Many believe that the “covenant with many” of Daniel 9:27 will represent a treaty that brings peace to Israel and its neighbors. Several proposals have been made to bring about Mideast peace in the past few decades, including the Arab Peace Initiative.
I think it’s worthwhile to take a look at the Arab Peace Initiative in this article because it may provide us with some idea of what an eventual Middle East peace deal might include.
The 22 member countries of the Arab League met in Beirut in March 2002 to discuss a peace initiative inspired by the King of Saudi Arabia at the time. The members endorsed the initiative in a unanimous vote, and have re-endorsed it in 2007 and in 2017. Here are some key points of the initiative:
- Israel would have to withdraw from areas that they gained in the Six Day War and other conflicts.
- Israel would have to accept an independent Palestinian State and allow that state to have its capital in East Jerusalem.
- The Arab league members would enter a peace agreement with Israel and consider the Arab-Israeli conflict over.
- All parties involved would contribute to the security of the region.
- Relations between Israel and the members of the Arab League would be normalized (i.e. the removal of sanctions, the unfreezing of previously frozen assets, and other moves that improve relations between former adversaries).
- The U.S., the E.U., Russia, the United Nations, other Muslim countries, etc. would be asked to support the initiative.
The Arab Peace Initiative covers many important issues, but it does leave some difficult issues relatively untouched. Here are some issues that the initiative does not seem to cover:
- The sharing of the Temple Mount
- The future of the Jewish settlements in the West Bank
- The future of the Jewish populations living in the West Bank
In addition, there are some aspects of the Arab Peace Initiative that Israel would have major reservations about, including the surrender of East Jerusalem and the return to the pre-1967 borders. The surrender of these areas would require the approval of Israel’s citizens in a national referendum.
Nevertheless, the Arab Peace Initiative should not be completely dismissed as something that cannot play a role in forming a future Middle East peace deal. The main reason is that the endorsement of the 22 members of the Arab league is not something to ignore. An eventual Middle East peace deal is likely going to need the support of many Middle East countries to keep the deal from breaking down shortly after it is put in place.
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