“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Middle East Peace?

with 2 comments

There are tantalising stories on the Web suggesting that Israel’s Prime Minister Olmert is finalising some deal with President Abbas which could signal peace in the Middle East, or at least that is an optimistic reading of the JTA report:

“Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his deputy, Haim Ramon, said concessions in Jerusalem and the West Bank were key to achieving a peace agreement.

In a Yom Kippur eve interview on Friday, Ramon told Israel Radio in his bluntest terms to date that Israel must hand over Arab neighborhoods of east Jerusalem over to Palestinian sovereignty, going so far as to blast Israel’s 1968 annexation of the eastern part of the city. “This annexation threatens Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish people,” Ramon said. “It will bring about its transformation into a Palestinian capital with a Palestinian majority.”

Addressing a Kadima Party conference Thursday night after wrapping up meetings with Condoleezza Rice, the U.S. secretary of state, Olmert slammed Israelis who oppose concessions, saying they are seeking excuses “to avoid seizing opportunities and not look for real chances to break the ice between us and the Palestinians. I do not share this view.” Olmert called Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority president a partner for peace.

Rice’s visit to the region comes ahead of a November peace conference to be convened by the United States.

Abbas, who will meet Monday in New York with President Bush during the launch of this year’s U.N. General Assembly, made it clear in his remarks with Rice that the conference would address final status issues. “We assured Dr. Rice of our genuine endeavor to reach a final status framework agreement in order to implement the final status issues including borders, Jerusalem, refugees, settlements, water and security,” Abbas said. “We believe that the time is ripe for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, and for living side by side in security and tranquillity with the State of Israel.”

Written by modernityblog

23/09/2007 at 01:47

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. What do you think of “an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital”? I do not think the latter would foster “security and tranquility”. I think it would be a huge mistake. I previously supported this sort of thing but after seeing what happened with Gaza, Israelis should be extremely reluctant to consider turning over any part of Jerusalem to the Palestinians.


    28/09/2007 at 13:54

  2. I have come to the opinion that Jerusalem was the biggest stumbling block than the West Bank or Gaza, because of its historical significance for both parties.

    I can’t see any way out of it other than a deal on East Jerusalem.

    there’s no way that Israel will internationalise Jerusalem or give it up, in total, and the Palestinian leadership need an incentive to drop the demand for the whole of Jerusalem, so there’ll have to be some split.

    Gaza is both a good and a bad example, I think people on BOTH sides have taken some positive lessons from the destructive nihilism which was expressed after Israel withdrew, or at least I’d like to hope that is the case.


    28/09/2007 at 18:25

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