rabin - Israel Government Press Office - January 8 2007
Yuval Rabin at an official memorial ceremony for his father, the late Prime Minister Yizhak Rabin. Photo by Israel Government Press Office
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Tomer Appelbaum
Yuval Rabin with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo by Tomer Appelbaum

Yuval Rabin, the son of the late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, has joined forces with businessman and social activist Koby Huberman in order to advocate for the Israeli Peace Initiative, or IPI, a response to the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative.

In an article published in the Web site bitterlemons.org, Rabin and Huberman propose that instead of responding to the APA, the Israeli government should say "yes" by presenting a parallel proposal to end the conflict – the IPI.

The two have spent several months promoting the IPI among political figures, academics, and businessmen in Israel and at the same time tested the reaction of Palestinian and Arab figures to the principles of the initiative in an unofficial manner.

The detailed IPI proposal will be soon published in English, Hebrew, and Arabic, and the principles outlined are the following:

1. A viable Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders and one-on-one land swaps
2. Jerusalem as the home of two capitals and special arrangements in the holy basin
3. An agreed solution for the refugees inside the Palestinian state (with symbolic exceptions)
4. Mutual recognition of the genuine national identities of the two states as the outcome of negotiations and not as a prerequisite
5. Reiteration of the principles underlying Israel's 1948 declaration of independence regarding civic equality for its Arab citizens
6. Long-term security arrangements with international components.

In regards to the Syrian channel, the IPI suggests that the end-of-conflict scenario include "phased withdrawals from the Golan Heights to finally reach the 1967 borders with one-on-one land swaps, coupled with tight security arrangements to curb terrorists and paramilitary organizations."

"Regarding Lebanon," Rabin and Huberman write, "the scenario articulates mainly security arrangements, as international borders have already been established. The other three IPI components present regional security mechanisms addressing common regional threats, a vision for regional economic development, and parallel evolution toward regional recognition and normal ties."

Concluding the article, Rabin and Huberman say that they "hope the IPI creates an intensified dialogue and some rethinking both in Israeli circles and the region."

"More importantly, 15 years after Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's assassination, we hope to see brave regional and international leaders translate the API and IPI visions into practical and synchronized progress."

Before the previous elections, Yuval Rabin met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and told him that he didn't rule out voting for him for prime minister, and also supported Netanyahu's intentions of establishing a unity government.

Rabin's initiative may indicate his disappointment with Netanyahu's current policies.