An Independent Push For Mideast Peace

Unofficial peace initiatives in Israel and the Palestinian territories don't stand much of a chance, given the intransigence on both sides. Even so, former Labor Cabinet Minister Yossi Beilin and Yasser Abed Rabbo, a former aide to Palestinian leader Yassir Arafat, plan to sign a new agreement called the Geneva Accords in Geneva on Nov. 4. The agreement, which was recently unveiled after secret talks involving politicians, businesspeople, and intellectuals from both sides, has raised the ire of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. It calls for the transfer of 98% of the West Bank and all of Gaza to a new Palestinian state. But the accord also requires Palestinians to compromise on their demand for the "right of return" to Israel. Next, Beilin and Rabbo plan a campaign to raise awareness of the accords -- and pressure the two governments to get back to talking peace.

Edited by Rose Brady

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