Livni urged Rice not to 'enshrine' Olmert's 'peace plan'
Given that we already know that then-Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni warned Abu Mazen
against reaching an agreement with then-Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert, and given that we already know about the animosity between Livni and Olmert
, I suppose we cannot be too surprised to learn that Livni also advised then-US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice
not to 'enshrine' Olmert's 'peace plan.'
"I’ll give him enough land, maybe something like 94 percent with swaps. I have an idea about Jerusalem. There will be two capitals, one for us in West Jerusalem and one for the Palestinians in East Jerusalem. The mayor of the joint city council will be selected by population percentage. That means an Israeli mayor, so the deputy should be a Palestinian. We will continue to provide security for the holy sites because we can assure access to them,” Olmert said, according to Rice's memoir.
“I’ll accept some Palestinians into Israel, maybe 5,000. I don’t want it to be called family reunification because they have too many cousins; we won’t be able to control it. I’ve been thinking about how to administer the Old City. There should be a committee of people, not officials but wise people, from Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the Palestinians, the United States, and Israel. They will oversee the city but not in a political role," Olmert continued.
Calling her senior adviser Stephen Hadley, Rice said, "'Tell the president he was right about Olmert. He wants a deal. And frankly, he might die trying to get one,' I said, recalling that Yitzhak Rabin had been killed for offering far less. I hung up the phone and looked out my window at the holy city. Maybe, just maybe, we could get this done."
Rice said the Olmert proposal "haunted the president and me."
"In September the prime minister had given Abbas a map outlining the territory of a Palestinian state. Israel would annex 6.3 percent of the West Bank. (Olmert gave Abbas cause to believe that he was willing to reduce that number to 5.8 percent.) All of the other elements were still on the table, including the division of Jerusalem. Olmert had insisted that Abbas sign then and there. When the Palestinian had demurred, wanting to consult his experts before signing, Olmert refused to give him the map. The Israeli leader told me that he and Abbas had agreed to convene their experts the next day. Apparently that meeting never took place," Rice wrote.
Rice continued: "Olmert had announced in the summer that he would step down as prime minister. Israel would hold elections in the first part of the next year. He was a lame duck, and so was the president. Still, I worried that there might never be another chance like this one. Tzipi Livni urged me (and, I believe, Abbas) not to enshrine the Olmert proposal. 'He has no standing in Israel,' she said."
In any case, Abbas refused two further U.S. attempts to get him to sign onto the Olmert plan, Rice wrote.
I'm not aware of any comments from Livni yet, but this is not too surprising given the two posts I linked above.
Labels: Abu Mazen, Condoleeza Rice, Ehud K. Olmert, George W. Bush, Tzipi Livni