Before going to the conference I received a phone call from Giora Eiland, Israel’s National Security Adviser. He asked to meet with me prior to the conference. We met and he presented a plan, which I was very familiar with proposing a four-party land swap between Israel-Egypt-Palestine-Jordan that would enable Israel to annex the settlement blocks in the West Bank.
The idea was creative, but I said it was a non-starter – Egypt would not give one grain of sand of Sinai to the Palestinians. I told him that I was reluctant to present the plan to Gamal Mubarak because I am very familiar with the Egyptian attitude on trading land.
Fortunately, Mubarak did not show up at the conference and I did not have to make the presentation. It was a non-starter then, and it is a non-starter today. People who don’t want to seriously and genuinely confront Israel’s bi-national one state reality search for fantasy dreams and proposals that avoid reality.
Gershon is an advisor to Israeli, Palestinian and International Prime Ministers on the Middle East Peace Process and the founder and director of IPCRI, the Israeli-Palestinian Public Policy Institute. He was the initiator and negotiator of the secret back channel between Israel and Hamas for the release of 1,027 prisoners – mainly Palestinians and Arab-Israelis of which 280 were sentenced to life in prison for planning and perpetrating various attacks against Jewish targets that resulted in the killing of 569 Israelis in exchange for one Israeli soldier, Gilad Schalit. Gershon is actively involved in research and advocacy concerning topics such as social policy, environmental security, political strategy, peace education, economics, culture and in the development of affordable solar projects with the goal of providing clean electricity for 50 million people by 2020.