Twenty-two members of the Arab League, including Egypt and Jordan who already have peace agreements with and recognise Israel, have signed up to guarantee Israel’s security in return for Israel withdrawing entirely from the Gaza and the West Bank back to its pre-1967 lines, including withdrawing all settlements and also including withdrawal from the Golan Heights, recognising the sovereign state of Palestine and accepting a ‘just solution’ for all the Palestinians and their descendants that were displaced from Israel.
Naturally, the hard right-wing of Zionism is hardly likely to accept any aspect of the proposals and will make every effort to disrupt any discussion of them. There are others, however, who have at least expressed an interest in sitting down to talk despite their concerns about the proposals and their all but total rejection of the right of return part of the proposals which is by far the biggest sticking point as far as both sides are concerned. For the Israelis it simply won’t happen, and for the Palestinians there will be no peace unless it does.
Despite the fact that the Israeli government has rejected the entire proposal out of hand, the mere fact that the Arab League were prepared to go to so much trouble in arranging the meeting to thrash out this attempt at a peace plan says much about the current climate among the Arab peoples. It also makes a statement about the extent of Arab unity at a time when the US and Israel have been trying to wedge the differences that Sunni and Shia are currently having in Iraq by inferring that a fractured Iraq would have a detrimental effect on the relationships that each of the Arab nations have with each other implying that the Sunni/Shia differences could spread throughout the Middle East.
Despite the fact that Israel has rejected the proposal, the demand for peace should now be expanded to include not just the united voices of the Arab peoples, but the peoples of all the world including those moderate Jews throughout the Diaspora that want peace and the peoples of Israel who have also had enough of the wars and killing in the name of right-wing Zionism.