Shasha Center for Strategic Studies

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem




We believe that by the year 2050 there will be two sovereignstates, Israel and Palestine, living in peace with each other in the region that lies between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.Borders will be open to free movement of workers, capital, commodities and services; at the same time, individuals will reside in their home states and will not be permitted to reside in the other state unless their immigration is formally approved by state officials.

Our vision reveals our conviction that for peace to last, all of the stakeholders, including the most vulnerable members of society, must feel that peace brings them personal and communal advantages.We know thatviable peace demands that individuals on both sides of the conflict must learn to change hostile, fearful mindsets.  We are confident that the political, economic and social benefits brought by cross-border cooperation will make a crucial contribution to ensuring that these goals are achieved and that peace is sustainable.

Our GuidingPrinciples

Cross-border relations between the two states will be predicated on fourkey pillars: freedom; justice; equivalent definitions of peace on both sides;and social and economic viability.

1.      Freedom refers to the existence of two independent and democratic states, bothof which are committed to personal freedom and choice, religious freedom, and tolerance. Each of these two states is stable and legitimate, accepted by all parties within its jurisdiction. This implies that any agreement signed between the two states, including cross-border cooperation, will not be challenged by any intra-state group.


2.      Justicehas a threefold meaning: 1. A morally-justIsraeli-Palestinian peace agreement which is essential for the security of both peoples. 2. Cross-border cooperation based upon just divisionand mutual responsibilitytowardsnatural resources shared by the two states (i.e., ground water, streams, and ecological corridors). 3. Distribution of benefits associated with cross-border cooperation among all sectors of the two societies, in accordance with the principles of social and distributivejustice.


In other words, rather than serving as a source for increased intra- and inter-state inequality, in which the already-rich profit at the expense of the rest of society,  cross-border cooperation will provide social and economic benefits to all members of the two societies.  Thus, cross-border cooperation will contribute to sustainable peace.


3.      Equivalent definitions of peace implies that the educational systems and the national narratives –although aware of the historical and emotional ties of each ethno-national group to its localities, towns and landscapes which that are now under the jurisdiction of the other nation –will recognize that that other country has full political control over its territory, as delineated in the peace agreement.


This process requires genuine reconciliation based upon inquiries by a truth and reconciliation committee;changes in consciousness and perception; and mutual recognition.


4.      Social and economic viabilityrefers to the stable existence oftwo prosperous, flourishing states, based oneconomic, social and political dividends generated by their provided cross-border cooperation.

Freedom, justice, equivalent meanings, and social and economic viability are all essential elements of cross-border cooperation. While our vision focuses on the fourth element, it rests solidly on the first three.

The Major Components of the Vision

Jerusalem. Cross-border cooperation will reach its highest levels in the city of Jerusalem. While Jerusalem will be politically divided into two municipalities, it will function economically and geographically as one city. Thus, Jerusalem will be able to fulfill its destiny as a city of peace, open, shared, and respected by people all over the world.

Economy. Cross-border cooperation will help to reduce economic gaps between Israel and Palestine. Through joint economic enterprises, especially in high-tech industry and tourism, the two countries will together form a leading regional economic hub.  As a result, the GDP of the two countries will increase significantly.

Social Welfareand Safety. Cross-border cooperation in development of health and educational services in border areas will ensure high levels of social welfare.

With the expansion of roads, railways and efficient transportation systems, the entire space between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River will become accessible to citizens on both sides. This will increase access to economic opportunities, employment,health and educational services, and social opportunities, and will thus enhance social inclusion on both sides. As a result, individuals and communities will feel safe and secure, and therefore will be supportive of peace agreements between the two states.

Ecosystem Sustainability. The regional environment will be protected and sustained through cross-border cooperation in defending and preserving ecological systems, energy and water conservation, sewage control, and protection of ecological corridors and sensitive areas.

Joint planning. This vision is predicated on the idea that the political process of peace making should be supported by a parallel process of joint planningcarried out by Palestinian and Israeli professional teams. Through joint learning, information sharing and joint planning, these teams will explore and developnew and challenging ideas regarding future relations between the two states.

At a later stage, other Arab countries, like Jordan and Egypt, may be invited to join the process.