"How did it come to pass that an opposition's measure of a president's foreign policy was all or nothing, success or "failure"? The answer is that the political absolutism now normal in Washington arrived at the moment--Nov. 7, 2000--that our politics subordinated even a war against terror to seizing the office of the presidency." - Daniel Henninger - WSJ 11/18/05
"the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts." - George Orwell

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Israel's Prime Minister Says He is Ready to Discuss Saudi Peace Plan

From The Israel Project:

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said this week that he's ready to sit down and talk about the Saudi peace plan with leaders of Arab nations wherever and whenever they're ready. [1]

"We heard about the Arab Peace Initiative, and we say come and present it to us," Olmert said at a conference in Jordan Tuesday. "You want to talk to us about it; we are ready to sit down and talk about it carefully." Wherever the talks are held, he said, "I'm ready to come." [2]

The Saudi initiative - first introduced in 2002 and revived in March 2007 - calls for Israel to withdraw from all of the land it gained in the defensive Six Day War, when the armies of Arab countries amassed on Israel's borders. June 5 marks the 40th anniversary of the war, in which Israel opened Jerusalem's holy sites to people of all faiths. A key controversy in the Saudi plan is that it would encourage millions of Palestinians to move into Israel. Many experts however do not see this as practical and want to work for a stable, peaceful two-state solution so that both Palestinians and Israelis can live in peace.

Also on Tuesday, Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement emphasizing the importance of the participation of Arab countries in brokering peace with the Palestinians. "Moderates on the Palestinian side need pan-Arab support for the compromises a final agreement with Israel will entail. Arab moderates can act as a catalyst for Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation." [3]

Just five days earlier, Livni met with Egyptian leaders in Cairo, including President Hosni Mubarak, to discuss the Saudi plan and the participation of Arab countries in brokering peace with the Palestinians.

"I do believe that the Arab world has a very important role in order to enhance, to support both sides in order to achieve peace," Livni said. An Arab League preparatory team, including the Egyptian and Jordanian foreign ministers, is to come to Israel within the next few weeks. It will be the first such visit by official representatives of the Arab League. [4]

Since its founding, Israel has reached out its hand numerous times to make peace with its neighbors. Israel also has made numerous sacrifices solely for a promise of peace - including giving back land won in defensive wars perpetrated by Arab countries. In 1979, Israel made peace with Egypt through an agreement to give up the Sinai Peninsula, which Israel won in the Six Day War.

In another land-for-peace deal in 1994, Israel reached an accord with Jordan after returning land in the Negev border area that it held since 1967.

Most recently, Israel paved the way for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state living peacefully next to Israel by evacuating all 9,000 of its citizens from the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank in August 2005.

Almost immediately afterwards, terrorist groups in Gaza began using the land as a launching pad for Qassam rockets fired into Israel. To date, more than 1,300 such rockets have been launched across the 1967 border into Israel, killing 10 Israelis. On Tuesday (May 15), four people, including a four-year-old boy, were wounded in the neighboring Israeli town of Sderot when Hamas bombarded the area with Qassam rockets. [5] Israel has asked the Palestinians to stop the rockets many times but not only do the Palestinian leaders allow the rockets to continue, public television in the Palestinian areas is broadcasting a version of Micky Mouse which encourages children to become terrorists.


[1] Benn, Aluf and news agencies, "PM: I'm ready to negotiate Saudi peace plan with Arab leaders," Haaretz, May 15, 2007, http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/859863.html
[2] Prusher, Ilene R. "Israel shows new openness to Saudi peace plan," The Christian Science Monitor, May 16, 2007, http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0516/p07s02-wome.htm
[3] Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, "Behind the Headlines: Israel receptive to moderate Arab peace plan," May 15, 2007, http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/About+the+Ministry/Behind+the+

[4] Ibid.
[5] Greenberg, Mijal; Benn, Aluf and news agencies, "Four wounded by Qassam rockets in Sderot; Hamas claims responsibility," Haaretz, May 15, 2007, http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/859908.html

  • DeMediacratic Nation Blogrolls

    Please give this Post/Blog a Vote - Top Blogs

    © blogger templates 3 column | Webtalks