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June 9, 2014 11:06 pm

Settler Leader Dani Dayan Unveils ‘Hebron’ Peace Plan, Calls for Integration in Absence of Violence

avatar by Joshua Levitt

Israeli youth helping to clean a historical site at Hebron. Photo: Tazpit.

Settler leader Dani Dayan, former chairman of the YESHA Council in Judea and Samaria, proposed a peace plan with the ancient city of Hebron as its symbol, calling for full integration of Palestinians, Israel dismantling the security fence and providing more support for the Palestinian Authority, in exchange for a “zero tolerance for violence” policy.

In an Op-Ed in The New York Times, published as ‘The Dayan Plan for a New Reality in Judea and Samaria,’ Dayan laid out a plan calling for an integrated Hebron to “serve as a symbol of Israel’s new and daring policy.”

“As in the entire region of Judea and Samaria and Israel as a whole, all the ugly barriers and fences that restrict the movements of both Jewish and Arab residents of Hebron should be removed,” Dayan wrote.

“The whole city of Hebron will be effectively open to all: Palestinians will no longer be subject to the severe restrictions imposed years ago to address the security needs of the Jewish community, and the latter will no longer be forced to remain within closed enclaves.”

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The plan, presented on Monday at the Herzliya Conference, details the many moral and social advantages of integration, combined with vast economic gains for all from cooperation, but Dayan undercuts his own vision by prefacing any progress on the laying down of arms in the conflict, which he never confronts.

Dayan wrote, “A basic condition for implementation of the plan is the introduction of a ‘zero tolerance for violence’ defense policy. Palestinian freedom of movement will not result in a reduction of Israeli military activity in Areas A and B. In fact, just the opposite might occur.”

Rather than a political position, Dayan said, that in the absence of violence, his plan would focus on the other pre-requisites for peace, the social and economic fronts.

“My well-known position that posits that there should be no sovereignty between the Jordan and the Mediterranean other than Israeli sovereignty is not relevant to this plan. In fact, no political ‘end game’ position is relevant,” he wrote.

“The desire and need to dramatically improve the quality of life in Judea and Samaria conflicts with neither the vision of the Greater Land of Israel nor the two-state solution. All the parties can – and in my opinion, must – wholeheartedly support this type of plan. Whatever political reality ultimately emerges, better and fairer conditions of day-to-day life in Judea and Samaria are prerequisites no matter how you look at it.”

He sums up the goal: “A comprehensive plan will be adopted to increase the Palestinians’ per capita income; the civil administration will no longer be run by the military; Palestinians will serve on planning and building committees; identical legal norms will be applied on both sides of the Green Line; and the governance of the PA will be strengthened.”

The reason his plan should be pursued how, Dayan argues, is to fill the vacuum left in the wake of the collapse of nine-months of U.S.-led talks in April.

“This ‘despair’ has led to the realization that for the first time in decades, and certainly since the signing of the Oslo accords, there is no serious plan capable of producing results within a reasonable amount of time on the table,” Dayan wrote.

His plan differs from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s response, which has been to call for further demarcation, that Israel “must separate from the Palestinians,” as Netanyahu told Bloomberg News.

Rather, Dayan argues that “despair” would lesson with the gradual improvement of the broader Palestinian economic social conditions gained through deeper integration.

But, other than through offering his plan, Dayan offered no specific remedies for the current violence against IDF soldiers by Palestinian youth or how to de-fang the organized military groups that inflict daily terror on Israelis.

While both major Palestinian political parties Fatah and Hamas still call for Israel’s complete destruction in their charters, Hamas, as recently as last week, publicly insisted on its ability to wage military war, which includes thousands of rocket attacks against Israelis living near Gaza and vast cement tunnel networks that compromise Israel’s borders.

In the new unity government announced last week, Hamas said it would “stick to its guns,” allowing Fatah to extend its administrative control from Ramallah to Gaza City, where Hamas would relinquish day-to-day control because it can no longer afford to pay public sector salaries.

Hamas has been isolated for two years since the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas’s main sponsor in Egypt, was shut down by current Egyptian president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, who also cracked down on lawlessness in the Sinai desert that smuggled weapons into Gaza.

In the absence of the Brotherhood, Hezbollah and Iran have reportedly stepped into that vacuum to fund Hamas’s militia, the al-Qassam Brigades, now the group’s sole budget responsibility in the absence of having to pay Gaza’s government workers.

Besides Hamas’s foot soldiers, the ‘zero tolerance for violence’ defense policy would need to be respected by the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, the still-existent military wing of Fatah; the Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of Palestinian Islamic Jihad; the al-Qaeda-associated Majlis Shura al-Mujahideen, and the veteran Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the PLFP, credited by historians for being the first terrorist group to commandeer a civilian airplane with the midair hijacking of El Al Flight 219 in 1970.

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