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Another Bid For Peace in the Middle East: An Enemy of My Enemy….

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Israel 'holds secret Saudi talks'

Israeli officials are saying that Israel has held 'secret talks' with Saudi Arabia. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has held an unprecedented meeting with a senior member of the Saudi royal family,

"I did not meet the Saudi king and I did not meet with any element that should have caused a media sensation," said Ehud Olmert according to a statement published by Yediot's website, reports Haaretz.com.

Like most things that occur in secrecy shrouded Middle East, the news of a meeting between Ehud Olmert and Saudi officials began in denial.

So he did meet someone. When? And what transpired?

About twelve days ago, Haaretz reported Olmert met Prince Bander. The prince has positioned himself as Secretary General of the Saudi National Security Council. Until last year Prince Bander was one of the longest serving Saudi Ambassador in Washington D.C. He was a beltway insider for close to twenty two years: a confidante of Presidents and Senators and Congressmen.

The only other person King Abdullah could have trusted with this task would have been Prince Faisal al Saud, the Kingdom’s Foreign Minister. Then the ironic twist of history would come have come full circle. The other Prince Faisal got along famously with Chaim Weizmann in 1919. Both shared a disdain for the Palestinians.

Why this sudden re-emergence of the Abdullah Peace Plan, first promoted in 2002?

One word answer, Lebanon!

The Lebanese excursion has wounded Ehud Olmert badly. His credibility took a big hit. The Hezbollah resistance has made the Saudis uncomfortable too. They do not like Iran’s increasing influence in the region. There are other factors playing here too.

The Arab Peace Initiative

At the Beirut Summit of the Arab League on Mar 28, 2002, then Crown Prince, now King Abdullah, published this peace plan with the unanimous consent of all members of the League.

It called for the recognition of State of Israel and establishment of cordial relations with it by all Arab States. In return, State of Israel will withdraw its forces to pre 1967 borders and recognize the State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital. Text of Document here

The turbulence in the Middle East overtook the good intents of this Plan. While this was a first step in the direction of a comprehensive and long term peace in this region it purposefully left out issues to be settled later.

Some of the major issues it did not address:

* The role of USA, the UN and other world Agencies as a guarantor
* The border and militarization of the State of Palestine
* Return of the Jewish and Palestinian Diaspora
* Prisoner exchange
* Distribution of water resources

By guaranteeing recognition and peaceful coexistence this peace Initiative went a long way in addressing modern Israel’s perennial insecurity: that of her lack of strategic depth. Abdullah rightly regarded this as a first step. Comprehensive peace would follow.

With the amount of hostility and suspicion generated between Israel and her neighbors since 1948, it is not illogical to understand that Israeli politicians would extract airtight guarantees from the rest of the world also. Enter the US, the UN, NATO perhaps, Japan, Russia, India.

One big obstacle to peace in the region would be big business. If there is peace, Ike’s ‘military-industrial-complex’ would lose. Also, not to be overlooked are people who do not want peace. This includes hard liners, both Israeli and Palestinian, as well as those in neighboring Arab countries and Iran.

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  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    The idiots in the Kirya (government hill) have finally come around to adopting openly Avneri’s plan for an Israel without “Zionism” (a book I read 30 years ago) thinking that this would appease the enemy and save their own asses. They cannot realize that losing in Lebanon has ended thir usefulness to the American administration or the EU. Their own political deaths are too hard for them to contemplate.

    Their logic, “is ïf I perform surgery and cut out my heart, maybe you’ll accept me.”

    That has been from the beginning at the center of the “land for peace” proposition pushed by suicide candidates like Olmert, his predecessors, and Avneri (I have much more respect for Avneri, who has stuck by his guns since the 1960’s while Olmert is a mere opportunist grabbing at whatever will promote his career), and one should not mistake what they propose – it is ultimately suicide on the part of Israel, and treason at best.

    While you and I differ on our perspectives in this Temporal, you point out correctly that Olmert is desperately trying to “change the suject” since he nearly cut his own pecker off in Lebanon. All day long the radio was going blah blah blah over this bullshit as leftist analysts (nobody else is hired on the Voice of Israel or Army Radio) tried to find something good in this “possibility” and rescucitate the reputation of the idiot known as prime minister.

    Perhaps Olmert imagines that this can be his equivalent of Gush Qatif – that is to say that so long as he pushes the Saudi suicide plan to sacrifice part of Israel to the enemy, he will not be ejected from office or prosecuted for the all too obvious crimes he has committed.

    So little has changed since the kings of Judah worshipped Moloch in the valley south of Jerusalem 2,600 years ago!

    I suggest that it pays to look at the pawns chasing the king – the noose closing around Mr. Katzav, the state president – and see when he is forced to resign. If I’m right, Shimon Peres (who has been awfully quiet of late) will be elected president in Katzav’s place – and then he’ll find a way to change the Basic Law and merge the post of prime minister with that of president on the strength of promising good government, stability and peace.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Temporal,

    I just got this in my e-mail a few minutes ago from Aryeh Gallin. It confirms much of what I’ve been writing about lately…

    —————————————-
    Aryeh comments; So this is the spiel Debka’s Mossad flunkies have been ordered to feed the public: Blame The Three Stooges Olmert/Peretz/Halutz for doing what they were ordered to do by Bush & Co., of which this next step is just a part, on the way to dismantling the State of Israel as we have the misfortune to know it and its transformation into a province of the New World Order globalist empire/Middle East region.

    DEBKAfile Exclusive: Downside of US policy shift in support of Palestinian unity is the downgrading of Bush’s strategic relations with Olmert government

    September 21, 2006, 1:17 PM (GMT+02:00)

    DEBKAfile’s Washington sources report that the Middle East Quartet’s support for a Palestinian unity government is just the first step in a new, not fully-consolidated Bush administration initiative on the Palestinian-Israeli dispute. The steps to come will exact from Israel the full price for losing ground in the Lebanon War.

    Nonetheless, the three war leaders, prime minister Ehud Olmert, defense minister Amir Peretz and chief of staff Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz, continue to evade the sorry consequences of that war and play down the resulting rift with the Bush administration. Indeed the trio shouts down voices calling for an accounting and declares no one can better correct their mistakes and prepare the army and country for another conflict.

    In contrast, Hizballah’s Hassan Nasrallah is paying for his blunders. Iran has confined his duties to domestic politics and public appearances in which he excels, no longer empowering him to decide when to fire rockets into northern Israel, order deep cross-border incursions or abduct Israeli soldiers.

    President George W. Bush cannot demote the Israeli premier, only their relations; and distance him from White House Middle East decision-making.

    On Sept 13, Bush looked in on a discussion between visiting foreign minister Tzipi LIvni and his National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley on the Lebanon and Palestinian issues and the Iranian nuclear threat.

    He exchanged a few words with her for the clear purpose of sizing his visitor up.

    Jerusalem is playing down that seemingly casual encounter like the many symptoms of the widening breach with Washington for the following reasons:

    1. The cracks were evident in the course of the 33-day Lebanon War when the US president never once conversed with the PM Olmert.

    2. The impression the US president gained of Livni at the White House did not change his mind about not doing business with the Olmert government or persuade him she was of a different caliber.

    3. Washington is not blind to the low esteem in which the Israeli public holds the prime minister, his team and his party. One of the opinion polls published Thursday, Sept. 21, on the eve of the New Year festival, gives Olmert an approval rating of 7%! Yet he continues to declare that no one is better qualified to lead the country.

    This gap in the Israel government’s credibility at home and abroad convinced Bush to launch a new Middle East initiative headed by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice without conferring first with Jerusalem. The Quartet’s announcement at UN Headquarters caught Livni by surprise Wednesday, Sept. 20, the day of her address to the General Assembly.

    “The Quartet welcomes the efforts of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas to form a government of national unity, in the hope that the platform of such a government would reflect Quartet principles and allow for early engagement.”

    This announcement not only opens the way for international recognition of a Palestinian government led by Hamas, but is also the first step towards engaging that government in peacemaking, without requiring Hamas to recognize Israel’s existence or forego terrorism.

    The US president has no guarantee that engaging the most radical Palestinian elements in a fresh round of Middle East diplomacy will be any more successful than his failed attempt to pacify Iraq by dealing with its violent Sunni insurgents. But whatever the outcome, Israel has taken a dive in Washington’s strategic calculations.
    ————————————————

    So I reiterate. This “re-discovery” of the Saudi “Israel Suicide Plan” of 2002 is just Olmert’s attempt to change the subject and get back into Bush’s good graces.

    If I weren’t enjoying it so much, I’d say it’s a pity that Olmert has to kiss a Saudi’s ass to save his job.