Monday, April 02, 2007

Israel accepts Arab peace plan as starting point!

Well, at least Ehud Olmert has not dismissed it out of hand.

The Saudi's proposed a peace plan back in 2002, which has now been put back on the table (The BBC has this). In outline the proposal is that Israel withdraws to the 1967 borders, (Well actually land it controlled, Israel's borders have not actually been set by Israel as far as I am aware), that East Jerusalem be the capital of a Palestinian state and that there be a fair an just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem along the lines of UN Resolution 194.

According to reports in Haaretz and the BBC it looks like this could lead to a regional peace conference. It seems that it may be the case that US and Egyptian pressure has brought Israel to the table, though it also has to be said that the public mood there may have also played a part.

Sean Thomas, journalist and novelist has been traveling and has in fact been on both sides of the Israeli/Lebanese border has just come back from Israel. In this report he quotes a Tel Aviv civil servant and hardcore Zionist as saying:
'For the first time', he told me, 'I wonder if we will survive. Now I think the only hope is peace. Just give us someone, anyone, to talk to. We are desperate for a solution.'
When people are fed up with fighting I suppose they talk, and when you want to talk, you need to talk to your enemies.

The shame of it all is this if what Count Folke Bernadotte was trying to achieve between 1947 and 1948 when he was assassinated, all those years ago, and yes although not publicly offered the 2002 peace plan was in essence on the table then.

I forgot to mention that whilst Saudi Arabia may well be able to bring the whole Arab world with them no one has a clue as to what Iran is going to do. Iran is after all not an Arab country.

No comments: