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Monday, May 27, 2013

Erekat says Peres has to convince Netanyahu to make peace, Steinitz says Peres doesn't speak for the government

With all of the problems with the world economy, it seems that the only issue of interest at the World Economic Forum in Jordan is Israel and the 'Palestinians.' Shimon Peres, who has never won a national election in this country, has become the star of the show, with many so-called 'leaders' deciding that Peres represents Israeli aspirations rather than our elected government.

This is from the first link.
"What holds back the renewal of the peace negotiation are some gaps in the bridge between the beginning and the conclusion. Knowing very well the nature of the missing link, I am convinced that this gap can be bridged," Peres said calling on leaders of both sides to advance peace initiatives.
Peres called Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas a partner of Israel's and praised recent US efforts to contribute to completing the peace process and the the Arab Peace Initiative as a strategic opportunity for approaching peace.
"We must depart from the skepticism that claims that war is inevitable. War is not inevitable. Peace is inevitable." he said.
"Despite the many hurdles on the way to peace, we must never lose sight of the positive developments in our region," Peres said citing peace agreements that have been fostered between Egypt and Israel and Jordan and Israel.
Abu Bluff gave us his vision of peace, which ought to be enough to ensure that there will never be an agreement.
Just peace must include the right of return to Palestinian refugees and the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said.
The PA president also called on Israelis to read the Arab Peace Initiative, withdraw to the pre-1967 lines, and allow Jerusalem to be the capital of both states.
For most Israelis the 'right of return' (a code word for democratically destroying the Jewish state by overwhelming it demographically) and the 'pre-1967 lines' (the 1949 armistice lines) are non-starters. You can read more about Abu Bluff's speech at the link, but I want to skip ahead to 'Palestinian' chief negotiator bottle washer Saeb Erekat (and yes, I know he promised to resign, but he lied), who gave an incredible interview to Army Radio on Monday morning.
Speaking in an interview with Army Radio, Erekat welcomed President Shimon Peres's call for an immediate resumption of peace talks in his speech to the World Economic Forum in Jordan on Sunday, however, he stated that the reactions of several ministers to Peres's speech was troubling.
Erekat said that after hearing Peres's speech, he woke up Monday morning and saw in the Israeli newspapers Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz saying Peres was not a government spokesman and Tourism Minister Uzi Landau referring to the pre-1967 lines as "Auschwitz borders."
"I know you are a democracy, but usually a coalition has a program," Erekat said in response to the different opinions being voiced by Israeli politicians.
The PA negotiator said that "everyone on Earth is convinced that a state on the 67 borders is the answer, but the one person we must convince is [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu.
Erekat stated that the PA's insistence that talks not resume until Netanyahu accepts a Palestinian state based on the pre-1967 lines does not constitute a pre-condition, but rather is an Israeli obligation to conform to UN resolutions as set out in the Oslo Accords.
Bill Clinton and Barack Obama could not have done a better job than Saeb of explaining why a precondition is not a precondition, but Steinitz and Landau aren't the only government ministers who didn't find Saeb amusing.
Home Front Defense Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) accused Erekat of "chutzpa," pointing out differing opinions among Israeli politicians while the PA holds reconciliation talks with Hamas, which rejects a two-state solution.
Erdan said that Netanyahu has made clear that he supports a two-state solution.
I think we ought to ask Saeb to point out where in the Oslo Accords or in UN resolutions 242 or 338 it says that Israel will or ought to return to the 1949 armistice lines. The answer is, it doesn't.

Other responses to Peres are here.

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