Alternative Israeli peace plan gaining supporters

Wednesday, November 21, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

An alternative Israeli peace initiative that would see the Jewish state extend its sovereignty over all Judea and Samaria (the so-called "West Bank"), instead of allowing the creation of a Palestinian Arab state there, is gaining support, even among left-wing Israeli lawmakers.

Formulated by Knesset Member Rabbi Benny Elon (National Religious Party), the "Israeli Initiative" calls for Israel to immediately annex all of Judea and Samaria, while working together with Jordan to grant Jordanian citizenship to all of the Arabs living there. Large Arab population centers would conduct civil affairs with a degree of autonomy, while exercising their national expression through Jordan, which is already a Palestinian-majority country.

The Palestinian Authority would be dismantled, as would the so-called Palestinian "refugee camps."

Elon told Israel National News that his plan has been gaining support from within some unexpected quarters, including the left-wing Labor Party and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's ruling Kadima Party, both of which are officially dedicated to a policy of dividing the biblical land of Israel in a vain attempt to secure peace.

Opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu (Likud) has also expressed his support for the Israeli Initiative, as have a number of US congressmen.

Jordan is officially opposed to any such plan, fearing that bolstering its Palestinian Arab majority would weaken the rule of the country's Bedouin minority. But Elon is convinced that the details of his proposal would convince Jordanian King Abdullah II to sign on.

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