Letter : Path to peace in the Middle East

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The Independent Online
Sir: Many Jews are appalled at the way the Israeli-Palestinian crisis is endangering the whole peace process which was developing between Israel and many sections of the Arab world.

Only three months ago Israel's prime minister, Shimon Peres, and his government were working with wide international support to advance the peace process. Now, after three months of a Likud-led government, this progress is rapidly becoming a memory of what could have been. We are witnessing a breakdown of all that was so painstakingly achieved under the Madrid and Oslo agreements.

There is too much at stake for those of us abroad - as well as Israelis and Palestinians - seeking Jewish-Arab reconciliation to remain silent. The Israel government and Palestinian Authority must make whatever mutual concessions are needed, so that bloodshed can be halted and political relationships be rebuilt.

Suggested immediate action:

1. Close Jerusalem's Hasmonean tunnel until there is mutual Jewish-Muslim agreement.

2. Palestinian police to stop firing on Israeli troops.

3. Israeli troops to withdraw from Palestinian autonomous enclaves.

4. Re-establish joint Israeli-Palestinian patrols, with joint boundary checkpoints.

5. Agreement to redeploy troops in Hebron to be implemented promptly.

6. Agreement on further troop redeployment in the "West Bank" to be implemented.

7. Suspend plans for further Jewish settlements in the "West Bank".

8. A firm start date for negotiations on a permanent Israel-Palestine settlement, including Jerusalem and Palestinian self-government.

Anxious Diaspora Jews, like millions of Israelis and Palestinians, urge such an agenda now.


London NW6