An unequivocal commitment by both Palestinians and Israelis to a just
and lasting peace for two nations enjoying full self-determination,
mutual recognition, and security.
A convincing demonstration of the capacity of Israelis and
Palestinians to reach agreement about plans for a common future, and
for the first time, to express that agreement in a comprehensive
document endorsed not only by the Israeli and Palestinian
participants but also by the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Compelling testimony about the human suffering of the Palestinians
under the occupation and the terrible costs and risks of the status
quo to both sides.
- Concrete measures the participants and other citizens can
undertake to broaden political consensus for the peace process and
to overcome mutual distrust and dehumanization.
- Valuable insights about the preparation and conduct of a "public
The participants now want to share the fruits of their dialogue with
their fellow citizens and with concerned citizens of other interested
FRAMEWORK FOR A PUBLIC PEACE PROCESS
Toward a Peaceful Israeli-Palestinian Relationship
We offer this Framework for a Public Peace Process as a vehicle for
drawing together in common cause and mutually supportive activity all
who are working for a peaceful Israeli-Palestinian relationship.
Specifically, we will use this paper as both an educational and a
political instrument. By inviting Israelis and Palestinians to sign
this document, we seek to enlarge the number of those who understand
and support the ideas expressed here. In public debate the document
will demonstrate the ability of Israelis and Palestinians to reach
agreement on concrete issues critical to a peaceful settlement of the
conflict between them.
We invite all who work toward this end to consider themselves as
working together within this Framework to give coherence and momentum
to a public peace process.
In doing so, we as concerned Palestinians and Israelis
complement, support, and encourage the active efforts of political authorities
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Moving the Israeli-Palestinian and the Arab-Israeli conflicts towards
resolution will give impetus to a broader peace in the Middle East.
The Israeli-Palestinian relationship stands at a moment of danger and
opportunity. Ironically, as prospects for advancing the peace process
increase, danger and human suffering become more acute.
Human suffering increases daily in the West Bank and Gaza. Human
rights violations under the occupation, the closure of educational
institutions, and the various types of collective punishment
contribute daily to this suffering. The environment of violence and
confrontation leads to a vicious cycle of violence and
counter-violence which undermines advancement of the peace process.
The West Bank and Gaza are heading toward economic catastrophe, due
to sharply increased unemployment and lack of industry. Punitive
measures by the Israeli authorities aggravate the problem. The
economic and political conditions of the Palestinians outside the
occupied territories have deteriorated. Palestinians living in the
Gulf states, many of whom are now homeless and stateless, can no
longer provide the economic cushion that previously helped reduce the
economic frustrations of those living under Israeli occupation.
Every day there is tangible evidence of more Israeli settlements,
enlargement of existing settlements, and extensive and growing land
confiscations. This increases Palestinian desperation and complicates
and undermines efforts to seek a settlement.
As despair and bitterness grow in the occupied territories,the
intifada may become more violent. The possibility mounts that there
will be a movement from stone to knife to gun. With no remedy
forthcoming, this sharp increase in violence could even trigger
The ongoing occupation is taking its heavy toll on Israeli society.
It causes the brutalization of the people and the erosion of Israeli
morale and traditional Jewish values. Israelis have been attacked and
killed by Palestinians in Israel's city streets. The continuing
debate over the territories is tearing the fabric of Israeli society.
It affects the Israeli army's preparedness. It requires Israelis to
spend long periods of frustrating military service in the territories.
The cost of the occupation is high, and the heavy investments in
infrastructure and in settlements are at the expense of Israel's
infrastructure and of the disadvantaged members of society. It also
endangers international financial aid vital for the national effort
to absorb the Russian Jewish immigrants.
The internal violence in Palestinian society has raised fears for the
peace process in Israeli society.
We feel that a substantial number of people in both our communities
are ready to say: "Enough! It is time to move beyond war to peace."
The deteriorating situation jeopardizes their efforts to move toward
Principles and Provisions
of a Palestinian-Israeli Agreement
The objective of the peace process is to establish a just and lasting
peace between Israelis and Palestinians as part and parcel of a
comprehensive settlement between Israel and the Arab states.
This peace is to be achieved through the withdrawal
of Israeli forces from territories occupied in 1967, allowing the Palestinian
people the exercise of their right to self-determination in those territories.
This includes the right to establish an independent state or other confederative
solution of their choice. At the same time, the State of Israel is to
be guaranteed recognition, security and territorial integrity by both
the State of Palestine and other Arab States. This can take place through
mutually agreed steps, by means of negotiations involving the legitimate
representative of the Palestinian people, whom the Palestinians consider
to be the Palestine Liberation Organization; the government of Israel;
and other concerned parties; based on U.N. resolutions 242 and 338.
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The following provisions will govern a Palestinian-Israeli agreement:
End of the state of war and all hostile activities in the
Mutual Recognition. The State of Palestine, the State of
Israel, and the Arab States shall mutually recognize each other.
1967 borders with minimum necessary
modifications for both sides.
Stages. To achieve this historic compromise between
the two peoples, there are barriers that have to be overcome on the
principles of equality, mutuality, and reciprocity. Implementation
in stages will help build mutual confidence and trust, leading
to the attainment of the above mentioned objectives.
The agreement of the peace settlement will be implemented in stages
within a time frame of a maximum of five years, starting from the
date of signing the agreement. This time frame is needed for the
gradual buildup of mutual confidence and trust, to assess the
compliance on the part of both parties, and for the building of the
infrastructure and institutions of the envisaged Palestinian state.
In this interim period, all acts of violence will be stopped in
Israel, in the territories, and on the borders. At the same time,
the government of Israel will stop all settlement drives including
the expansion of existing settlements, confiscation of land, and
emergency regulations. During this interim period, Israel will
minimize the presence of Israeli military troops in the
Palestinian-populated areas. In the interim period, the
full de jure application of the Geneva Convention will be provided to
help protect the safety of the Palestinian population.
Any non-compliance with the above conditions will lead to dispute
resolution measures agreed upon by the parties.
General Security Principles
The peace agreement by itself will reduce motivation for war and
hostility in the region.
Political stability in the region, resulting from a comprehensive
peace settlement, will reinforce security in the region.
Economic prosperity and interdependence will ensure the common
interest in maintaining a lasting peace.
General and specific security provisions in the military sense for
each state as laid out below.
General Security Provisions for Both States
Guarantee of security in the Middle East depends upon the reduction
of arsenals of arms in the whole region, including weapons of mass
Security is seen as including the State of Israel, the State of
Palestine, and all Arab States.
Israeli Security Provisions-Principles for Security:
Israeli security based primarily on Israel's own ability to defend
Limited militarization of the Palestinian State.
Regional arrangements preventing deployment of foreign troops in
Jordan, Palestine and Israel, other than those agreed upon by the
Financial and technical support to Israel from third parties as
compensation for loss of territory.
Specific security arrangements on the ground and in the air space
following the aforementioned principles to be agreed upon by the
parties in the peace treaty.
Palestinian Security Provisions-Principles for Security:
Long-term: International economic and financial investment to build
an infrastructure, industrial development, and housing to help ensure
the stability and security of the State of Palestine.
-International guarantees for the security, sovereignty and
territorial integrity of the State of Palestine.
-An agreed-upon Palestinian defense force to maintain internal
order and to safeguard the borders.
Jerusalem is the holy city for three faiths and is important
historically, nationally, and culturally for the two peoples.
It can and should be the city of peace.
The political solution for Jerusalem should not lead again to its
physical division. It is agreed that the city shall remain physically
After the peace treaty and the five-year interim period, the
Palestinian part of Jerusalem will be the capital of the State of
Palestine. The Israeli part of Jerusalem will be the capital of the
State of Israel.
Each part of Jerusalem will have its own municipality, each with
equal representation on an umbrella municipal council for
Freedom of access and worship at all holy sites, and free movement
through the city will be guaranteed to all citizens and visitors.
Right of Return
The State of Palestine is the state of all Palestinians wherever they
live. They can return whenever they want.
The State of Palestine will regulate the return of Palestinians
according to its long-term plans of absorption.
The procedures for Palestinians who wish to return to their homes in
Israel or receive compensation will be subject to negotiations in the
peace process. No collective return of Palestinians to their homes is
envisioned. The procedures to receive compensation for their
properties for Jews who left Arab countries shall be subject to
Refugees. Significant economic
assistance will be acquired to rehabilitate, retrain, and resettle Palestinian
refugees and to provide them with opportunities to live as citizens
in permanent residence in the State of Palestine or in agreement with
Arab States where they live at present.
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Settlers who wish to stay in the State of Palestine after the peace
treaty should obtain consent from the State of Palestine and should
undertake to accept Palestinian jurisdiction.
Settlements obtained by land expropriation during the occupation
should be returned to the State of Palestine.
Settlements obtained by individual legal purchase remain as the legal
property of the owners, and owners should be compensated if they
choose to leave.
Gaza. Arrangements will be made for a free passageway
through Israel between the West Bank and Gaza.
Water. An agreement should be concluded regarding sharing
water resources. Under such an agreement there would be a regional
system covering the countries of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, and
Palestine. The system could draw on water resources of other Middle
- Arrangements and goals will be defined for the
normalization of relations between the two states.
- Normalization includes diplomatic relations,
the exchange of ambassadors, and other representatives.
- The economic relationship between Israel and
Palestine should include joint projects in agriculture, tourism, commerce,
industry, energy, and transportation. Labor mobility across the borders
of the two states should be regulated by mutual agreement between
them. Civil aviation agreements covering the mutual use of airspace
by the two countries will be part of the peace treaty.
- Economic relations in the region could ultimately
be modeled after the European Community concept with cooperation and
coordination in all areas and without interference with the character
and sovereignty of each state.
A Public Peace Process
Present suffering, misperceptions, fear, and mistrust make it
difficult even to take the first steps toward a peaceful
relationship. While political leaders seek new relationships among
governing institutions, citizens on both sides must pave the way by
imagining steps to help those in the other community fear less,
change perceptions, and risk trust. The aim is to enable Israelis and
Palestinians to think and work together towards a growing
relationship of peace.
To accelerate constructive change in the present relationship between
our communities, we have identified the following areas where we are
prepared to encourage citizens in both communities to work together
in building new relationships.
To broaden consensus on a new relationship, we will encourage
steps such as the following which do not depend on government
stimulate public debate on specific components of a peaceful
emphasize the need for peace and clarify the fruits of peace, notably
greater access to water, oil, tourism, and other aspects of economic
prosperity and cultural enrichment.
broaden public opinion polling on security and a two-state solution
to include significant elements of the Palestinian as well as the
dramatize the human and economic costs of continuing occupation for
To humanize the other side and increase trust, we will work
to expand direct contacts and joint activities between Israelis and
Palestinians to overcome stereotypes and distorted perceptions and to
promote thinking and acting together. For instance, we will:
invite Palestinians and Israelis where we can to write regularly in
each other's publications and encourage joint publication.
encourage supportive activities by professional organizations of
lawyers, psychologists, medical doctors, and other professions.
provide training and educational programs for Israeli and Palestinian
teachers and students.
promote student visiting between Israeli and Palestinian schools,
exchange lecturers between universities, establish an
Israeli-Palestinian school, develop common curricula.
establish a joint conflict resolution center.
provide and distribute video interviews that promote mutual
understanding and empathy.
demonstrate concern for human rights by practical steps to support
those harmed by violations, to press respect by authorities for the
Fourth Geneva Convention in the occupied territories, to campaign for
the rights of prisoners through legal challenges and media campaigns.
try to establish twinning relationships between Israeli and
help Palestinian family reunions.
To broaden participation in the public peace process, we will:
encourage joint political activities, including Israelis and
Palestinians of all three religions.
expand the activities of women's organizations on both sides to
expose the consequences of human rights violations, especially for
families and children.
more fully integrate Sephardic-Oriental Israelis into the peace
process. Their unique historical and cultural experience of
Jewish-Arab co-existence and their particular struggle for social
justice and equality make them a natural bridge to the Arab world in
general and the Palestinians in particular.
dramatize the costs of continuing conflict for the large segments of
These activities are illustrative and represent
only those areas where we can have influence. As other individuals and
organizations add their activities to the list, we will experience the
breadth, depth, and momentum of a public peace process.
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Call to Join in a Public Peace Process
Many other Israelis and Palestinians have engaged in dialogues such
as ours. Many are engaged in activities such as those mentioned
above. We encourage all of them to step forward and to join hands
with us openly and explicitly. We call on them and others-individuals
and organizations-to help expand this framework and the public peace
process through practical actions of their own.
We encourage and support all efforts of political leaders on both
sides to reconstitute an active peace process among constituted
At the same time, we believe that official negotiations can produce a
genuinely peaceful relationship between Israelis and Palestinians
only if they are embedded in a larger political process involving the
peoples of both communities. That political process is what we call
a "public peace process." In democratic bodies politic, a public
peace process has the potential to generate, support, and intensify
the governmental peace process. Our purpose is to make that public
peace process a compelling political fact for all to see and feel.
Concerned citizens of other concerned countries have contributed much
to our dialogue. We encourage them to join us in increasing numbers
in this public peace process.
To produce a political environment in which our two peoples can move
toward a peaceful relationship, we call on fellow citizens and
organizations throughout our communities to add their own course of
action until the public peace process constitutes an irresistible
movement toward a peaceful Israeli-Palestinian relationship.
Invited Israeli Participants
Moshe Amirav: Member, Jerusalem City Council;
Chairman, City Committee for East Jerusalem; Former member of the
Likud Central Committee.
Shlomo Elbaz: Professor Emeritus of Comparative
Literature, Hebrew University, Jerusalem; Co-founder and Chairman,
East for Peace.
Giora Ram Furman: Brigadier General, (Res.); Former
Deputy Chief of Staff of the Israeli Air Force; General Secretary,
Kibbutz Haartzi Movement; Chairman, Council for Peace and Security in
Galit Hasan-Rokem: Professor of Hebrew Literature
and Jewish Folklore, Hebrew University; Founding Member, Women's
Network for Peace in Israel.
Moshe Ma'oz: Professor, Islamic and Middle Eastern
Studies, Hebrew University; Advisor on Arab Affairs to Defense
Minister Ezer Weizman and Prime Minister Shimon Peres.
Oded Megiddo: Lieutenant-Colonel,
IDF (Res.); Owner and Director of a firm dealing with land development
in rural Israel; Member, Council of the Shinui Party; Member, Council
for Peace in Stages.
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Invited Palestinian Participants
Mamdouh al-Aker: Urological Surgeon; Founding
Member, Mandela Institute for Political Prisoners; Board of Trustees
of Friends School, Ramallah; Member, Israeli and Palestinian
Physicians for Human Rights.
Rihab Essawi: Professor of Education, Hebron
University; Former Director of the Union of Charitable Societies in
Jerusalem. Former Director of the American Friends Service Committee
Legal Aid Office in Jerusalem.
Bernard Sabella: Professor of Sociology, Bethlehem
University; Member of the Board of the Palestinian Academic Society
for the Study of International Affairs.
Hanna Siniora: Editor, Al Fajr newspaper of East
Jerusalem; President of the European-Palestinian Chamber of Commerce,
Jerusalem; Nominated by the PLO as a member of a Palestinian
delegation to peace talks in July 1985.
Invited Representative of the Palestine National Council
Nabeel Shaath: Chair, Political Committee of the Palestine
National Council; Advisor to President Yasser Arafat on International
Harold Saunders: Director of International Programs, The
Kettering Foundation; Former Assistant Secretary of State for Near
Eastern and South Asian Affairs.
Stanford Center on Conflict and Negotiation
The Beyond War Foundation
STATEMENT OF AFFIRMATION
We, the participants, cosponsors, and moderator in this conference
subscribe to the "Framework for a Public Peace Process" as an
accurate reflection of the outcome of our dialogue. The purpose of
the conference was not to produce a formal agreement, which can be
negotiated only by duly-constituted authorities. The purpose was to
demonstrate that Israelis and Palestinians could find common ground
in the search for peace. We regard this document as the basis for
continuing dialogue between the two communities and commend it to
others as the basis for a similar dialogue. Nabeel Shaath, an
official of the Palestine National Council, has stated in a letter to
us that he is authorized by the Palestine Liberation Organization to
endorse and support this document as a basis for future dialogue in
the search for peace.
Giora Ram Furman
Judith H. Kramer, Beyond War Foundation
Lee Ross, Stanford Center on Conflict and Negotiation
Harold H. Saunders
Palo Alto, California
July 19, 1991
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July 19, 1991
Dr. Harold H. Saunders
The Beyond War Foundation
The Stanford Center on Conflict and Negotiation
I have had great pleasure participating in the proceedings of the
conference, "Building a Common Future." The discussions were most
fruitful, involving a spirit of give and take and a commitment to
work toward a just and lasting peace between Israelis and
I have received a copy of the Framework for a Public Peace Process,
the valuable document that was produced by the participants,
moderator and cosponsors of the conference. It gives me pleasure to
say that I am authorized by the Palestine Liberation Organization to
endorse and support this document as a valuable basis for future
dialogue in the search for peace. I hope that it will be equally
endorsed by a wider constituency of the Israeli public, seeing it as
a real attempt to start a dialogue leading to peace and security for
all Israelis and Palestinians as a key step toward peace in the
I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all of you for making
this conference a success and for producing such a fine document.
Chairman, Political Committee
Palestine National Council