March 01, 2009
A few years ago now, Sari Nusseibeh and Ami Ayalon pulled together The People's Voice agreement and started gathering signatures for it. The agreement was basically the common-sense back-of-the-envelope deal that everyone involved in Israel & Palestine could draw up as the eventual shape of a stable deal. The petition gathered about half a million signatures, then sank without a trace.
But Nusseibeh has shown up again, and is apparently suggesting that the Obama administration base its Middle East policy around his plan.
Per Jonathan Zasloff, Nusseibeh is proposing that
George Mitchell, Nusseibeh suggested, should take an American peace plan (and he made it clear that it should be the People's Voice framework) to both Netanyahu and Abbas.
He should then publicly challenge Netanyahu to place this plan on the Israeli ballot as a referendum. Netanyahu would not have to endorse the plan, but rather allow the voters to decide whether they would accept it as long as the other side does.
On the Palestinian side, he should publicly challenge Abbas to call for new elections (due in the PA thus year in any event) and run on that platform for his presidential campaign -- accepting the plan as long as the Israeli electorate does.
I tend to agree with those I've seen discussing this proposal that it would make more sense as a straight double-referendum, maybe even on the same day, rather than being weighed down on the Palestinian side by Abbas's reputation. But an interesting idea, nonetheless.
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Pedantically and belatedly, it's referendums.
Good idea, though, but when both sides are emohasising the rights they say god gave them then it gets more and more difficult to make a deal.
Posted by: Thersites at March 28, 2009 10:38 PM