Vision of 9/11
The day after New Year 5772, as the United Nations General Assembly is due to meet, a group of Arab and European Union states formulate a resolution to accept Palestine as a member in the United Nations.
September 11, 2011. In New York City, a memorial ceremony is held to commemorate 10 years since the worst terrorist attacks in modern history, and in Jerusalem they mark five years without a suicide bomb. Palestinian security forces are deployed in all the cities of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Following Fatah's election victory, Hamas accepted the preconditions of the Quartet and joined a new unity government led by Salam Fayyad.
Security brought about by the completion of the separation fence has led to the lifting of the vast majority of the roadblocks on West Bank roads. The economy in the territories continues to grow and is drawing Western and Arab investors. New housing and commercial centers can be seen at every corner, and they are serviced by a new road system.
A joint committee of Israeli and Palestinian educators has done away with incitement from school books. A number of ministers and senior officials were forced to give up their positions as a result of the findings in the annual report of the Palestinian Authority's comptroller.
Meanwhile in Washington, the peace talks between the Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams have reached a dead end. After two years of negotiations, George Mitchell, who is representing the United States in the talks, announces that he has been unable to bridge the differences between the two sides on all the core issues: borders, Jerusalem, refugees and security. As a result of the failure in the diplomatic process, the road map became obsolete, and with it Israel's commitment to remove the outposts and freeze settlement construction.
Netanyahu is unable to resist the pressure from his partners in the government and lays down the cornerstone for a new neighborhood in Area E1, near Ma'aleh Adumim, on the road to Jerusalem.
The Palestinian Authority announces that from its point of view the negotiations for a solution of two states for two peoples has reached an end, and it is seeking to replace it with a solution of a single state for two peoples. For demographic reasons, the government of Israel refuses to grant the residents of the territories rights as citizens. The day after New Year 5772, as the United Nations General Assembly is due to meet, a group of Arab and European Union states formulate a resolution to accept Palestine as a member in the United Nations.
The proposal is based on UN Security Council Resolution 1515 of November 2003, which adopted the road map - which was based, among other ideas, also on the Arab Peace Initiative: peace and normalization in exchange for Israel's withdrawal from the territories it conquered in 1967.
With a large majority (there are no vetoes in the General Assembly), the GA recognizes the Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Henceforth, Israel's control over the territories constitutes a violation of the sovereignty of an independent country that is a member of the United Nations. Israel will thus have to reposition the separation fence along the Green Line, remove the IDF from the territories, and transfer to Palestine control over the water sources, the air space and territorial waters, as is required by international law.
Netanyahu is asked to allow the aircraft of world leaders flying in to the new international airport in the Jordan Valley to attend the ceremony declaring Palestinian independence, to pass.
This scenario is not part of a science fiction movie. These are the fundamentals of a plan that is being presented by Prime Minister Fayyad, and which we have not given much attention. Fayyad assumes that if it looks like a state and acts like a state, it will receive the status of a state.
His timetable is in line with reports that President Barack Obama intends to dedicate two years to the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Javier Solana, the European Union's foreign policy chief, mentioned recently the two years as a target date for a UN declaration of an independent Palestinian state within the 1967 boundaries (postponing the discussion on East Jerusalem and the refugees).
Like them, Fayyad is not hopeful about the negotiations. He knows that a Palestinian leader who accepts Netanyahu's proposal will be greeted with a reception similar to that which Netanyahu will receive at the Likud party conference if he accepts the proposals of Mahmoud Abbas.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman was quick to warn that Israel will not hold back against any unilateral Palestinian move. Unlike Israel, which does not hesitate to embark on unilateral steps (the annexation of East Jerusalem and the Golan, or deciding the route of the separation fence), Palestine will enjoy broad international support. Whoever runs away from a compromise solution with his neighbors in September 2009 should not be surprised to find himself at the 1967 borders on September 11, 2011.