Defense Minister Shimon Peres has proposed a plan for a federation between Israel and the West Bank which he hopes the Labor Alignment will begin discussing. Peres has long been a supporter of the federation idea but he did not present any details on implementing it until this weekend in an interview with Davar’s political correspondent Hagal Eshed.
Peres said the plan should be promoted both on a national and an International level and the government should adopt the federation plan perhaps during the negotiations for an overall settlement of the Mideast dispute.
Peres’ plan would give Arabs both in Israel and the administered territories a free choice of citizenship, with those accepting Israeli citizenship being able to vote for the Knesset, Peres said the problem of ensuring a Jewish majority could be solved by using what he called the “Canadian system” in which a ratio of two-thirds Jewish votes and one-third Arab votes could be maintained until the area was stabilized. He also suggested a high degree of autonomy for the residents of the occupied territories both on a local and a regional basis.
The Defense Minister has no illusions that his plan can be achieved quickly, but suggested implementing it in stages. “Nobody dreamed a European Common Market was possible in the thirties, and yet it became a European reality in the fifties,” he said. Eventually a federated parliament could be created, similar to the European parliament, he said.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.