Fostering a Better Future
 GUIDE TO THE MIDEAST PEACE PROCESS
  CONTENTS | MADRID | BILATERAL | MULTILATERAL | FRUITS | FUTURE        
Fostering a Better Future
 Fostering a Better Future
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Fostering a Better Future
 Fostering a Better Future
  Over 16 years have passed since the Madrid Conference and the commencement of the bilateral and multilateral peace process in the Middle East. During that time, the peace process has changed the way the Israelis and the Arabs relate to one another. Negotiations, compromise, communication and reconciliation are moving the entire region away from open warfare and intractable hostility, to within reach of peace and prosperity – a vision that was only a dream for the previous five decades of bloodshed and animosity. As this process moves forward, tangible fruits of peace, both political and economic, are becoming evident.

In recognition of their efforts to achieve peace, then Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 1994.

On November 4, 1995, Prime Minister Rabin was slain by the bullets of an assassin while attending a peace rally in Tel Aviv. Leaders from almost 80 countries came to Jerusalem to pay tribute to his memory and to express support for Israel and the peace process. Most notable among these delegations were those representing neighboring countries, headed by King Hussein of Jordan, Egyptian President Mubarak, Moroccan Prime Minister Filali, Omani Foreign Minister Bin-Alawi, Qatar Information Minister el-Aziz, and Mauritanian Foreign Minister Lekhal.

Despite the seven years of Palestinian terror and violence which began in September 2000, Israel remains committed to the late Prime Minister Rabin’s legacy of the quest for peace; for peace is the key to the future. But for peace to endure, it must be based on two principles: security and reciprocity. Only agreements honored by both sides can be successful.

From the Basic Guidelines of the 31st Government of Israel (May 2006):

"The Government will strive to shape the permanent borders of the State of Israel as a Jewish state, with a Jewish majority, and as a democratic state, and will act to achieve this through negotiations and agreement with the Palestinians – conducted on the basis of mutual recognition, signed agreements, the Roadmap principles, cessation of violence and the disarming of the terror organizations."

In several key speeches following the establishment of the new Palestinian government headed by President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in June 2007, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni outlined the core principles of the Israeli vision of peace with the Palestinians, and the concrete steps taken to advance this goal.

From Address by FM Livni to the UN General Assembly – 1 Oct 2007:
The Israeli vision for peace with the Palestinians is guided by two core principles:

1. Two states, two homelands: just as Israel is homeland to the Jewish people, so Palestine will be established as the homeland and the national answer for the Palestinian people, including the refugees.

2. Two states living side by side in peace and security: just as a viable and prosperous Palestine in the West Bank and Gaza is an Israeli interest, so a secure Israel must be a Palestinian interest. The world cannot afford another terror state.

PM Netanyahu announced in his speech at Bar-Ilan University on June 14, 2009: "In my vision of peace, in this small land of ours, two peoples live freely, side-by-side, in amity and mutual respect.  Each will have its own flag, its own national anthem, its own government. Neither will threaten the security or survival of the other."