Since the establishment of the State of Israel, we have longed for peace with our Arab neighbors. We dream of a time when we will be able to devote our efforts and resources not to war and survival but to growth and prosperity for the benefit of all residents of the region.
The Oslo dream has become a nightmare
Despite our strong desire for peace and in spite of repeated attempts to find solutions, many of which have included painful concessions on our part, the Israeli-Arab conflict continues and exacts a high price from us.
The actions of Israeli governments to establish a Palestinian State in the spirit of the Oslo Agreement have not brought about peace but rather a whirlpool of blood: Hamas controls Gaza; Kassam rockets are fired at the residents of Sderot; Hezbollah has missiles trained on Haifa, and only the persistent activities of the IDF are preventing terrorist attacks originating in Judea and Samaria.
Neither have the Palestinians reaped any benefits from the Oslo Agreement. Poverty and suffering and a regime that employs terrorism against its own citizens are the net results of the Oslo approach.
New thinking, new hope
We were not mistaken in striving for peace, but only in the way we set out to achieve it. We must re-examine all the assumptions that guided us, understand where we were mistaken, and move forward in the right direction.
I call on you to join me in this new thinking, in learning from our mistakes, and in re-reading the regional map toward a revitalized and genuine quest to achieve peace: The Israeli Initiative.
The Israeli Initiative is the product of in-depth assessments that address all the players in the region: Palestinians, Americans, the international community and first and foremost, Israelis and Arabs.
The Israeli Initiative is the first initiative that takes into consideration the new global and regional reality - the rise in power of Iran, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah and Hamas.
The Israeli Initiative
is based on the belief that conditions can become much better here, that a new Israel can emerge. We believe that a new language can be created between us and our Arab neighbors, a language based on preservation of what is important to us, while at the same time respecting their needs and rights.
I should like to offer you this hope.
Binyamin Elon has served twice as Israel’s Minister of Tourism, the Chairman of the Ichud Leumi (National Union) and the Chairman of the Moledet Party, as well as the Chairman of the Knesset Science and Technology Committee , Chairman of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus, and the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.