It's come to this: Saudi editorial blasts Abu Mazen for not responding positively to Netanyahu invitationour friends, the Saudis.'
The editorial, published Sunday in the Saudi Gazette, a daily published in Jeddah that has a woman editor-in-chief, seemed to depart in tone from the widely-held position in the Arab world that Israel is responsible for the impasse with the Palestinians. It likened Netanyahu’s proposal that the two leaders address each other’s parliaments, to Prime Minister Menachem Begin’s 1977 invitation to Egyptian president Anwar Sadat to visit Israel, and implied it could also lead to a breakthrough. Begin made the invitation “and the rest is history,’’ the editorial said.Well, except that deletion had not legal effect, but let's leave that for now.
“For all its shortcomings, Camp David demonstrated that negotiations with Israel were possible and that progress could be made through sustained efforts at communication and cooperation,’’ it added.
As another example of how “official visits can bend the arc of history’’ the paper cited then-US President Bill Clinton’s 1998 visit to the Gaza Strip to address the Palestinian National Council on the day it deleted clauses calling for the destruction of Israel from the PLO charter.
The editorial said that Palestinians had rejected overtures from Netanyahu with the explanation that his hard-line position on all core issues made dialogue impossible.'Moderate' 'Palestinian' President
“But the Palestinians should note that at that time, Egypt and Israel were mortal enemies having fought three wars.’’
The editorial went on to second guess the Arab world for rejecting Camp David, saying “in hindsight if the provisions had been carried out, Israel and the Palestinians might not be in the impasse they are at present.’’ Saudi Arabia was a leader of the Arab opposition to Camp David.
‘’Whoever wrote this editorial is totally unaware of the reality of this so-called invitation,’’ said PLO spokeswoman Hanan Ashrawi. “It is a very obvious public relations trick that’s been overused. If Netanyahu wants peace, let him abide by the requirements of international law, the two-state solution and the 1967 boundaries.’’
Ashrawi took issue with the analogy to Egyptian-Israeli peacemaking. “It’s not a question of Egypt and Israel, two countries that wanted to make peace, it’s a question of an occupying force that is destroying the other state and it’s about people under occupation who have no right and no power.’’Funny. I don't recall Begin or Sadat imposing any preconditions... and I am old enough to remember.
Ashrawi said she thinks that “below the surface there are contacts [between Israel and Saudi Arabia] and all sorts of security considerations and Israel is positioning itself to be a regional power.’’ But she added: “No matter what happens, they won’t recognize or normalize with Israel because it hasn’t respected Palestinian rights and international law. Once the Palestinian issue is resolved things can move. Before that they might have secret contacts, but they can’t afford to lose their own constituency.’’Except that the 'Palestinians' have made the 'Palestinian issue' impossible to resolve by rejecting any form of compromise.
Here's betting that Abu Mazen and Ashrawi go to their graves without seeing any kind of compromise or 'Palestinian state.'
Labels: Abu Mazen, Anwar Sadat, Binyamin Netanyahu, Hanan Ashrawi, Menachem Begin, Middle East peace process, our friends the Saudis, Palestinian state RIGHT NOW syndrome, Saudi Arabia, two-state solution