Geneva Initiative Annexes
Geneva Initiative Annexes

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PPC-GI Position Paper: The Political Changes in the Arab World and the Peace Process

The people's revolutions in both Tunisia and Egypt stressed the dire need for substantial reforms in the official political structures in the Arab world. Consequently, it has become necessary to put an end for the control of the totalitarian ruling parties over the different aspects of life in the Arab countries, and to stop turning the potentials of the modern state into a shield to protect the regime as has been represented always by the president. Now, there is a big gap between the head of the regime and the people and their legitimate institutions, as represented by the legislative, the judicial and executive branches. The corrosion of the social and popular foundations and orders of the ruling regimes in the Arab world is weakening the capacity of the state and the political regime in the face of any threat. This has already led to the rise of extremism which has always threatened civil secular life and political pluralism in different Arab countries, and lead to the fragmentation of the state and the risks of ethnic and religious conflicts.
 
The revolutions in Tunisia, then Egypt, will most likely spread to different Arab countries, since there are so many elements in common among the Arab regimes, which are built on totalitarian bases. However, to go through a voluntary transformation into a civil democratic life, the Arab countries need to immediately fight corruption, if any; allow for a broader room for various freedoms; and to re-open doors with the people and their civil institutions and political forces. This should take place within a dramatic reformation and transformation processes that give back to the people their role as the source of power. At this stage, what is really needed is legitimate parliaments that represent the will of the nation, and for such wills to be carried out by the nation's leader, and not parliaments that carry out the will of the leader.
 
The success of the “Lotus Revolution” in Egypt--one of the peaceful revolutions in the world--will enable the peoples of the Arab world to play their appropriate roles in improving their present and creating their future. Israel, probably, will no longer be able to call itself the only “democratic model” in the Middle East, and to this effect, Israel should not be concerned, and must stop its current policy of isolation, claiming that the region is unstable. Based on the modern nature of the Egyptian revolution as led by the moderate middle class youth and the position of the ruling military council towards respecting Egypt’s regional and international commitments, Israel must seize this historic opportunity to respect also the will of the Palestinian people for an independent state based on the 1967 borders.
 
Now, moving towards ending the Arab-Israeli conflict based on the Arab Peace Initiative and the latest achievements in the previous negotiations between Palestinians and Israel, including the Geneva Accord, represents an historic opportunity for Israel. This formula has been stressed by President of Israel, Shimon Peres, who stated in the Hertzelya conference that the recent dramatic events in the Arab world reveal the dire need for ending for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which should take place soon, since an escalated conflict is against the interests of all parties.