Where does the Dajani Peace Plan stand on the main issues?
The Dajani Peace plan (by Dr. Mohammed S. Dajani Daoudi) offers original yet simple solutions for the most contentious issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict including: settlements, the status of Jerusalem, the rights of minorities in Israel and an independent Palestinian state.
"The time for Wasatia, moderation in religion and diplomacy has come."
Dr. Mohammed Dajani Daoudi
Two peoples in two states in a shared homeland
A sovereign, independent, and secular State of Palestine will be established in the West Bank and Gaza Strip next to a sovereign, independent, and Jewish state of Israel. Formal statehood will end the occupier-occupied relationship between the two peoples of Palestine and Israel.
Israel will recognize the Holy Land as the homeland of the Palestinian people, and Palestine will recognize the Holy Land as the homeland of the Jewish people.
Palestinians will accept the legitimacy of Jewish historical rights in Palestine and accept a Jewish minority residing in an independent State of Palestine, enjoying full civil rights equal to those of the Arab majority. The Arab minority of Israel will enjoy also full civil rights equal to those of the Jewish majority in the state of Israel. Jewish Palestinians in the State of Palestine and Arab Israelis in the State of Israel will be given the option to hold dual citizenship.
The recognized borders of Israel and Palestine will be equivalent to pre-1967 borders with mutually agreed-upon adjustments and consensual land swaps — a principle both sides have already accepted. Said land-swaps would be equal in size and quality.
Refugees - Palestinian and Jewish
The Palestinian Diaspora, displaced by the 1947-48 and 1967 wars, will be allowed to exercise their right of return to the State of Palestine. However, the demand that these refugees be allowed to return to their original homes is no longer realistic or practical, given the global, regional, and local developments that have occurred since 1948.
For those who choose not to exercise their right to return to a Palestinian state, compensation will be offered, facilitated by the assets allocated for the implementation of peace. This arrangement will be facilitated by a joint-agreement between the State of Israel, the Arab oil-producing countries, and the international community to monetarily compensate Palestinians displaced in wars after 1947. These assets will primarily help facilitate the resettlement and absorption of the refugees in their natural national habitat. This would replace international services such as UNRWA originally designated to help Palestinian refugees.
Jewish refugees forced to flee Arab states in the late 1940s and early 1950s will be similarly compensated from the same fund.
Jerusalem must also be recognized as a city with a ‘dual identity.’ Jerusalem’s Old City is the ‘religious city’ mentioned in holy scriptures and with deeply holy sites to all Abrahamic religions. Outside the walls of the Old City—built by the Ottoman sultan Suleiman the Lawgiver more than five hundred years ago—is the ‘municipal city’ that has been annexed into the broader concept of Jerusalem over the last hundred years. It is this municipal territory that can be shared as two capitals for Israel and Palestine.
The religiously-weighted ‘old city’ and the more administratively heavy ‘municipal city’ are radically different in meaning and status. As such, they must be placed under different models of governance. While keeping the city geographically unified — and without the use of concrete walls and barbed wire, the Old City of Jerusalem will be placed under the sovereignty of God—the sacred authority all sides acknowledge and respect.
The two federal government structures, their Parliament/Knesset, and Supreme Courts of Israel and Palestine will both be seated outside the Old City, in West Jerusalem and East Jerusalem respectively. The affairs of the overall city would be run on a day-to-day basis by a municipality that represents all Jerusalemites.
The city’s religious sacred sites, however, should be open to all. Currently, Muslims are freely allowed to visit Jewish and Christian Holy sites such as the Western Wall and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. As such, non-Muslims would be permitted to enter Muslim Holy sites such as Al-Haram al-Sheriff and Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Cooperation and Coexistence
Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip will have the right to travel freely and to work in Israel. Israelis will be allowed to move freely and work in the independent Palestinian state.
A joint-commission will be created with the task of implementing a peace education curriculum educating people in both states about the history and culture of both Jews and Palestinians—together with the meaning and importance of the Holy Land to each community in preparation for the implementation of this plan. Learning at all levels will be supervised by this joint commission in order to ensure that it is void of indoctrination, hatred, and incitement.
Economic cooperation between Israel and Palestine will aim at securing the welfare and prosperity of both peoples. Similar to the issue of refugees created by the war in 1948, the international community and Arab oil-producing countries will finance the bottom-up building of Palestinian infrastructures and economy together with funds diverted from military spending.
A Pathway to Peace
The above peace plan should be implemented in stages during a mutually-agreed timetable, encouraging both parties to honor previous agreement commitments and building the trust and confidence-building measures vital to any effective peace agreement. The United States, as part of its historical role as a third-party in the negotiations, will supervise the list of steps the two sides should take in the implementation of this plan. The European Union and the international community will also play a positive role in people-to-people engagements.
This proposed alternative peace plan fulfills the Palestinian dream to self-determination in establishing a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. It also fulfills the Israeli dream of Jewish self-determination in Eretz Israel while keeping Jerusalem united and defusing the legitimate grievances that fuel Palestinian hatred of Zionism.
By accomplishing these feats, the drawing of final borders between Israel and Palestine will be far less contentious, as the borders proposed in this plan merely designate where Israeli and Palestinian security services operate — not a civil barrier preventing Israelis or Palestinians from moving throughout their historical homeland.
It is possible — with creative thinking, trust building, as well as fresh, out-of-the-box proposals — for this conflict to come to an end. But for the Arab and the Muslim world to come to accept a Jewish state, Jewish self-determination, and residential rights in the Holy Land, Zionists must reciprocate by recognizing Palestinian sovereignty in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem.
The reciprocal recognition of sovereignty and self-determination rights in the Holy Land is the premise for Jews and Palestinians to believe once again in compromise, peace, and coexistence. Accepting this peace plan would constitute a breakthrough in the process of forging relations between Israel, the Palestinians, and the Arab as well as the Muslim world.
This is a win-win Peace Plan.
Who is Professor Mohammed Dajani Daoudi?
A Palestinian peace activist
Mohammed S. Dajani Daoudi was born to one of Jerusalem's historic Arab families, entrusted by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent with keeping the Tomb of King David on Mount Zion.
Dajani studied at the American University of Beirut (1964-75). He earned an MA from Eastern Michigan University (1976) in social science, a Ph.D. in government from the University of South Carolina (1981), and another Ph.D. in political economy at the University of Texas at Austin (1983).
Dajani worked as Chief Technical Advisor for UNDP (1995-97), during which he established the Palestinian National Public Administration Institute to train civil servants. He joined Al-Quds University faculty in 2001 and established its American Studies Institute the following year. In January 2007, he founded Wasatia ("Moderation"), an organization that promotes the Islamic traditions of nonviolence and compromise.
In March 2014, Dajani led a group of 27 students from Al-Quds University to visit Auschwitz's Nazi death camps. Al-Quds University issued a statement saying Dajani and the students were acting in a "personal capacity," the faculty union expelled Dajani, and nine student unions on campus labeled him 'a traitor'. Two months later, Dajani was forced to resign from his posts as Rector of Libraries and Director of the American Studies Institute at Al-Quds University. He received death threats, and his car was set on fire. Dajani left Jerusalem for Washington to be the Weston Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy (1915-1917). He returned to Jerusalem, where he continues his work of reconciliation and peacebuilding.
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