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Appendix 12

Ad verbum:

Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The Minister of Foreign Affairs


President Yassir Arafat
Palestine Liberation Organization

Dear Mr. President,

I want to write you a personal note at this critical stage of the preparation for a new Middle East. As you know my role is strictly confined to that of facilitation, communication and explanation. I do not have a mandate to mediate. The whole philosophy of the back channel has been that the parties themselves have to settle their differences.

Nevertheless, permit me to offer a few observations. I have been deeply honored by the opportunity to assist in this important process. I have invested all my energies and most of my time into the process at a substantial cost in terms of health, family relations and my important daily tasks. I have done so because the cause is so important. Everybody made heavy sacrifices to produce a historical breakthrough.

I have done my very best to communicate the concerns and interests of both parties, and in view of the historical conflict we have been immensely successful. The whole world is watching with prayers and keen attend. We leave it to the young generation to project a future beyond hatred and violence.

Whenever a statesman makes momentous decisions, decisions which cut the continuity of history, they have to expect opposition, strong opposition to change. Smaller people shy away from the unknown and prefer the known continuity even if it to be violent, filled with hatred and mistrust. Nevertheless, the test of true leadership is to make possible that which is necessary, to understand historical necessity and opportunity.

It seems to me that I have been privileged in this process to work with people of such conviction and vision. You and Mr. Peres are true champions of peace, men of courage and vision.

In the end it is part of the predicament of leadership to make a choice. Some decisions cannot be made by consensus, they require breaking consensus. They are invariable lonely decisions, made where the process ends and leadership takes over.

The DOP is a major achievement. It could be even greater if you could agree on the political foundation for mutual recognition. The choice is always going to be harder for the challenger of the status quo. Since you have been in opposition to the established order, seeking accommodation means that you have to give up the most.

This having been said I consider that both parties have made many important compromises. You should protect them and anchor them in a new reality. The verbal skirmishes of today, however important they are at the moment, will wither away as the process of implemention opens up for a new cooperative partnerships, for the construction of a new and broader consensus on the overriding importance and benefit of peace.

It is now apparent that the world stands ready to reward your courage and commitment to peace. Financial resources will flow to enable the ordinary Palestinians to enjoy the fruits of peace.

You have some difficult choices to make. I sympathize with your constraints, but I also trust your courage and vision. It would be so important for the PLO to be present at the White House when the DOP is signed, for the world to give you due credit. It would be so important for the financial resources to flow into Gaza and the West Bank from the GCC, The Nordic countries, the EC, Japan, the US.

Please know that I am always at your disposal. I cannot mediate, but I can explain and communicate. If you find it useful for us to meet within these parameters I am willing to travel on short notice.

Hoping to hear from you,

Respectfully yours

Johan Jørgen Holst.

Last modified: Sun Aug 30 20:47:23 2015 - BL