By Ted Belman
The Washington Post in its editorial today The Mideast Core believes “both Mr. Olmert and Mr. Abbas genuinely believe in a two-state solution and seem open to compromise.” It obviously wants to paint a positive picture. In comparison, Olmert is givng away 98% of what Israel would like compared to 2% of what the Arabs would like. How does Abbas “seem open to compromise”?
[..] a failure by Ms. Rice to successfully stage one will add to the discredit of the United States in the Arab world and could trigger more warfare between Israelis and Palestinians — as happened following the failed Camp David conference seven years ago.
That’s what US policy is all about. Seeking the goodwill of the Arabs.
Any breakthrough will be limited; a substantial peace process will have to wait for a unified and representative Palestinian government. But Ms. Rice could shorten the long odds to achieving her “joint statement” with some aggressive diplomacy in the coming weeks.
The DoP has become a “joint statement”. That’s good. But its meaningless until ratified by “a unified and representative Palestinian government.” It just binds Israel. Its like Israel has granted a non cancelable option.
First, the United States will have to persuade Arab states — above all, Saudi Arabia — to attend the conference and stand behind any accord. Mr. Abbas will need Arab support to compromise on the refugee issue, and Mr. Olmert wants to use the prospect of Saudi recognition to win over Israelis.
Not good enough. If the Arab League doesn’t commit to the document, the conference shouldn’t take place. No doubt, it wants a second bite at the apple. The Roadmap and the conference are based on the Saudi Plan so why don’t they commit to it. I am not in any way endorsing any king of agreement. Just pointing out the meaninglessness of where we are headed.
Now Israel has refused a hudna with Hamas and for good reason. But the Saudi Plan offers nothing more. A “hudna” is a shorter word for “normalization”. Why isn’t anyone pressing the Arab League to clearly state that they will enter a end of conflict peace agreement with Israel? You know the reason.
Ms. Rice should also discourage Israel from intensifying the ongoing conflict with Hamas-ruled Gaza by shutting off its electricity and fuel supplies. It’s hardly possible that Mr. Olmert will be able to negotiate peace with one set of Palestinians while waging war against another. Instead, Israel should be open to striking a cease-fire with Hamas and opening peace talks with Syria.
Everything on Arab terms. WaPo is asking Israel to make peace with someone who continues to attack them and reject peace.
Finally, the Bush administration needs to prepare for the possibility that no agreement will emerge from the Israeli-Palestinian talks. In that case the United States could offer its own specific bridging proposals on such issues as Israel’s final borders. In the past this administration has avoided such interventions. But having set the stage for an Israeli-Palestinian breakthrough, Ms. Rice and President Bush now must spare no effort to make it happen.
In other words they want the gloves to come off at least with respect to Israel.
Israel is being asked to make a binding agreement with a non-entity which will be opposed by others.
Israel is not talking about the $40 billion it will cost Israel to resettle our soon to be displaced persons. Perhaps 150,000 of them.
No one is talking about what happens when the Arabs violate their commitments and rearm.