In deference to and in support of Dr. George E. Assousa’s ‘Dual Democracies Initiative (DDI),’ let’s galvanize the world to effectuate this dream. His article, Jewish Citizens in a Future Democratic Palestine?, further elaborates his brainchild. It fits hand-in-glove, like the final piece in a puzzle, that can facilitate peace at the end of the finish line. Actually, it’s the spice that’s been lacking. DDI makes peace palatable, sustainable. Its core is centered around freedom of movement inside two borderless zones, a two-state solution with dual democracies that might gradually evolve into one democracy. Who knows? Let the chips fall where they may, one life-changing and one life-giving step at a time.
Excerpted from Dr. Assousa’s article:
“My heart still beats with memories of my beautiful home in Jerusalem, but my mind—trained through physics to deal with concrete facts—tells me that, unfortunately, history in Palestine cannot be reversed. The future, on the contrary, is in our hands.
With a view to freeing ourselves from the quagmire, I therefore converted those ideas into a fully-fledged framework for final status negotiations and a track-two initiative in the form of the Dual Democracies Initiative (DDI).
In short, DDI is a mutually supportive Israeli-Palestinian two-state formula. It calls for the co-existence and mutual recognition of two peoples across two independent, pluralist, and democratic states, Israel and Palestine, on a reciprocal minorities structure, Palestinian Arabs in Israel and Jewish people in Palestine, preserving the two states’ respective majorities and national characters.
On the one hand, DDI meets Palestinian sovereignty needs. And on the other hand, it meets Israeli security needs, as well as expectations relating to the acceptance of the Jewish presence in Palestine and the recognition of the Israeli state as the homeland of the Jewish people.
DDI is the only proposal that offers a truly sustainably secure future for both sides. This is because security can only be effectively guaranteed with the following components in place: mutual acceptance, accommodation, and support; effective sovereignty for both sides; the right political and social infrastructure for highly functioning modern, integrated, and cooperative economies on both sides of the border; and effective implementation of the rule of law within such framework.”
Any peace accord, minus full reconciliation, including restitution, will inevitably collapse. The wounds will be temporarily soothed, letting the disease to stealthily spread and eventually erupt and explode again. The EU-Complement to the Arab Peace Initiative outlined below can make a sustainable difference. “We cannot give up on the search to end this conflict,” says President Obama in a letter addressed to me dated 16 August 2016.
Dr. Assousa’s DDI catalytically and creatively integrate the best of all the peace initiatives, including the Arab Peace Initiative and those catechized by the United Nations and the European Union as well as the Russian Federation, Iran, and the United States. Within this context, DDI could help the people of Israel- Palestine to democratically form, what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has coined, a ‘Beloved Community.’ They have been in each other’s back yards for millennia, some physically, most spiritually.
Permit me to posit a possible structure, a 10-point blueprint, to uphold Dr. Assousa’s proposed and celebrated Dual Democracies Initiative. In my book, ‘Christian Zionism … Enraptured Around a Golden Calf,’ I’ve outlined this idea as the ‘Eu-Complement to the Arab Peace Initiative.’ (*Pages 138 to 140; Kindle Locations 2760-2810) Now, it’s enriched with the ingredients of DDI, inevitably a beginning to a yeasty start, similar to the fixings that cause bread to rise.
A unified people must initiate dialogue first with Europe to:
- Apologize to the people of Israel and the people of Palestine. As one who is more European than most, born as a British national and a Dutch national, I will take the initiative: I’m sorry what we have done to the Jews. I am sorry what we have done to the Palestinians. I speak volumes in silence.
- Measure the State of Palestine and the State of Israel by one standard with fairness and equitability.
- Recognize Israel and Palestine and treat both equally as de-facto NATO ‘affiliates’ so that neither may ever attack, invade, and occupy the other. Frankly, Israel already embraces de-facto NATO status. Iran will never directly attack Israel, despite the rhetoric and spin and fears perpetrated by Israel. Iran heeds NATO, not Israel.
- Propose borderless boundaries or virtual borders, to facilitate freedom of movement and the right of passage for EVERYONE. Yes, with a BENELUX-type structure (Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg) one may freely cross the many Divides in the Region. Citizens of one zone or de-facto state may freely work, travel and live in the other – i.e., Jewish settlements sited in Palestine and vice-versa –, but remain citizens in their own zones. So, Israel remains Israel. Palestine remains Palestine. Jerusalem remains Jerusalem, but everyone in the region may live and work where they please but vote only in his or her own country. This is nothing new. Is Europe a single federation or a union of individual nations? Both! Am I proposing a one-state solution or a two-state solution? Depending on the eye of the beholder, it could be either or both; and, it could gradually evolve into a one-state democracy.
- Implement restitution. Construct an EU-type Marshall Plan, guaranteed by the European Union. Banks would trip over each other to stand first in line to lend money to a credit worthy Israel and Palestine, collateralized by sovereign bank guaranties. Such secured financial instruments will enable the Israelis and the Palestinians to recompense the other, proportionate to the degrees of harm done and losses incurred. No one should get away taking something for nothing. Nor should we, Europeans, sweep our culpability under the rug. We have created the conflicts. We are the culprits. Europe owes it to the Israelis and the Palestinians to sweeten the Arab Peace Initiative with many hundreds of billions of euros in loan guaranties and grants. Don’t worry about producing a Weimar-type hyperinflation. Economies coming out of the ashes cannot be overheated because ash does not burn. Today, Europe can flush cash into Israel Palestine for micro and macro development to generate jobs, jobs, jobs. Of course, Europe will profit too. All goods and services must be purchased from or through Europe.
- Hang Netanyahu like Sadam? No! Let’s move forward and go beyond a justice based on tit for tat, despite what Netanyahu did to the Palestinians that Sadam did to the Kurds. As a response to ‘a tooth for a tooth, an eye for an eye’ one could choose to give a tooth or to give an eye if needed and warranted. Why not reach the pinnacle of becoming the light of the world, each committing to becoming an instrument of blessing, and Give the Gifts that God has Given Us?
- Invoke an Act of Reconciliation similar to the one in South Africa under the tenets ‘live, let live’ rather than ‘kill, get killed’; and, ‘forgive in order to forget,’ a fundamental economic principle, a precious lesson in life.
- Encourage the people in the Region to vote for tentative (perhaps for five years) demilitarization of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and the ‘Palestinian Defense Forces (PDF)’ as a condition to enable NATO to guarantee security with heavily equipped NATO troops for all Israelis and for all Palestinians, costs to be proportionately defrayed among the Israelis and Palestinians derived from new-found revenues as a result of the new capital infused by Europe. From the beginning, the IDF and the ‘PDF’ have been destabilizing factors. Their aims, portrayed as Divinely inspired, depicted with the best of intentions, have often been counterproductive for the greater good of the Region and the world.
- Petition the Arab League together with the European Union and The Holy See to consider investing an estimated EU 100+ million to finance the work of thousands of Peace Corps Professionals to help the people of Israel Palestine to believe in their own self-esteem as well as the worthiness and goodness of the other.
- And, tenth, for now, LEAVE THE HOLY SITES IN THE HOLY CITY ALONE! Until things REALLY cool down entrust them tentatively to something like a United Nations-mandated Trust. The Holy sites in the Holy City belong to everyone because those who have faith in the God of Abraham also believe that God is the God of Adam and Eve, the God of all mankind. West Jerusalem becomes the capital of Israel. East Jerusalem becomes the capital of Palestine with no borders to separate either. Why? God views Jerusalem as one and the same; and, perhaps someday, all of Jerusalem becomes the capital city of all of Israel – Palestine.
In short, Modern Israel can and will win its war precisely how Germany has won its war: by freeing itself from its chains of bondage.
Dr. Assousa concludes Jewish Citizens in a Future Democratic Palestine? with:
“DDI offers a solution based on the foundational principle that if Israelis, Palestinians, Jews, and Arabs are going to have to live together, they should learn to benefit from each other. Its intellectual foundations reach down to the 1947 Partition Plan and have sparked the interest of figures such as F.W. de Klerk. All other options have failed, and with the peace process ominously locked in reverse, it should be given a chance.”
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