Dear President Trump, President Abbas, and Prime Minister Netanyahu,
Let the people decide!
1) Every household in Israel and the future State of Palestine, receives two hard copies of Peace to Prosperity: A Vision to Improve the Lives of the Palestinian and Israeli People.
“Improve.” “Lives.” “People.”
This whole vision is about improving our lives, right? So let us decide if we want these improvements or not.
2) For a set, short period of time—let’s say three weeks—we, the people, will ask the media and politicians to do us a favor. Don’t say anything. We would greatly appreciate a self-imposed moratorium on media coverage of The Vision. No reporting, no analysis, no polling, no Op-Ed pieces, nothing. And for sure the politicians won’t make a peep, or tweet. Just give us, the people, on our own, the chance to read, reflect, discuss with family and friends, and then—
3) Let the people decide.
Two referendums. One in Israel, and one in Palestine.
One simple question: “Are you willing to accept this Vision, in it’s entirety, as the basis for a peace agreement between the State of Israel and the State of Palestine?” Yes or no. That’s it.
If the answer is “no,” then so be it, the people have had their say, and it’s back to the drawing board.
4) And if the people say, “yes,” then their leaders better listen.
At that point, it will be up to the politicians to actualize the will of the people, which, I believe, is what democracy is supposed to be all about.*
What better way to bolster democracy in Israel, and lay a firm foundation for democracy in Palestine, than to let the people decide.
Let the thinking, reflection, discussions, conversations—and the vote—begin.
* And as for the objection of, “What are we going to do, start holding referendums on every issue?” The answer is, obviously not. In Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza today, there are countless issues for politicians to deal with, and then there is THE issue: The one and only over-arching issue that profoundly impacts each of us, every day, and that holds the possibility to “Improve the Lives of the Palestinian and Israeli People.” And so, yes, in this case, let the people decide.