Bottom-Up Peace

 By Morton Deutsch & Peter T. Coleman, Columbia University

Via Columbia University (click for original)
The protracted Israeli-Palestinian conflict has again reached a stalemate and negotiations between the parties have broken off.  However, we believe it is urgent that the United States and the others in the Quartet (The UN, the EU and Russia) take steps to initiate a renewed movement for peace.  It is urgent because the Egyptian revolution is likely to harden positions on both sides of the conflict making it unlikely that negotiations will resume unless there is an important, dramatic change. With the deadlock, we believe that the Palestinians will suffer even more than they have under Israeli occupation and the Israelis will be exposed to increasing danger from long-range missiles able to hit large population centers in Israel.
Our proposal is:
The United States, preferably with the other members of the Quartet, present the Geneva Accord, which was unofficially negotiated by a team of highly respected Israelis and Palestinians, as the final agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians. However the Accord must be ratified by referendum by each of the two populations. It presents a comprehensive solution to most issues (including security, border crossings, the Implementation and Verification Group (IVG), roads, water management, environmental concerns, the economy, and the division of Jerusalem) vital to ensuring the end of the conflict and the realization of the national visions of both parties.