Powered by WebAds

Monday, September 29, 2008

Olmert says Israel must give up everything; 'Palestinians' say not enough

There's a 'legacy interview' with Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert - who is still Prime Minister until a new government is formed - in Monday's Yediot Aharonot (the Hebrew side of YNet). In the interview, Olmert says that Israel must give up all of Judea and Samaria, including 'east' Jerusalem, and also all of the Golan, in order to make 'peace.' But for the 'Palestinians,' even that is not enough.

In an interview with 'Radio Palestine,' 'Palestinian' spokesman Yasser Abd Rabbo said that Olmert's words were a change of thinking, but he should have said it earlier, and it's still not enough for them. They want no less than to go back to the 1967 border and displace some 500,000 Jews.

Here is some of what Olmert had to say.
"Ariel Sharon spoke about painful costs and refused to elaborate," Olmert told the daily. "I say, we have no choice but to elaborate. In the end of the day, we will have to withdraw from the most decisive areas of the territories. In exchange for the sameterritories left in our hands, we will have to give compensation in the form of territories within the State of Israel."

"I think we are very close to an agreement," Olmert added.

These comments were the clearest sign to date of Olmert's willingness to meet key Palestinian demands in peace talks.
Olmert actually tried to give everything away - including areas within Israel's pre-1967 borders - just before he switched from being Prime Minister to being an 'interim' Prime Minister until the next government is formed (which could still take months). Under Supreme Court rulings there are limits on what an 'interim' Prime Minister can do which would probably prevent Olmert from signing an agreement.
Olmert offered Abbas Israeli land inside the pre-1967 borders, including areas near Gaza and Beit She’an, as well as the Jordan Valley, in exchange for certain Jewish areas in Judea and Samaria.

In a last-minute attempt to forge an agreement with the Palestinian Authority before he must leave office, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered to give away Israeli land inside the pre-1967 borders, including areas near Gaza and Beit She’an, as well as the Jordan Valley. At his last meeting with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), Olmert nearly signed a final agreement in which whole blocks of Jewish settlements inside the pre-1967 borders would be surrendered to the Arabs in exchange for Jewish areas in Judea and Samaria, IDF Army Radio reported.

According to the Sunday morning report, Olmert conducted a series of secret meetings with Abbas, in which the two came close to signing a complete land-swap deal that would determine the “final” borders of a much smaller State of Israel.

In Olmert’s offer, Israel would give up areas within the 1967 borders, including land in the western Negev adjacent to Gaza and the Porah agricultural area near the northern town of Beit She’an.

Olmert also offered to give away the entire Jordan Valley, including the numerous Jewish settlements in it, as well as the land in the Southern Hevron Hills area.

In return, according to the agreement, Israel would be able to retain certain Jewish areas in Judea and Samaria, including the Samaria town of Ariel, Ma’ale Adumim to the east of Jerusalem and the Etzion Bloc of communities southwest of the capital.

The report said that the deal foundered over disagreements over the status of Jerusalem and the so-called “right of return” of Arabs who left Israel in 1948 and 1967. A spokesman for the Prime Minister’s Office declined to comment on the negotiations with the PA.
Forgetting for a minute about Israel's historical and cultural attachment to Judea and Samaria - areas in which most of the biblical narrative takes place - one would think that the security implications of giving away those areas would be daunting for an Israeli 'leader.' But not for Olmert.
I read what our (reserve) generals say and I say, how can it be that they haven't learned anything and haven't forgotten anything? By them everything is tanks and land and controlling territory and territory under control and this hill and that hill. All of these things are valueless...

The real threat that we face today in the North, in the South and the center is rockets and missiles. We need an answer for them, but we won't reach an answer by arguing over 200 meters. .We can go another two kilometers and the range of the rockets will increase another 10 kilometers.

I say, there is no need to wait to make a decision. Either I will complete it or Tzipi Livni or whoever comes after her.
So Olmert is willing to put Jerusalem, the coastal plain and Ben Gurion Airport in easy firing range, because he believes that they're already in firing range already. That's sick - life is pretty normal here in Jerusalem (bli ayin hara) and it most definitely would not be normal if we surrendered all the land that's over the 1967 line (not to mention that I would be homeless).

Besides, if you want to prove the value of land, look at how many rockets fell how far in the area of the 'Gaza envelope' in the Negev before 2005 and look how many have fallen since.

But the 'international community' agrees with Olmert. In a statement issued by Condi Clueless at the State Department earlier this week, the 'quartet' decreed that Israelis have no right to know what their government has promised the 'Palestinians' and no right to approve it.
In a statement released via the US State Department, the Quartet "noted the significance of this process and the importance of confidentiality in order to preserve its integrity."

Referring in the next line to the "irreversibility of the negotiations," the Quartet also took it upon itself to determine that the current formula whereby Israel can test different offers to the Palestinians without actually committing to future concessions will no longer fly.

Israel's core position since direct high-level peace talks started in 1993 has been that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. This principle underlined the ill-fated 2000 Camp David talks where former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak made far-reaching offers to try to entice Yasser Arafat into a peace deal, but insisted that all offers were off the table the moment the summit ended. That position was supported and even echoed by their host, former US President Bill Clinton.

But the international community is starting to understand that the Palestinians will settle for nothing less than 100 percent of their demands being met. The only way to achieve that is to make all Israeli offers binding, no matter how tentative, and then stockpile those offers over a period of time until the Palestinians are satisfied.

The Quartet's goal appears to be to change the rules of the game, even to the point of denying Israeli voters the ability to participate in the peace process in any meaningful way. With a public kept in the dark and an opposition unable to campaign on a platform of alternative approaches to peace because all past offers are binding, the current leadership is far more likely to remain in power.
Olmert is similarly pacifist when it comes to Syria.
With regard to the Syria track, Olmert added that a future peace agreement required a pullout from the Golan Heights, an area under Israeli control since the 1967 Six-Day War.

"First and foremost, we must make a decision. I'd like see if there is one serious person in the State of Israel who believes it is possible to make peace with the Syrians without eventually giving up the Golan Heights."

"It is true that an agreement with Syria comes with danger," he said. "Those who want to act with zero danger should move to Switzerland."
And Olmert will do just that - move to Switzerland (or France) if he ever succeeds - God forbid - in giving our country away.

So as you head to synagogue to pray tonight, tomorrow and Wednesday, please pray for us here in Israel. Please pray that we awaken from our catatonic stupor and throw Olmert, Livni and Co. out on their rear ends. Please pray that Bibi Netanyahu means it when he says that he would 'resume settlement activity' (I don't believe it). Please pray that God saves us from the Iranian threat - because our clueless leaders and the Americans and their allies won't.

And please pray for a year of peace and prosperity for yourselves and for all of us.


At 2:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"... Ve'chal Ha'Rish'ah Kula Ke'Ashan Tichleh, Ki Ta'avir Memshelet Zahdon Min Ha'Aretz.

Vetimloch Atah Hashem Levadechah Al Kol Ma'assecha..."

That covers everything. Nu kvar!

At 2:39 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

"But the international community is starting to understand that the Palestinians will settle for nothing less than 100 percent of their demands being met". ????????


Why do you see a change?
Just business as usual.

The intl. community always puts Arab demands above Israel's and always will.

At 1:28 AM, Blogger Steven said...

L'Shana Tova Carl.

At 1:49 AM, Blogger Findalis said...

L'Shanah Tovah Carl.

May the New Year finally see Israel with a PM who will say NO.


Post a Comment

<< Home