Tuesday, February 13, 2007

"Terrorism: War of the Poor. War: terrorism of the rich." - Peter Ustinov

This Haaretz article speaking of the future of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, paints a vivid picture of Israel's egocentric logic.

"The summit, involving Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, is scheduled to take place in Jerusalem on Monday.

Despite the dispute, Rice is insisting on holding the meeting to demonstrate progress in Israeli-Palestinian relations.

According to government sources, however, Olmert is refusing to discuss three major elements of any final-status agreement - Palestinian refugees, the status of Jerusalem and an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 armistice lines - because he believes that raising any of these issues would doom the talks to failure.

There is no doubt that Abu Mazen [Abbas] will have to make compromises on these issues, given Israel's positions, and it is not clear that he can get them past the Palestinian street," one source said.

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni also believes that final-status issues should not be discussed now, lest they cause the talks to fail and spark renewed violence, as was the case after the Camp David summit of July 2000. She believes the talks should focus on establishing a Palestinian state within temporary borders, as proposed in the second stage of the road map peace plan.

Olmert and Livni also insist that any discussions be purely theoretical, with implementation conditioned on fulfillment of the road map's first stage: dismantling Palestinian terror organizations."

See Hamas' response to Olmert's statements