New peace talks between Israel and Palestine have been announced. What excitement. Another mortar in Obama’s arsenal against Israel. Historically, the biggest obstacle for Palestinian leadership was an agreement to recognize Israel’s right to exist. That should be an easy one for any member of the human race, but not so with most Muslim countries or the people who call themselves Palestinians. Maybe this time Israel isn’t asking to recognized? Do you think Netanyahu and the Jewish people will accept that? Then there are the pre-1967 borders that our president boldly came forward and laid out for our only ally and the only Democracy in the Middle East, Israel. With those borders, it has been well-proven there is no defense for the Israeli people if those borders return. Return they will not, so what are these “peace talks” other than a way to credit new Secretary of State John Kerry and face-building for Barack Obama? Let’s begin the conversation by saying that Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not his predecessor, Ehud Olmert.
Map of the 1949 Armistice lines:
Right now, if you are Liberal and reading this you need to be schooled in what Israel offered to do in the “peace talks” of 2008, and as you read it, don’t ignore the part where Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says, “I’m still waiting for Abbas to call” (May 24, 2013):”
Revealing never before heard details of talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Olmert was referring to the proposal for a peace agreement that he presented to Abbas in the afternoon hours of a Tuesday, September 16, 2008 meeting in the Prime Minister’s residence in Jerusalem…
OLMERT: “In the last meeting I brought a big map, like the size of this whole table,” recalls Olmert. “With colors for all the regions that go over to us and the reverse. We would receive 6.3%, they would get 5.8%, but they also get a safe passage in a tunnel between Gaza and the West Bank that was the equivalent in territory of the remaining half percent. Territories that were considered no-man’s-land before 1967 would be divided 50-50. Ariel would stay with us, and a network of tunnels would go under the Trans Samaria Highway to ease the passage of Palestinians in that area. Similarly for the areas of A-Zaim and Hizmeh, since I was insisting on E-1. There would be a tunnel that would enable Palestinians to have quick passage between Bethlehem and Ramallah, despite our control over the territory, and so their territorial contiguity would not be impaired.”
“At the same time, I gave Abbas territories in the Beit Sh’ean Valley, next to Tirat Zvi, not far from Afula, in the area of Lachish, in the area of Katna (next to Har Adar), the northern Judean desert and the area around the Gaza Strip. I completely gave up on having an Israeli presence in the Jordan Valley. That was because I could protect the line of the Jordan River through an international military force on the other side of the Jordan RIver. There was no opposition on the Palestinian side to our having a presence in warning stations along the mountain range.”
THE TOWER: But you essentially gave up on Israeli sovereignty on the Temple Mount?
OLMERT: “Correct, I proposed a compromise on sovereignty over the Temple Mount. There would be no sovereignty for anyone else. There would be the joint administration of the five states.”
THE TOWER: Where did this idea come from?
OLMERT: ”It came from my head. I was thinking about it day and night. I grew up among the Beitar-ist movement [cultivating the land and Israeli communities]. It was a movement that didn’t see settlements as a means for achieving political ends. Many of the ‘Likud Princes’ think as I do, and their path is like mine. Salai and Dan Meridor for example.”
THE TOWER: So what did Abu Mazen say about that proposal? Did he accept your ideas?
OLMERT: ”[In the meeting] he didn’t say he opposed my idea. It was clear to me that he agreed. He said to me, ‘Listen, it makes a very serious impression.’ I said to him, ‘Come on, let’s initial the map. In a day or two we’ll fly to the U.S. [for the annual UN General Assembly meetings which were taking place the following week] and convene the U.N. Security Council and tell them that it’s a peace deal between us. The whole Security Council will approve it, and then we will go the General Assembly and ask for a vote. About 190 out of the 193 states will vote for it, maybe except for Iran and Syria. After that we’ll convene a joint session of Congress and we’ll appear everywhere together. We’ll gather a summit of all the world’s leaders at the connecting point of the Holy Basin. They will all come.’ He said to me again, ‘It’s serious, it’s serious, but I have to be sure. I want the map experts from both sides to sit together because I’m not an expert. We called over Turjeman and Saeb, I said to Shalom that he should call Danny Tirza, our map expert, so they should sit together the next day.”
The Israeli map maker was never able to “sit down” with the Palestinian map maker, because…on the map, Israel still existed. Deceit and deception are the drivers of Arab negotiations. In Olmert’s proposal, he also agreed to take-in 5,000 Palestinians over a 5-year period.
In other words, Olmert offered a territorial proposal based on the 1949 armistice lines –often incorrectly referred to as the 1967 borders– with “land swaps”, contiguity between Gaza and the West Bank, no Israeli military presence in the Jordan Valley, relinquishing Israeli sovereignty over the Temple Mount, and absorption of some Palestinian refugees. This amounts to basically meeting all of the demands Abbas claims he seeks in final status negotiations. And yet, what was his response to Olmert? Olmert says, “I am still waiting for a phone call from him.”
Anyone notice: no one is talking about this.
Neither the Bush administration or the Obama administration was/is willing to speak plainly on the issue and put Palestine and it’s supporters on the edge of the abyss of no-statehood – ever, and make it clear we are not deceived about Palestine’s only goal, to rid the Middle East of a Jewish nation. For more information on Israel’s border history, see this.
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