Olmert's Pointless Peace Plan

By Daniella Peled
August 13, 2008
Ehud Olmert, in the dying hours of his administration, has apparently presented the Palestinians with a “peace deal” – but unfortunately one so pointless that is has been rejected by the Palestinians and ignored by Israel.
This plan seems to have all the familiar elements – land swaps, renunciation of the refugees right-of-return, a demilitarised Palestine – while ignoring some rather crucial issues such as the status of Jerusalem and the future of the Jordan Valley.
And the territorial exchanges it suggests are not exactly practical.
The borders of the future Palestinian state are not going to exactly follow the 1967 lines. Everyone expects some kind of land swap. But this kind of acknowledgement of “facts on the ground” – ie whole swathes of West Bank settlement blocs annexed to Israel – doesn’t even make for a legitimate start to negotiations.
Not to forget the fact that this whole plan is dependent on the Palestinian Authority regaining control over Gaza, and is only a toothless interim agreement proposed by a lame duck Israeli leader so weak that he makes Mahmoud Abbas seem like a towering pillar of strength and unity.
The late Yasir Arafat faced justifiable criticism for rejecting Ehud Barak’s 2000 proposals at Camp David; but no-one could honestly expect President Mahmoud Abbas to do anything but reject this latest deal out of hand. Which he did. His spokesman said the whole initiative was “a waste of time” and the Israeli media appeared to agree - and barely bothered to report it.



Thu, 08/14/2008 - 12:50

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