Daily Israel Report

The Elon Peace Plan: Both Sides of the Jordan

Tourism Minister Benny Elon has proposed a new outline for Middle East peace, entitled: "In the Wake of the War in Iraq - A Historic Opportunity for a Regional Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict."
First Publish: 5/2/2003, 3:48 PM

Tourism Minister Benny Elon has proposed a new outline for peace in the Middle East, entitled: "In the Wake of the War in Iraq - A Historic Opportunity for a Regional Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict."

Elon, successor to the assassinated Rehavam Ze'evi as head of the Moledet Party in the National Union, conceived the plan as an alternative to the Road Map currently under consideration. He says that the Road Map is merely a "rehashing of the decades-old goal of trying to seat two peoples on the western side of the Jordan River" - an objective he calls "unworkable" and "dangerous." Giving the Arabs of Yesha a quasi-state will not solve the fundamental problems of borders and refugees, Elon says, but will instead guarantee the next round of terrorism and warfare.

Elon's plan offers what he calls "the genuine and original two-state solution," proposing that it encompass the full extent of Mandatory Palestine on both sides of the Jordan River. Its six points include the following:
* The Palestinian Authority will be dissolved;
* Israel will put a firm end to Palestinian terrorism by expelling terrorists, collecting weapons, and dismantling terror-hotbed refugee camps;
* The international community will recognize the Hashemite Kingdom as the sole representative of the Palestinians, and will help it economically as it absorbs a limited number of refugees;
* Israel will become sovereign over Judea, Samaria and Gaza, and the Arabs living there will be Jordanian citizens living under a form of autonomy to-be-determined;
* The exchange of Jewish and Arab populations begun in 1948 will be completed, and the international community will help rehabilitate the refugees in their new countries;
* Israel and Jordan-Palestine will declare the conflict ended and will work together as neighbors.

Though political opponents say that Elon is "ignoring the reality of the Palestinian Authority," the Elon Plan states that just as the "evil regimes of the Taliban and Saddam Hussein were destroyed," the same must befall the PA, "one of the most dangerous regimes." In addition to its history as a sponsor of terrorism and incitement, and the fact that it is a link in the chain of world-wide terror, the very existence of the PA as a non-solution perpetuates the conflict, the Elon Plan posits.

As reported by Arutz-7 on Tuesday, Minister Elon plans to present the program to political leaders and leading thinkers in the U.S. and abroad in the coming days. He says that it addresses the needs of the Arab refugees from 1948 who have been holed up in refugee camps merely in order to serve the interests of the Arab countries at war with Israel, as well as those of Israel and Jordan.

Among the plan's advantages Elon lists simplicity, sustainability, morality, deterrence, and justice. "We expect the plan to receive a wide and fair hearing in the Congress and among wide sectors of the Jewish and Christian population in the United States," a top Elon aide told Arutz-7's Yosef Zalmanson.