There is a positive buzz in the media about a revival of the 2002 Saudi initiative for Middle East peace. At first, Israel seemed dismissive of the revival, based on an initiative it has previously rejected, and suggested the initiative be amended slightly. This brought calls from prominent Arabs for Israel not to miss "a historic opportunity." As the revival of the initiative becomes more official and the U.S. gets on board, bringing Israel along, it seems that the Arabs may be the obstacle to their own prospects of bringing peace to this long conflict torn region.
Israel's main problem with the initiative is its incorporation of U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194, stipulating that all Palestinian refugees who want to return to their homes be allowed to do so, and those who don't are compensated accordingly. Not only is this impossible for Israel because it would end their status as a Jewish state once and for all, but it is also impractical because most, maybe all of the homes and/or plots owned or inhabited by the expelled Palestinians no longer exist. This makes the Palestinians clinging to their lost hopes an obstacle to their endeavours for peace. Not to mention the fact that many of the refugees have left the camps and carved out lives for themselves, making it an obstacle worth toppling.
This problem with the initiative is the reason Israel has outright ignored its validity for five years. This is a shame, because the initiative offers Israel a lot, in return for a full withdrawal from Palestinian territories occupied after the 1967 war and the creation of a Palestinian state. It offers the recognition of the state of Israel, and peace and normalized relations between all the Arab League member states and Israel. Normalization of relations with Israel was a taboo in the Arab world. The fact that all Arab League states ratified the initiative in 2002 was "a political revolution," as it was called in the Jerusalem Post earlier this year. The initiative was ratified again last year, and all states have confirmed their continued commitment to it. Therefore the offer still stands: a political revolution in the Arab world at a time when Iran is gaining power in the region is an offer Israel really can't afford to sniff at.