Olmert is out to lunch

By Ted Belman

INN has a review by Ezra HaLevi of Olmert’s recent press conference. He is wedded to the two state solution as we know, but also distorts reality and is engaged in spin.

Olmert began by delivering a prepared statement in English, saying that although Israel, backed by the Quartet (US, UN, Russia and European Union), will not accept a Palestinian Authority (PA) government that does not accept Israel�s right to exist and shun terror, he will continue to conduct talks with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah.

Abbas has never shunned terror so why talk to him.

“I will continue to maintain the bilateral track. I will meet with Abu Mazen [Abbas]. My staff will meet with his staff on a regular basis, hoping to create the necessary environment that will be helpful for the relations between us and them. We want to contribute to the quality of life of the Palestinian people living in Gaza and in the West Bank. We believe that however mistaken their leadership can sometimes be, people don’t have to suffer from the mistakes of their leaders.”

Hey get a grip. These people chose Hamas and support their policies. If the US can refuse to talk with Iran until it stops work on uranium enrichment then Israel can refuse to talk with Abbas until he stops terror.

Now here is a surprising statement

“… but I think that the Iranians are not as close to the technological threshold as they claim to be.”

I thought Israel wants to increase fears of a nuclear bomb not allay them.

I am absolutely loyal to the same position that I expressed before the election, that there should be a two-state solution and that the Palestinians will have a contiguous territory in the West Bank.

Notice that he specifically said the Westbank only, whereas contiguity usually refers to the Westbank and Gaza. Good for him.

“There is not any violation of the basic Israeli commitment that there will not be any building outside of the existing settlement limits as they were. There is natural growth and everything that was done was done within the framework of the existing settlements as a result of natural growth. There is not any government building, there is no policy of building, there are no government investments in the territories, certainly not in the last year.”

He really should have said that so long as the Arabs aren’t bound by their commitments, Israel will not be bound by its commitments.

As for Israel’s response to terror,

“The answer is that we are not going to restrain ourselves forever. However, I’m not going to give you now any specific timetable or dates of when we are going to respond, but it is clear that the patience of Israel is being tested [only] too often and I think that it is a terrible mistake by the factions in Gaza that are stretching and challenging the Israeli patience for such a long time. At the end, we will respond and we will reach out for those who are responsible for the threats and for the shooting against innocent Israelis.”

The Arabs must really be worried.

Asked if he was not just “spinning wheels” in summit meetings with PA leaders, [good question]

“I’ll never lose my desire to talk with every Palestinian that I will find a genuine potential partner for peace with the State of Israel Unfortunately, there are not too many, and I personally think that we have to realize that the Palestinians are divided. I will not speak with Hamas, I will not speak with Mashaal, I will not speak with Haniyeh, I will not speak with a government which does not accept the very right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state as it is. But if the Palestinian president, who was directly elected by the people, shares these basic commitments and repeats it publicly and formally, do I have to also say to him: I will not talk with you?”

Hey Olmert. What about the fact that the Arabs elected Hamas after they elected him, or that he has no power or that he just signed the Mecca Accords” What’s to talk about?

Then he comments on the “political horizon”.

“The Realignment is a process. The vision is a two-state solution. Now, the most important part, of course, is the substance – or what is the vision. What is the final permanent situation that we envision for the Palestinians and ourselves? And I am absolutely loyal to the same position that I expressed before the election, that there should be a two-state solution and that the Palestinians will have a contiguous territory in the West Bank and that they will be able to live their own secured, independent lives in their own State. And this has not changed. How to come about it, how to accomplish it, how to carry out this plan depends on circumstances. I hope that the circumstances will allow us to reach an agreement with a Palestinian government that will recognize the Quartet principles and will accept the right of Israel to exist as an independent State. And in that case, this will be the best possible way in which I will be able to carry out my commitments.”

Stop with this “recognize the Quartet principles”. Insist on an end to attacks and rearming.

As for Hezbollah,

I think that Hizbullah is weaker, much weaker, than they were before. It is true that they are trying to smuggle arms into Lebanon. It is true that they are making efforts in order to rearm themselves to the level that they had before the war, but it is also true that the south of Lebanon now is filled with 30,000 or 25,000 soldiers of the army of Lebanon and of the international force, which make the life of Hizbullah almost intolerable in that part of the country, and the fact is that since August 14th, there was not one case that a Hizbullah soldier surfaced in uniform and with guns in the south of Lebanon, and when it happened, by the way, then they were killed by the Israeli army when they were present there. And when they try to surface now, they are disarmed and arrested by the international force and the Lebanese force.

“So I think the fact that all along the Israeli border there are not any more bunkers of the Hizbullah, that they don�t have the same freedom of movement that they had, that there is an international force in the south of Lebanon together with the Lebanese force, has changed dramatically the basic situation in the south of Lebanon and has definitely weakened the options of Hizbullah in comparison to what it was.”

What utter bullshit.

Joel Greenberg of the Chicago Tribune asked the prime minister why Israel, which has negotiated with the PLO [Palestine Liberation Organization] while it was still a terrorist group, and still negotiates with Mahmoud Abbas, whose Fatah group controls several active terrorist groups, objects to negotiations with Syria due to its support of terrorist groups.

“The purpose of negotiations is to make peace, if they take place, not to find out that the other side that you are negotiating with is not interested in the main thing which is the driving force for you, which is peace. So as I said, we are interested in peace, not in the “industry of peace.” We are interested in peace, not in the process of peace. We are interested in peace with Syria, not in helping Syria pretend that it is now a peace-loving country and therefore it has to be released of all the efforts made by the international community to establish an international tribunal to inquire into the assassination of the former Prime Minister of Lebanon and of the violent Syrian involvement with Hizbullah in Lebanon”. How can you try to make, sit and negotiate with someone who at the same time is preparing your assassination from the backside [sic]?�

So why negotiate with Abbas?

February 22, 2007 | 1 Comment »

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