- General Issues
- 2011 >
- Time to Negotiate the Northern and Southern Sectors of the Israeli-West Bank Border
- President Peres and Dr. Ashrawi: Thank You for Staying on Track
- Playing the Victim Card Will Not Bring Peace
- Negotiations By the Parties
- The World Should Help the Palestinian Hunger Striker
- ...and only afterwards move to discuss the topic of Jerusalem
- A Question of Accountability
- Israel Twisting in the Wind
- Netanyahu: Too Big for His Britches
- Netanyahu's "Israeli Comfort"
- How Shaul Mofaz Can Jump-Start the Peace Process
- Netanyahu on the Brink
- Time for Taking Stock
- Israel in Wonderland
- Whatever Happened to the Quartet?
- The Palestinians Want to Negotiate
- A Time for Hope and a Call for Restraint
- Israel Can Win in Gaza, But Not Now
- Congratulations to the New State of Palestine!
- Security and Borders: Both Required for Peace
- It Is Up to Israel to Restart Peace Negotiations
- Israel and Palestine: Changing the Terms of Agreement
- The Knesset Bill to Increase the Number of Women that Elect the Chief Rabbis Is Important for Jewish Women
- Proposal on Governance of the Holy Basin
- Time for Netanyahu to Reach Across the Aisle
- Tzipi Livni's Challenge
- Women Should Be Free to Pray at the Wailing Wall
- Proposed Highway through the Jordan Valley Will Backfire on Israel
- 2014 >
- We Should Applaud Herzog and Livni for Reclaiming Zionism
- The Next Israeli Government
- West Bank Citizenry and Receipt of Individuals of Palestinian Origin
- What Next for Israel?
- Palestinian statehood
- Mischief in the Trade Legislation would Hinder Progress
- What Next for America?
- Could American Firms Choose to Gradually Disinvest from Israel?
- Boycotting Israel is not anti-Semitism
- 2016 >
- 2017 >
- 2019 >
- About the Authors
This proposal advocates land swaps, in a context of “territorial exchanges,” but it leaves to negotiations what land within Israel is to be exchanged. Such transfers of land could be agreed upon under a number of different criteria, whether a mathematical formula, a percentage calculation, or any of several provisos.
In the negotiations to come, exchanges of territory may allow for a greater range of opportunities, because land transfer is also linked to (a) considerations of citizenship and residency, (b) maintaining territorial contiguity and access, (c) the cross-border flow of people and goods, (d) fostering economic growth, and (e) security concerns. In short, it is far more than land that is being transferred or swapped. Thus, in advocating territorial exchanges, we are also advocating for a much broader sense of exchange, one that can facilitate the negotiation process.
Recognizing an enduring Christian presence in the Middle East, we have adopted a concept that moves away from the biblical dictum of “an eye for an eye.” In seeking to establish an enduring peace, our conviction is to present a more balanced approach. Nevertheless, we do not wish to deny the voice of those who believe that justice requires an exchange of kilometer for kilometer.
As it is, the Citizens Proposal provides for a transfer of 1.9% of Palestinian land to Israel, meeting a similar percentage recently offered by Palestinian negotiators to representatives of the Quartet on November 14, 2011. To be precise, the Citizens Proposal designates 119.62 sq. km. of land east of the 1949 armistice line to Israel, which is 1.94% of the land area demarcated by that line for the West Bank and Gaza but excluding the No-Man’s Land. This figure excludes East Jerusalem, which is defined for purposes of calculation as the areas, primarily with an Arab-majority, from French Hill to East Talpiyot and east to the edge of Ma’ale Adumim (20.48 sq. km.).
Without prejudicing negotiations, the area of East Jerusalem shaded yellow, which is most likely to become part of a Palestinian East Jerusalem, amounts to 12.91 sq. km., or 0.21% of Palestinian land. This leaves 7.57 sq. km., or 0.12%, that could potentially be transferred to Israel, all or in part. Within this most sensitive area, neighborhoods may require fine consideration when the parties begin to map out their differences.
For possible land areas that Israel might cede to Palestine, we call attention to David Makovsky’s proposal. We agree with several of the principles enunciated therein, namely that the ceded land should be suitable for farming or industrial use, and should not involve the transfer or dislocation of large populations of Israeli Arabs into Palestine. It identifies six potential areas for land transfer adjacent to the northern West Bank, southern West Bank and Gaza, with the bulk of the ceded land adjacent to Gaza.
Offering the area of agricultural land on the south-east side of Gaza, as suggested in the Citizens Proposal, would enhance Gaza’s domestic food supply. However, we understand that Israel would be unwilling to cede this territory as long as the government of Gaza foments violence and remains committed to Israel’s destruction. We could envision a peace agreement that marks territory near Gaza for annexation without the annexation being immediately carried out. Short-term implementation issues are less important than demarcating the border, which would thenceforth guide Israeli planning and construction.
 David Makovsky et. al, “Imagining the Border: Options for Resolving the Israeli-Palestinian Territorial Issue.” Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 2011. http://www.theisraelproject.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=hsJPK0PIJpH&b=4183369&ct=9040963