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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Setting each other up for the blame

The ministers in the Israeli government are positioning themselves to avoid the blame or blame each other when the Annapolis conference mugging falls apart or when President Bush issues a joint statement on the parties' behalf.
Some ministers expressed concern that as a result of unsolvable disputes between the two sides, the US would force a joint statement to be made at the conference's conclusion, which would be problematic for Israel.

A harsh exchange of words erupted at the meeting between Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Vice Premier Haim Ramon over the track taken with the Palestinians ahead of the upcoming conference.

"Some people in Israel, and even some in the government, are raising Palestinian expectations and thus helping them accuse Israel of not budging from its position," Barak was quoted by Israel Radio as saying.

Israel must not be blamed for failure at Annapolis for not having made enough concessions, Barak said.

In response, Ramon said that if Israel offers the Palestinians "half of what we offered at Camp David [in 2000, with Barak as prime minister], but in a calculated and responsible way, we will come to the conference with an agreement on the core issues" already in hand.
Ramon is living in Fantasyland. The fact that he holds a position of responsibility in the Israeli government is nothing short of a disgrace.


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