it that’s worth a read. If you were inclined to do a little tiny bit in the cause of Middle East Peace, you might want to bang the drum a little and link to the agreement and/or the coverage and pass the word. Shame, shame, shame on those who stand in the way.
A few things about this document seem obvious to me.
It Isn’t Quite Finished · Some clauses aren’t filled in, and there is much reference to an uncompleted “Annex X”. Having said that, the authors of this document have taken on the big, tough, ugly issues and not flinched.
There Could be Peace in the Middle East · If the leaders there had the moral strength, a deal along these lines could be nailed down and sold to a substantial majority on both sides.
Come on, Dubya · If I were George Bush, I would inform Mr. Sharon and Mr. Arafat that I required each of them to conduct a referendum on this deal in the immediate future. Of course, they would be free to refuse, but Mr. Bush would be free to cut off foreign aid. Who can possibly be against a referendum on peace and retain any credibility?
Murderous Warmongering Scum · This document has been denounced by the current government of Israel (no surprise there) and the Swiss Government has received complaints from the World Jewish Congress for sponsoring it (astounding). The title of this section expresses my feelings for anyone who stands in the way of the hope of peace.
A poll suggests that the Accord would win a (narrow) majority of supporters on both sides. To me, the narrowness of the majority is saddening, because it seems apparent that the only possible peace settlement is going to look very much like the Geneva accord describes. But on the subject of peace, a narrow majority is good enough, because the other side is a priori wrong.