On his blog, Ishay Fridman, formerly a reporter for Ma’ariv, posted excerpts of a document written by a group of NGO activists and academics – many affiliated with New Israel Fund (NIF) grantees – presenting their vision for a political solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

As the excerpts reproduced below demonstrate, the principles delineated by the activists reflect a nominal two-state framework, one that would be closer in practice to 1.5 states for the Palestinians and that essentially strip the concept of Jewish sovereignty in Israel of all meaning.

More importantly, the messianic vision presented is entirely disconnected from the reality of the Middle East and the conflict, raising concerns about having irresponsible and quixotic activists running NIF-funded organizations.

According to Fridman, “Central activists in the initiative are … Noam Sheizaf of +972, Raluca Ginea of Avaaz, Dr. Limor Yehuda of ACRI, … Hadas Ziv of PHR-I, … Michael Sfard, a number of Fatah members and others.” Sfard is a lawyer for NIF grantees Yesh Din, Breaking the Silence, Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement, Human Rights Defenders Fund, as well as other NGOs.

Excerpts from the document (courtesy of Fridman’s blog, translation by NGO Monitor)

  • Both states will be committed to the one land vision, in which the citizens of both states will have the right to travel and live in all parts of the land.
  • Both states will recognize the freedom of movement of the citizens of both states in all parts of the land and the right of the citizens of both states to travel, visit, work in trade in all parts of the land, starting from the first phase.
  • The solution of separation ignores a basic question: the question of the refugees. According to the current outline, almost all of the Palestinian refugees will have to give up their right to return to the country from which they were expelled or escaped. A solution which ignores the refugees’ aspiration to return is doomed to be temporary and will inevitably sow the seeds of the next conflict.
  • Both states will have the following joint institutions: A court of human rights, which will be ordained as the highest and final court for deciding on disputes pertaining to the respect of human rights. All the residents of the land will be allowed to petition the court against the state they reside in, also, both states will be allowed to petition the court with claims regarding the violation of human rights in the other state.
  • Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel will enjoy the rights of a national minority, civil equality, proper representation in government institution in Israel, equitable division of state resources and fair representation in the joint Israeli-Palestinian institutions.