Olmert is about to give Judea and Samaria to Abbas

Top diplomatic sources tell WND ‘historic changes’ coming in weeks

By Aaron Klein

JERUSALEM – Israel and the Palestinians have been conducting behind-the-scene negotiations regarding handing over most of the West Bank to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, according to top Egyptian and European diplomatic sources who told WND they were directly involved with the talks.

[In essence if this deal actually happens, Israel will be giving Judea and Samaria to a hostile militia and bypassing the elected government lead by Hamas. UNBELIEVABLE]

The West Bank borders Jerusalem and is within rocket-firing range of Tel Aviv and Israel’s international airport.

The Egyptian and European sources told WND the negotiations for an Israeli withdrawal were mediated by Egypt and the European Union, with U.S. input. The sources said major changes in Israeli-Palestinian affairs are expected within a few weeks to two months.

According to an aid to European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana, speaking on condition of anonymity, there will be a “historic political evolution and movement in negotiations in the next few weeks and few months, unseen since the Camp David peace talks in 2000.”

During the Camp David talks, then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered late-Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat a state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and eastern sections of Jerusalem.

According to the top diplomatic sources speaking to WND, Israel has agreed in principal to hand over most of the West Bank in deal with Abbas.

The sources said Israel is studying the transfer of responsibility in the central and southern West Bank to Abbas’ security forces, which reportedly are receiving aid, weapons and training from the U.S.

They said one proposal being considered for the northern West Bank would see Jordan and the EU supervise the transfer to Abbas’ security forces.

Still being debated is the role of Hamas, which leads the PA and maintains the majority of seats in the Palestinian parliament. Negotiations between Abbas and Hamas leaders for a national unity government have mostly fallen through.

Yesterday, Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz said he viewed any Palestinian elements recognizing the state of Israel as a partner for negotiations “even if it is Hamas.”

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has made similar comments.

So far, Hamas has refused to recognize Israel, but recently offered a 10-year truce with the Jewish state. In a series of interviews this past weekend, Hamas leaders told WND during any 10-year truce period they would build a large Palestinian army and plan for the destruction of Israel.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice recently announced she is planning to mediate talks between Olmert and Abbas next month.

Asked about the alleged behind-the-scenes negotiations to hand over the West Bank, a spokesman in Olmert’s office stated he “doesn’t know about any West Bank withdrawal.”

Olmert was elected prime minister on the platform of carrying out a withdrawal from the West Bank, but after this summer’s Lebanon war he has stated a West Bank withdrawal would not occur.

Olmert in August called the policy of unilateral withdrawal a “failure” and said it was “no longer relevant.” But he can argue handing the West Bank to Abbas in an agreement is not unilateral.

Regarding a West Bank withdrawal, Israeli Interior Minister Roni Bar-On said this summer, “The withdrawal plan is not dead, though its implementation has been postponed. The plan is now on the shelf or in the freezer, but when the time comes it will be accessed.”

Several recent public opinion polls showed the majority of Israelis now oppose a West Bank withdrawal. The leaders of Egypt and Jordan have expressed reservations about withdrawal plans, fearing terrorism can spill over into their respective countries.

Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon in 2000. It had occupied a small section of Lebanon’s border with Israel following repeated attacks by Palestinian terrorists in the area. Since the withdrawal, Hezbollah has staged numerous attacks against Israel, including rocket bombardments of civilian population centers, raids against military outposts and ambushes and kidnappings of Israeli troops. Hezbollah built an arsenal in south Lebanon of more than 13,000 short- and medium-range rockets capable of hitting central sections of the Jewish state

Israel withdrew last August from the Gaza Strip. Since then, rockets have been fired almost daily into nearby Jewish communities, Hamas has been elected to power and both Israeli and Palestinian officials have stated al-Qaida has infiltrated the territory. Israel says the Palestinians have smuggled hundreds of tons of heavy weaponry into Gaza and are preparing for a large-scale confrontation.

Israel in June mounted a major ground invasion of Gaza after Hamas carried out a raid against a military installation in which Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was abducted.

January 22, 2007 | 9 Comments »

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9 Comments / 9 Comments

  1. There may be less here than meets the eye; on the face of it, this plan looks like little more than Oslo redux.

    Under Oslo, the Pals were given autonomy over large swathes of the WB and the PA security forces armed with rifles to “enforce the peace”.

    We know what occurred next: Arafat launched terrorist attacks from areas under his control and Palestinian rifles were ultimately pointed at Israelis (often Israeli officers jointly patrolling with the PA).

    On the surface then, there is little new here except that Hamas is now in power and the agreement will be between GOI and Fatah rather than Hamas.

    Also not new, is Rice’s naive “this time, it’s different” comment. Clearly, the US is betting the farm on Abbas — just as Israel bet the farm on Arafat before him.

    Were it not for the wild card of Iran, I would also suggest that this latest incarnation of Oslo will end the same way.

    With events in the Persian Gulf approaching critical mass however, the Israel-Palestinian conflict appears increasingly to hold only token significance in a much broader play and this is the true mystery. Why all of the diplomatic maneuvering now?

    Because diplomatic progress in the ME must be feigned in order to enlist Arab (and Congressional) support for the coming war on Iran.

  2. Jerry’s 6 points raised in his posts #’d 3,4 and 5, are pretty much tongue in cheek, except for his point #3, which offers a plausible possible explanation for Olmert’s rush to give the Palestinians Judea and Samaria at great expense to Israel and add to that aid Palestinians in forming their new state.

    If the GOI has fear generating information concerning a dire fate for Israel should it not proceed along the Road Map with all due haste that might account for the GOI’s almost inexplicable actions to that end. As part of that scenario, the GOI would be loathe to make that information public, but it may well have shared that information on an ultra confidential basis with all other political leaders, within Kadima and other opposition parties who could derail their rush to the brink in order to quell any chance of dissent and opposition.

    Still, it is very difficult in a democratic society to keep information of such magnitude secret, at least not for very long.

    While it is true that the majority of Israelis did vote in Kadima and voted for Olmert’s first convergence plan, recall that the election saw one of the lowest electoral turn outs. What majority support therefore did Olmert really enjoy for his first draft of his Convergence plan.

    Secondly, since Kadima’s win, Olmert has sought to rename and tweak his Convergence plan to adjust to realities that were butting up against it. Those adjustments have not produced any more intelligent and realistic convergence plan than the first version Olmert was hawking to Israelis because the ultimate goal of Olmert’s convergence plan is simply not compatible with realities.

    Those realities include giving Palestinians control of Gaza has not led to Palestinian nation building, but rather the Palestinians of that region have chosen to become a society of terrorists that continues to wage terrorism against Israelis almost on a daily basis. There is every reason to believe the same will hold true if Israel gives authority and control of the West Bank to the Palestinians.

    Secondly, even if Hamas had not won the January 2006 Palestinian election, Abbas either due to his obvious weakness or because of his true terrorist supporting colors, would not have taken action against the Palestinian terrorists. With Hamas coming to the fore the Palestinians are now led by two leaders, both of whom operate from a charter that calls for Israel’s destruction and a fervent unshakeable desire to see Israel’s destruction. With Palestinian leadership now united in their Jew hatred and stated dream of Israel’s destruction, that leadership has strengthened as has majority support amongst Palestinians for their goal of Israel’s destruction.

    Thirdly, Israel has not been able to fully restore and integrate within what remains of Israel, the 8,000 Israelis displaced by the Israeli withdrawl from Gaza and that makes it undeniable that Olmert in giving the West Bank over to the Palestinians means his displacing 80,000 Israelis and being able to restore and reintegrate them into what would remain of Israel is just an impossibility.

    Fourthly, Israel’s war in Lebanon lost Olmert substantial support and led to a general malaise of anger and dissatisfaction amongst Israelis.

    There is very good reason to believe that the majority of Israelis remain unhappy with Olmert’s leadership.

    If any other Western nation was beseiged on an almost daily basis by deadly attacks from terrorists who made no secret of their hatred for such nation and desire for its destruction and that nation’s government failed to aggressively counter attack and destroy that threat, people would be up in arms. Even without any leadership, ad hoc groups would quickly form, led by leaders of convenience to march on the government and demand action, without carrying one iota about collateral human damage of possible innocents or non-combattants caused by such counter attacks. All that would be of critical importance would be to completely defeat those who imperil the lives and safety of that attacked nation’s citizens.

    So why have we not seen such ad hoc movements formed in Israel? Why have other politicians not spoken out and offered themselves up as leaders to act now to defeat and replace the GOI before it can do Israel further damage?

    Has the Israeli public been numbed and paralyzed by fear and uncertainty? Have they been left so disconsolate and disillusioned that they have been robbed of the will to take matters into their own hands to save themselves since the GOI appears incapable of saving them?

    Has Israel lost the will to live in peace, security and prosperity? Have Israelis lowered the bar of their vision and hopes for their future to one of looking forward only to just existing within the region where the Arabs/Palestinians will forever seek to destroy them and they will eternally seek to keep their noses just above water?

    In trying to make sense of why the GOI seems bent on leading Israel down a suicidal path vis a vis the Palestinians and Arabs, it could be that America and the West have secretly given Israel a choice of being damned to follow the two state solution Road Map to a kind of peace with Palestinians or damned worse if Israel fails or refuses to go along.

    If Israel is not laboring and twisting under some secret threat from America and the West, then there is no discernable reason for Olmert’s rush to conclude a two state solution peace deal that holds only benefit and advantage for Palestinians and Arabs and nothing for Israel, but dire risks except a reason found only in the twilight zone of insanity which is the zone most Israelis seem to have been drawn into.

    Again I ask, where are Israel’s saviors, be they Israelis, diaspora Jews, or pro-Israel advocates who can keep Israel from sliding down this slippery slope to oblivion?

  3. JERUSALEM – A unified Palestinian security force financed, armed and trained by the United States is set to include members of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, one of the most active, anti-Israel terror organizations, WND has learned.
    Also a spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees – a major Palestinian terror group – pledged in a WND interview to infiltrate U.S. training programs for Palestinians and to obtain American weapons provided to Palestinian forces.
    On her visit here last week, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told reporters the U.S. will ensure weapons and aid reportedly being provided to militias affiliated with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party will not be used to attack Israel.

    Israel is being set up for the kill here. It is like a turkey getting itself stuffed for christmas.

    I agree with the sentiments of all of the writers above and espercially with one idea put forward by Jerry.

    I have often referred to this on Israpundit but it is something which really needs to be internalised by Bill, who does write such terrific analyses.

    The Israeli public, or any public, can only express itself through leaders. As Jerry says the ordinary person is beset by the difficulty of just living and it is only at very precise moments in time that you can have these surges in what I call, and I hope nobody takes umrage because it is a revolutionary phrase, the “mass movement”.

    This does not happen often and only for a finite time.

    It happened in March to October in 1917. There was a real ferment in that country due of historical and objective conditions.

    It happened also in Israel very recently but many many people missed it because it was a quiter affair. When the Israeli IDF went into Lebanon the Peace People, and you all do know this, were totally isolated. Why were they isolated…because 99.9 per cent of the Israeli public wanted the war taken to the Fascists and wanted the fascists destroyed. That was a very big movement, a quiet affair but still massive.

    Understand this please everybody on Israpundit. When leadership is bad the ordinary person is bound to become disillusioned and then cautious. That is what obviously happened.

    Israel is in very, very great danger now because of leadership issues.

    I want to make a number of proposals:

    Ted, there must be a party, organization call it what you like.

    That means there must be a membership list and the qualification is not just agreement but also with that agreement to act.

    We all must approach certain people. No ifs and buts. If they do not fight this thing they are not with us and they are our enemy. I could not make that plainer.

    We must write to Professor Paul Eidelfeld and Ami Isseroff urgently and ask what they propose to do.

    We must start a fund and we must prepare to send a delegation to Israel with all the publicity we can muster.

    There must be no Palestinian state anywhere and there must be war with the Mullahs and the sooner the latter the better.

    Please do not be dragged into religion. This will be decided by clear leadership, and eventually by the mass of the Israeli people. There will be many who will fight to save Israel who love Judaism but are not one bit interested in being religious.

    Remember anybody not with us on this is our enemy.

    We will hide nothing. We commit ourselves to making everything public.

  4. Don’t forget that Israelis voted for convergence. So who is to say hat the majority of israelis are against this. If such a deal comes together it probably will need cabinet approval. So the question comes will ten Kadima seats bolt to likud.

  5. I must add a number 6 to comment 3:

    6) The need to do something is overwhelming Olmert. He, like most public figures, needs to justify his existence. That doing nothing with regard to withdrawal might be more correct than doing something is a position that a person trying to assure his place in history cannot abide.

    It is for this same reason that I believe that besides the rational reasons for taking out Iran’s “nucular” facilities, Bush will indeed attack Iran. He views the safety of the world as being in his hands; the consequence of doing nothing is not easily calculated. Thus, he will act, that is he will do something. He is alone, but he is powerful. Shall he not act for the good of humanity?

  6. With regard to Bill Narvey’s comment as to where the Israelis and Diaspora Jews are who are opposed to Olmert’s policies, they are trying to make a living and supporting their families. Political involvements are only for those who are retired (and thus tired) or for those who are paid to engage in such activities. That there are so many people who are exceedingly active in the cause of Israel is a true miracle almost without precedent in human activity. Believe me please, if funding dried up for the Palestinian activists, so would the Palestinian activists. They use “the cause” of Palestine only to make a damn good living or fulfill other fantasies – usually sexual in origin.

  7. Possible explanations for the rush to withdraw:

    1) Israel has an agreement with the United States to withdraw if Iran is taken out.

    2) The United States has said, “Withdraw or die.”

    2) Olmert needs to quash Jewish opposition to his regime, so he will demoralize 80,000 more Jews to accomplish his goal. No one in his right mind would do this to so many people unless this was his intention. Withdrawal and the subsequent demoralization is not an unintended or unforeseen consequence.

    3) Fear has gripped the Israeli government – either because of innate tendencies or because of information known only to them, but unshared with the public.

    4) Their calculations are simply wrong. The push to withdraw is so ingrained that alternatives cannot be easily considered. No one seems to have considered any “what if” questions with regard to the failure of the policy. “What if” low grade warfare continues after the withdrawal? “What if” Muslims refuse to accept a truncated Israel? Worst of all, “What if” all attempts to reduce the birthrate of dedicated Jews fails? Demoralization may be so excessive on the Jews that it causes a backlash that results in the replacement of the left.

    5) A most nefarious explanation without substantiation of any sort: Key people have been “paid off” or have been promised a personal payoff – financial or otherwise – to continue this ruinous course. It is possible to find humans that will take any position – see please the Peace Now camp that receives great funding from European countries and thus makes a living from the suffering of fellow Jews. See also the warping of the truth by Jimmy Carter caused at least in part by Saudi money.

  8. Nowhere To Be Found

    For those who have put their faith in B. Netanyahu as Israel’s next leader, where the hell is he? Where is Avigdor Lieberman? Where are any of the number of MK’s who have been touted as leadership material who will stand strong against and destroy the Palestinian terrorist hordes and their leaders being Haniyeh for Hamas and Abbas for Fatah and lead the re-building of a strong, united and prosperous Israel in all the land of Israel, including Judea and Samaria, free of the fears and the threats Israelis have had to endure for over half a century?

    They are nowhere to be found!

    Where are all the Israelis who according to public opinion polls reject Olmert’s vision for the future?

    They are nowhere to be found!

    Where is diaspora Jewry that should be, like all Israelis clamouring for the heads of Olmert and his band of suicidal lemmings?

    They are nowhere to be found!

  9. Aaron Klein is a real reporter unlike the so-called elite class of writers at the WP and NYT. You’ll get more information from him in one article than you’ll get out of all the liberal MSM put together, and you won’t have to disregard 90%+ of it either.

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