THE ELON PEACE PLAN; Congressional Record Vol. 154, No. 7
(House of Representatives - January 17, 2008)

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[Pages H337-H338]
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                          THE ELON PEACE PLAN

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the 
gentleman from Florida (Mr. Weldon) is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. WELDON of Florida. Madam Speaker, today I rise to bring to the 
attention of the House an important new plan that seeks to bridge the 
longstanding divide between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The plan 
is titled ``The Right Road to Peace,'' and it is a comprehensive 
proposal for finding an avenue to peace, as well as addressing the 
humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people.
  As we know, the Palestinian people have, for nearly three 
generations, languished in U.N.-run refugee camps in Lebanon, Jordan, 
Gaza and the West Bank. The author of the proposal, Mr. Binyamin Elon, 
a highly respected member of Israel's Knesset, he, at the heart of this 
plan, has offered an innovative approach for providing opportunity, 
housing and education to a population which, for a long time, has lived 
as a ward of the international community. Mr. Elon's proposal would end 
the cycle of dependence that long has shackled Palestinian development.
  Madam Speaker, I will include a summary of the document entitled 
``The Right Road to Peace'' into the Record after my remarks.
  Today, there are approximately 1.3 million registered Palestinians 
being cared for in 59 camps run by the United Nations Relief and Works 
Agency, or the U-N-R-W-A, sometimes referred to as UNRWA.
  Nearly 60 years after the first of these camps were established, 
virtually nothing has been done to return this population to a settled 
existence. The 1.3 million Palestinians living in these camps live in a 
world of poverty, their day-to-day existence solely reliant on 
international handouts.
  The history of Palestinian refugee problems clarifies why the Elon 
peace plan is so needed at this time:
  Following the Israeli War of Independence in 1948, hundreds of 
thousands of Palestinians were displaced. At the time, hundreds of 
thousands of Jews fled also or were ousted from their homes in Arab 
lands. The U.N. established the U.N. Relief and Works Agency in 1949 to 
care for the Arab/Palestinian refugees. The U.N. has never created an 
agency solely to serve the interests of one displaced group of people.
  Many of the refugees do not even have historical roots in the 
territory now known as Palestine. Many of those residing in the West 
Bank are descendants of those who came from Syria and the Trans-Jordan 
  While the displaced Jews of the region settled in Israel and were 
integrated into the Israeli society, the Palestinians remain 
sequestered in these refugee camps. Why the Arab community that 
perpetually talks about the welfare of the Palestinians does nothing to 
relocate these people out of these camps is strange and, for many, it's 
considered no mystery. Many of these regimes fought against Israel in 
1948, seeking to destroy Israel, and their desire is to perpetuate the 
camps and to perpetuate the terrorism the camps breed.
  This, in my opinion, is unfortunate, and UNWRA is a U.N. agency 
established purportedly for the benefit of the refugees. However, in my 
opinion, it serves to perpetuate the terrorism problem.
  While UNWRA lets camp residents run their own activities, under its 
own oversight, the camps have become centers of terrorism, lawlessness, 
and crime. This further victimizes the Palestinians in the refugee 
camps who have no involvement in these criminal activities. Palestinian 
terrorists operate freely in many of these camps, coordinating attacks 
against innocent Israeli civilians and Palestinians who oppose their 
terror agenda.
  In 2004, the UNWRA commissioner, Peter Hansen, admitted in an 
interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that the agency 
employs individuals who are members of groups like Hamas, a group the 
U.S. Government considers to be a terrorist organization.
  Madam Speaker, it is high time that the truth be told and that the 
UNWRA mandate come to an end. In its place, a proposal should be 
adopted that would

[[Page H338]]

truly resolve the Palestinian refugee question, regardless of whether 
there is ever a formal resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
  There is no reason why generations of Palestinians must continue to 
subsist in squalor and deprivation just so regimes in the Arab world 
have a diplomatic foil with which to attack Israel.
  The Elon plan is simple. Working cooperatively with nations around 
the world, Israel and the international community will assist the 
Palestinian refugees to find new homes outside the camps.
  Why should Palestinians continue to languish? Support the Elon plan.

            The Israeli Initiative: The Right Road to Peace

                  principles of the israeli initiative

       (1) Rehabilitation of the refugees and dismantling of the 
     camps. Israel, the US, and the international community will 
     formulate it multi-year program for full and rapid 
     rehabilitation of the Palestinian refugees. while absorbing 
     them as citizens in various countries. During the 
     rehabilitation process, UNRWA, an organization that 
     perpetuates the status of the refugees, will be dismantled, 
     and all residents of refugee camps will be offered permanent 
     places of residence, citizenship, and a generous 
     rehabilitation grant. The refugee camps will also he 
     dismantled following this process.
       (2) Strategic cooperation with the Kingdom of Jordan, 
     Israel, the U.S., and the international community will 
     recognize the Kingdom of Jordan as the sole legitimate 
     representative of the Palestinians, and Jordan will again 
     grant citizenship status to the residents of Judea and 
     Samaria. The Palestinian Authority in Judea, Samaria and Gaza 
     will no longer be recognized as a representative body, and 
     all weapons will be collected from armed organizations.
       Israel, the US, and the international community will invest 
     in the long-term development of the Kingdom of Jordan to 
     restore and strengthen its economy.
       Israel and Jordan, together with Egypt, Turkey, and the US, 
     will create a strategic organization to halt the Islamic axis 
     based in Teheran, and to promote overall peace between Israel 
     and the Arab countries.
       (3) Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria. In 
     coordination with Jordan, Israel will extend its sovereignty 
     over Judea and Samaria. Arab residents of these areas will 
     become citizens of Jordan (Palestine). Their status, their 
     relationship to the two countries, and the nature of the 
     administration in the populated areas will be formulated and 
     set forth in an agreement between the governments of Israel 
     and Jordan.