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Labor Party: Party Platform

As approved at the 6th Party Congress in May 1997:
(A slighly amended platform adopted by Amir Peretz in 2006 is listed below)

The Israel Labour Party will strive to create a new reality in which there will be no more terrorism and war, and in which tremendous financial resources will no longer be committed to the arms race. Israel's peace and security policy will be aimed toward ending the Israeli-Arab conflict. The regional policy will be based on pursuing economic cooperation in various fields; mutual ties in the areas of culture, science and technology; joint development of the standard of living and welfare; and fulfilling the promise of a better future with greater opportunities for the young generation in our region. In order to achieve this goal, Israel will continue to conduct peace negotiations, while at the same time, combating the forces of fundamentalism and terrorism that aim to destroy this process. This new reality will strengthen Israel's security and standing and will encourage economic prosperity and the welfare of the state.

Israel's Security

  • The Government is responsible for the personal and general security of the citizens of the State of Israel. Israel's peace policy is based on the reconciliation between both peoples and their readiness to live in respect of mutual rights to self-determination and statehood, and on the superior deterrent capability and strength of the IDF.
  • A stable peace is, in and of itself, an important security element for the strength of the State. This stability is based on, among other things, defensible borders and vital security arrangements which the Israel Labour Party sees as essential elements for all future security arrangements.
  • The reconciliation of the people of the region and their readiness to live in respect of the rights to self-determination are important elements for the nature of the region.
  • Israel will continue to develop its qualitative advantage over those of Arab armies, and will place a high priority on independent research and development in the area of defense and on expanding the manufacture of innovative and sophisticated weaponry and material. Combating terror and subversion, will be a fundamental component of Israel's peace and security policy. The fight against terrorism requires a firm stand, sophistication, determination, patience, regional and international mobilization - the foundations of which have already been laid by the previous Labour Government.
  • Israel will struggle to prevent nations whose ideologies are based on hatred and ruin, first and foremost, the nations of Iran and Iraq, from obtaining weapons of mass destruction. It will work within the regional and international framework to prevent the lethal combination of fundamentalist ideology and unconventional weapons.

Final Status Agreement with the Palestinians

The negotiations will be based on the Oslo Accords, with guarantees for the State of Israel to exist in peace and security within defensible borders, and with precise definitions of the elements for the normalization of relations between Israel and its neighbors:

1. Jerusalem:

United Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, under Israeli sovereignty. The Palestinian residents of the city will enjoy municipal rights in the quarters in which they reside, and special arrangements will be established for the sites sacred to Christianity and Islam.

2. Self-Determination for the Palestinians:

The Labour Party recognizes the Palestinians' right to self-determination, and does not rule out in this connection the establishment of a Palestinian state with limited sovereignty.

3. Security:

The Jordan river will be Israel's eastern security border and there will be no other army stationed to the west of it.

4. Borders and Settlements:

Israel extends its sovereignty over areas that are major Jewish settlement blocs.

5. The Right of Return:

Israel does not recognize the right of return of Palestinians to areas under Israeli sovereignty. Israel will negotiate with the Palestinians on allowing the return to areas under Palestinian control.

Israeli Relations with Syria

The Israel Labour Party will continue to pursue a peace agreement with Syria. Within the framework of the peace agreement, Israel will be open to compromise on the basis of land for peace and security, U.N. Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, and the guidelines of the Madrid Conference.

Security Arrangements:

Within the framework of a peace agreement, Israel demands strict and diverse security arrangements. Israel insists that a peace agreement with Syria will include Syria's obligation to prevent hostile activities against Israel, emanating from its soil and areas under its control.

Type of Agreement and its Implementation:

The agreement will be implemented gradually and will be accompanied by confidence building measures. Within the framework of the peace agreement, Israel insists on the full normalization of relations considered standard among neighboring countries living in peace.

The Question of Water:

An agreement of the source of water, its protection, development and use will be an integral part of the peace agreement.

POWs and MIAs:

In any peace agreement with Syria, Israel will demand that the Syrian government work toward the return of Israel's POWs and provide any and all information on the fate of its MIAs. Israel will also insist that Syria enable the return of the remains of Eli Cohen.


Existing settlements on the Golan will be strengthened.

Israel - Lebanese Relations

  • Israel is prepared to reach a peace agreement with an independent and sovereign Lebanon. Israel has no territorial designs on Lebanon and recognizes that the international border serves as the border for peace between the two countries.
  • The peace agreement, which will include diplomatic ties and full normalization of relations, will protect the security interests of the State of Israel and its citizens in the north through a variety of security arrangements that will ensure, among other things, the complete cessation of terrorism and the prevention of its renewal.
  • Within the framework of either a comprehensive settlement or a partial agreement, the Israel Labour Party will strive to create conditions that will enable the IDF to withdraw from Lebanon in return for a guarantee of peace and well-being for the residents of northern Israel.
  • In any agreement, either full or partial, there will be guarantees for the security and safety of the residents of the security zone in southern Lebanon and the forces of the South Lebanese Army.

Changed Platform by Amir Peretz

Amir Peretz, the chair of Israel's Labor Party, has developed a new platform for Labor that calls for the creation of a permanent Palestinian state and a plan to "lease" the West Bank settlement blocs from the Palestinians. The platform contains a so-called "Hong Kong principle," which refers to the agreement between Great Britain and China in 1898 where Great Britain leased Hong Kong for 99 years. China regained sovereignty over Hong Kong in 1997, and pledged that it would keep it democratic character. Peretz wants to do the same with the West Bank, where he would "lease" the settlement blocs of Ma'ale Adumim, Gush Etzion and Ariel from the Palestinians in exchange for money or land.

The platform also outlines a timetable for renewed peace negotiations with the elected Palestinian leadership, which would not include an agreement for a temporary Palestinian state. Peretz believes that a temporary Palestinian state based on the conditions of ending violence and terrorism is not a good solution because the violence will only continue against Israel. Israel would only consider acting unilaterally, as it did with the implementation of the disengagement plan from the Gaza Strip in August 2005, if negotiations failed. Under Peretz, Israel would not conduct negotiations with Hamas, even if they are elected to the Palestinian government.

All outposts must be immediately dismantled and removed because they undermine the peace process, according to the platform. Peretz has been highly critical of Ariel Sharon because he says he gives more money to the establishing of settlements and outposts and ignores the Galilee and Negev regions inside Israel proper.

The platform also states that Jerusalem is the undivided capital of Israel and the Jewish people, but will consider giving the Palestinians a capital in the surrounding villages and towns by raising the issue of municipal boundaries.

Sources: Ha'aretz, (December 28, 2005)