Israel-Palestine Policy Agenda

Jerome Segal - Policy Agenda for Israel-Palestine

1. Financial Aid to Israel:

              - Shift back to economic aid with qualifications.

        - Military purchases from US defense contractors should be paid for at cost. US supports Israel's national security and the need for a military edge over other states in the region. However, given economic aid to Israel and the fact that Israel is a wealthy society, military transfer should be paid for at cost. This will also liberate Maryland from defense contractors who shift industries to Maryland and make campaign contributions to Senator Cardin to secure his support for more defense aid.

              - Economic Aid can be set at current level of military aid, roughly $3 billion a year. However:

  1. Sequester: The amount that Israel spends on any expansion of West Bank settlements and the amount of subsidies that it provides to existing settlements, shall be placed in a special fund that will only be available to Israel when it enacts a permanent comprehensive freeze on settlement expansion and eliminates all subsidies, or until such time as a comprehensive peace agreement is reached with the Palestinians.
  2. Funding to settlers who presently wish to return to Israel and need financial assistance. Up to $1 billion will be available for such purposes.
  3. Remainder of Assistance: The remaining assistance will be targeted on projects that either promote peace between Israel and the Palestinians or strengthen Israel as a democracy. This would include:

a) Pairing young Israelis at every grade level with their Palestinian counterparts. Special funding will be provided to Palestinian schools to facilitate their participation. Where possible this will go directly to such schools, rather than through the Palestinian Authority.

b) Grassroots cooperative activities on every level, from the arts and dance to science and the environment, that bring Israelis and Palestinans together around common values and serve to humanize the Other.

c) Media projects that will bring Palestinian and Israeli people, old and young, left and right, into public dialogue to educate and challenge each other over the key element of each people's dominant narrative,

d) Joint business ventures that involve joint start-ups, linking together bright people on both sides.

e) Funding for immediate humanitarian assistance that would allow the elderly remaining refugees from the 1948 war, to, should they wish, to live out their remaining days within Israel, near their original villages. Estimated that not more that 3,000 would chose to do so.


2. Iran Nuclear Deal/Attack on Iran

  1. Amend existing legislation to eliminate regular Presidential certifications. Allow the ink to dry on the agreement.
  2. Work with European partners to develop a common approach to the problem of Iran's developing missile program.
  3. Develop with the IAEA an approach to inspection of Iranian military bases that will provide adequate monitoring without undermining Iranian need to retain some secrecy about its own military installations.
  4. Clear Congressional legislation that would prohibit use of any appropriated funds for a pre-emptive American attack on Iran or participation of the United States in any pre-emptive attack coming from any other state, without explicit Congressional authorization.


3. Anti BDS Legislation

  1. Opposition to any expansion of such legislation (e.g. Cardin bill).
  2. Explicit rejection of Cardin provision that would define as a boycott of Israel any boycott of West Bank settlements.
  3. Modification of existing law to exempt any American person or corporate person from any prohibition if boycott activity is motivated by moral/political analysis and belief that such boycott is morally legitimate.


4. Peace Process

  1. Go to Post-Oslo, UN-Based Peace Process as detailed in "Going Directly to Israelis and Palestinians," by Jerome Segal; Shlomo Ben-Ami, former Foreign Minister of Israel; Javier Solana, former Chief Diplomat of European Union; Thomas C. Schelling, Nobel Prize Winner, in the New York Times, 2012 (located on this website under writings: Israel-Palestine).
  2. Offer Palestine admission to UN in exchange for acknowledgement of legitimacy of Israel as a democratic Jewish State -- plan is detailed in recent article in Al Quds.