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Saudi Arabian Initiative: Turning Suggestions into Reality

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CNN has recently shown footage from inside a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon – which makes for grim viewing. The interviewer said the people were living in sub-human conditions within the camps, and it was clear that if anything, that is an understatement.  

The Arab League has taken the refugee disaster into account when it unanimously endorsed the revival of Saudi King Abdullah's 2002 Arab peace initiative. The League, at its summit meeting on March 28-29, also issued a joint statement calling on Israel to accept the terms of the initiative, which contains a reference to U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194 stipulating all Palestinian refugees be granted a return to their homes. Those not wanting to return should be given suitable compensation.

Israel will not accept this. Therefore, in its original form the initiative will always present an impasse. The initiative also talks of finding a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem. Among the solutions fielded is allowing the refugees to return to the territories which would become a Palestinian state if the initiative were agreed upon – and again, giving compensation for the lives they were not allowed to live. This seems to present a solution but it is never elaborated: no figures are mentioned and no guarantees are given. This needs to be done if Palestinian negotiators are to take the initiative’s chances of achieving an agreement seriously, and not only on the refugee issue, but every issue covered by the initiative

The initiative offers Israel a sweet deal, in return for a full withdrawal from territories occupied after the 1967 war, the creation of an independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital, and full right of return or suitable compensation for all refugees. The normalization of relations would be a fundamental benefit that Israel would get – which means full recognition of the Jewish state by all states in the Arab League, i.e., practically all Arab states. This is something which hadn't been on the table before it was offered at the Beirut Arab League summit in 2002. For states which have never had anywhere close to normalized relations with Israel – most notably Syria and Lebanon – this is understandably a hard pill to swallow and something they will not do easily.  

The refugee issue is a sore point for both sides. Palestinians, even in the current generation, are understandably angry at Israel forcing their brethren off family or ancestral land and into squalor. No Palestinian negotiator will accept any agreement that does not make up for the denial of a potentially good life and years of sub-human conditions that Palestinian refugees have been forced to endure. This issue has the potential to destroy the chances of the Saudi initiative to bring peace and every future negotiation.

That is why the compromises and solutions being offered need to be brought to the forefront, replacing the long-running cycle of gesture and counter-gesture, never anything more than empty words. For instance, when the initiative advocates an Israeli pullout from the territories occupied after 1967, some would argue that this is now impractical because of Israel's settlement building and the necessity to ensure future security for their population.  

They suggest that a land swap will be necessary, giving land back to the Palestinians equivalent to what was taken in 1967. Nice in theory, but if the initiative is to be presented as a serious option for peace, it is time to take the suggestions to the next stage. Those who need to know such a swap will be necessary – the Israeli Government – already do know and have known for a long time. It is not necessary to reiterate it; instead, suggestions should be made by both sides about which land could be swapped.

The same goes for the refugee issue. It is no use regurgitating the possibility of open-ended compensation, which in reality could and should have been given as soon as it was clear that Israel could never allow the refugees to return home, soon after the Arabs were expelled in the 1948 war for Israel's independence, or any time from any of the governments thereafter. If Israel is serious when it claims its only desire is to live in peace beside the Palestinians, then, to allay some of the anger Palestinians feel and go towards making up for the refugees loss, what better gesture than to promise them the very least of what they deserve, and state a clear figure to compensate all refugees as a precursor to negotiations on the new initiative?

If compensation was promised, then negotiations could perhaps proceed in an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust, as opposed to resentment and doubt. Negotiations should concentrate on hammering out the final borders for a Palestinian state, and with normalized relations all round. By necessity, this would also mean a promise by Israel to knock down the security wall where it impedes on the Palestinian state. The two state solution is the only viable suggestion. It's time to make it a reality.

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About Liam Bailey

  • Arch Conservative

    Here’s a solution that will solve not only Israel’s problem with uppity radical muslims but the rest of the world’s as well.

    Kill every uppity radical muslim on the planet.

    People look back on Hiroshima and Nagasaki as terrible events. Those of us that aren’t anti-American, blame america first leftists scumbags also realize that these were terrible but necessary events. The bombings by all historical accounts were what finally broke the Japanese will to fight and if we hadn’t used the bombs there would have been an invasion into Japanese soil by the allies and many many more lives than were lost at Hiroshima and Nagasaki would have been lost.

    Radical islam is not just America’s or Israel’s problem. Bombings in the UK, Spain, Bali, Africa……riots in France….problems in australia and many other nations. It seems that too many muslims do not want to place nice with the rest of the world…even in their adopted homes. Sooner or later the rest of us are going to have to unite and take some very drastic measures to confront the problem that is radical islam once and for all. Until then the resident kooks at BC like mooonraven and her cronies out there in the real world will continue to call people like me all kinds of names to imply that I’m overeacting and radical muslims will go on killing civilians the world over.

  • MBD

    “Until then the resident kooks at BC like mooonraven and her cronies out there in the real world will continue to call people like me all kinds of names to imply that I’m overeacting…”

    Sounds like a little paranoia here.

    The mind is like a parachute; it works much better when it’s open.

  • http://warpages-leejay.blogspot.com Liam Bailey

    Arch Conservative,

    You obviously buy into the bull that the U.S. government is trying to sell as its new policy on the use of nuclear weapons, that they actually lessen collateral damage, I’ll say it again, bull. Maybe, and it is only a maybe, as many or more people would have been killed in an allied invasion of Japan, but baby’s wouldn’t have been born with two heads and other deformaties fifty years later. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were irrepairably damaged that day and everyone suffered, not just the soldiers who volunteered for it.

    You talk about Muslim radicals not wanting to play nice the world over. A small numbe of Muslims are involved in terrorism and it is because they have been indoctrinated into the mindset the west poses a major threat to Islam, largely because of U.S. foreign policy since the early 80’s and especially since BUsh Jnr took over. What you’re basically saying is that because a few Muslims are radical enough to consider terrorism that we face a great threat and we should all unite against them. What do you think the radical clerics are preaching? Exactly the same as you are, and if we unite and really start to pose a threat then more Muslims would become extremist. Let me tell you this, Islam is the largest religion in the world so if you want to unite and face them prepare to be outnumbered. I’m taking nothing to do with it.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Liam,

    You ask. “what do you think the radical Moslem clerics are preaching?” Who do you think the radical Moslem clerics are, anyway? They are supporters of Hamas, HizbAllah, and of the PLO. The PLO talks peace, lulling stupid westerners and Israelis, and Hamas and HizbAllah talk a straigtht line of murdering off Jews and Americans.

    Bear in mind that I do not buy into any “bull” hustled by the Americans. Nor do I buy into the “bull” hustled by the traitors in Jerusalem. I live here, and know better. But I do know who my enemies are – and I hate to say it, the EU and American government are among those enemies.
    The Israeli government is preparing to do something very controversial very soon. They just framed one of their minor critics. I can feel the blade of the dictatorship swinging closer and closer…

  • http://ruvysroost,.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    While you folks are chawing over Liam Bailey’s presentation of the Saudi “peace” plan for Israel, here is a different view from Palestine Media Watch.

    I think neither view is accurate. The Israeli government will do anything it can to run away from Judaism and de-Judaize the country. But the Arabs who want to destroy this Jewish country don’t care about that or the fact that their best allies are in the prime minister’s office in Jerusalem.

  • http://warpages-leejay.blogspot.com Liam Bailey

    At the risk of ruining our improving relationship Ruvy, what the hell are you talking about? If you’re government really wanted to de-judaize the country they would grant the Palestinian refugees full right of return and accomplish it no problem. This would also probably bring a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the surrounding Arab states a lot closer.

    As for the Palestine Media Watch, story it is not even factually correct. Wat happens when you remove the facts an opinion is based on… hang on, no cancel that,

    If an opinion falls flat in Jerusalem but no one is around, does it make a sound?

  • Arch Conservative

    First of all Liam…….there is no maybe about it……An invasion of mainland Japan would have cost more than the number of lives lost at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This is something that there is a general consensus about among credible historians. You’re probably accustomed to using revisionist history to support your arguments and I know you can’t help yourself.

    “What you’re basically saying is that because a few Muslims are radical enough to consider terrorism that we face a great threat and we should all unite against them. What do you think the radical clerics are preaching? Exactly the same as you are”

    What I am saying and what radical muslims clerics preach are nothing alike. I am advocating the killing of those muslims who would seek to kill us, not all muslims. The muslims clerics condone the killing of all westerners wether civilian or not.

    Was it American foreign policy that caused radical muslims to bomb the nightclub in Bali? Was it American foreign policy that made radical muslims murder Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh? Was it American foreign policy that caused radical Muslims to riot in France? Was it American policy that caused the situation at the Munich Olympics? Was the 83′ Marine barracks bombing in Lebanon George Bush’s fault? Is it America’s fault that so many muslims emigrate to European nations and show nothing but utter disrespect and disdain for the native culture and law while preaching hatred for and violence towards everything Western in Mosques?

    Your tired leftist attempts to justify radical islam and blame America for the world’s problems ring so very hollow Liam. Save your bullshit for someone else because I aint having any of it.

  • Arch Conservative

    Oh and I forgot to point out another ignorant statement you made when you claimed Islam is the religion in the world Liam.

    It’s not. CHristianity is. There are currently and estimated 2.1 billions Christians in the world and 1.3 billion Muslims.

    Maybe you had better think next time before you make so many obviously false assertions in your post Liam.

  • MBD

    “Was it American foreign policy that caused radical muslims to bomb the nightclub in Bali?”

    More likely it was Australian.

  • http://warpages-leejay.blogspot.com Liam Bailey

    Arch Conservative,

    I have done obviously the same google search as you did, and found a site that lists your figures for world religions. I see that Jehovah Witnesses, Evangelical, Quakers and a further 9 other religions. You can’t count all of them together because they are religions in their own right. If we were to split them into their individual grops and then look at how many of the Christians were actually devout in their faith, i.e. even went to church anymore, Muslims would be far and away the biggest religion.

    As for my assertions that American foreign policy since the early eighties has been a major contributory factor in the rapid rise of Islamic extremist terrorism, I wrote an analysis article on the subject, it was my first political article.

    And a more recent article on how it has further excacerbated the problem since 9/11.

  • http://warpages-leejay.blogspot.com Liam Bailey

    What I am saying and what radical muslims clerics preach are nothing alike. I am advocating the killing of those muslims who would seek to kill us, not all muslims. The muslims clerics condone the killing of all westerners wether civilian or not.

    Actually what you said was:

    Kill every uppity radical muslim on the planet

    All radical means is an extraordinarily devout faith in Islam, so you are advocating killing everyone who believes in their religion devoutly, whether they seek to kill us or are involved in violence or not.

  • Arch Conservative

    Liam would you kindly stop putting words in my mouth.

    I don’t need an idiot like you to tell me what I meant when I clearly explained what I meant.

  • http://warpages-leejay.blogspot.com Liam Bailey

    Ooooohhhhhh touchy.

    Lets just leave it at this then. You’re statements are enciting hatred and violence, that is now an offence under the War on Terror which you so clearly are a fan of. You are as radical as the Islamists you clearly hate so much. It’s time to get a grip on reality

  • MBD

    Arch is so “bold”, “agressive” and “patriotic”, I have to believe that in a prior life he was Audie Murphy.

    On the other hand, it could be that Arch just watches too many war movies.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    As for my assertions that American foreign policy since the early eighties has been a major contributory factor in the rapid rise of Islamic extremist terrorism

    Which in no way justifies or excuses ANY of that terrorism. Don’t blame the victim.

    Dave

  • MBD

    “a major contributory factor”?

    Obviously.

  • MCH

    “Arch is so “bold”, “agressive” and “patriotic”, I have to believe that in a prior life he was Audie Murphy.
    On the other hand, it could be that Arch just watches too many war movies.”

    It’s the latter, MBD. Archie has never served.

  • MBD

    It helps to prove the hawks are the ones who didn’t serve.

  • Clavos

    Helps what?

  • MBD

    “Helps what?”

    It helps to prove the hawks are the ones who didn’t serve.

  • Clavos

    Not always.

  • MBD

    How about 95%?

  • Clavos

    Does it matter?

  • MBD

    What do you think?

  • Clavos

    Doesn’t to me.

  • MBD

    It does help to know who didn’t serve when voting for those who can take us into war.

  • Clavos

    LBJ sent me into war. He had served. So what. Didn’t change the circumstances one bit. he still sent us.

    Having served in the military, even in combat, doesn’t confer some sort of special sensitivity; I’m living proof-wouldn’t hesitate to send troops into war if I (and only I) thought it necessary.

    Just as LBJ didn’t hesitate.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    FDR sent more Americans into war than any other president ever and he had never served. Was he wrong to enter WW2?

    War impacts EVERY citizen, and every citizen regardless of whether they fight, pay for it, or merely have to take responsibility for it as a citizen. Therefore every citizen has a right to have an opinion on it and a say in whether we go to war or not.

    Dave

  • Arch conservative

    “You are as radical as the Islamists you clearly hate so much.”

    Actually I’m not. The only reason I hate Islamists and want them dead is because they want to kill me and my fellow Americans.

    The reason thay hate us and want us dead is because our beliefs are different than their’s.

    I do not want to harm in any way those muslims whose beliefs are different from my own but in no way want to harm me or other Westerners.

    I guess to people like you the idea of self defense is a radical concept huh Liam?

  • Arch conservative

    “It does help to know who didn’t serve when voting for those who can take us into war.”

    Unless it’s a democrat in the White House, then it doesn’t matter. Right?

  • MBD

    “The reason they hate us and want us dead is because our beliefs are different than their’s.”

    Pure propaganda.

    The reason they hate us is because they want us out of their land and we refuse to leave.

    Just as we would hate if the shoe was on the other foot.

    Read some history.

  • MBD

    “It does help to know who didn’t serve when voting for those who can take us into war.”

    It does help.

    But it’s not the only factor.

  • MBD

    “FDR sent more Americans into war than any other president ever and he had never served. Was he wrong to enter WW2?”

    Poor example.

    Did he have a choice?

  • Clavos

    It does help to know who didn’t serve when voting for those who can take us into war.

    You never really answered my question upthread, MBD:

    How does it help? Are you saying only veterans should be President?

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Well, yes, he did actually. It was a very close call as to which side the USA would support back then. There was a strong campaign to get the US to side with Nazi Germany – and they almost did.

  • MBD

    Pay attention class:

    On December 7, 1941, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. On December 11, 1941, Hitler declared war on the United States.

    The United States was attacked and Congress had no choice but to declare war on the aggressors.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    MBD, Roosevelt had lots of other options. The Nazis were eager to make peace with us from early on in the war. He could have signed a non-aggression pact with them and lived on in splendid isolationism until they overwhelmed us in the 1950s.

    Dave

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    It was more than that, Dave. The Germans were campaigning to get the USA to support them or even join in on their side for years before Pearl Harbour. Wasn’t that Germano-American pilot Charles Lindbergh one of the leading campaigners?

  • MBD

    Sounds like you guys have joined with Buchanan and his, “A Republic, not an Empire”

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Lindbergh and Henry Ford and a number of others. The German-American Bundt had 3.5 million members at the time that was a really substantial portion of the population. Roosevelt had to climb (or roll) uphill to get the country turned around to fight against Germany. Most of the country was strongly isolationist and willing to make a deal with the Germans if that would get us left alone.

    Dave

  • Clavos

    Chris wrote:

    Wasn’t that Germano-American pilot Charles Lindbergh one of the leading campaigners?

    He was indeed, Chris. But, he was a Swedish-American; his father was born in Stockholm.

  • MBD

    So you agree with Buchanan?

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    I sit corrected, Clavos. I saw in Wikipedia that his father also worked to prevent the US participating in WW1. Swedes are normally so sensible, if a little over-literal and serious at times.

  • MBD

    “Roosevelt had to climb (or roll) uphill to get the country turned around to fight against Germany”

    After Germany declared war on the United States?

    You can’t be serious.

    So you HAVE joined Buchanan!

    Did you vote for him?

  • Clavos

    I’m only half one. The other half is Irish. Great combo, eh? A seriously literal drunk.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Dave,

    The German-American “Bundt”? Are you getting involved with cake, now? That’s truly sadistic now that I have to suffer through a week with bread whose cardboard boxes taste better…

    Man – no fuckin’ sympathy at all…

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Half a Swede? Wouldn’t that be a turnip?

    Has your Irish half ever drunk Poteen? I have – and still remember the hangovers!

  • Clavos

    I stay away from 180 proof booze of any nationality these days, but yes, a long time ago…I think…

  • MBD

    “I stay away from 180 proof booze…”

    Not apparent from what you post.

  • Clavos

    @#49,

    Thanks.

  • http://warpages-leejay.blogspot.com Liam Bailey

    MBD:

    I was waiting for that one…

    Clavos walked straight into it.

  • Clavos

    Yep, I did. LOL.

  • MCH

    “War impacts EVERY citizen, and every citizen regardless of whether they fight, pay for it, or merely have to take responsibility for it as a citizen. Therefore every citizen has a right to have an opinion on it and a say in whether we go to war or not.”
    – Dave (Vox Populi) Nalle

    But there’s just something phoney about a person who promotes sending someone else to do something they themselves avoided when it was their turn to go.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    When was it Karl Rove’s turn to go to Iraq, or Bush’s or Cheney’s? Their turn came during Vietnam which was a different war and one which NO ONE should be faulted for avoiding service in by any means necessary.

    Dave

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    MCH: Much as it pains me to sing the same song as Mr Nalle, I can’t agree with your point.

    As a citizen, I would certainly want to avoid being drafted to fight in a war I didn’t agree with, possibly even one I did agree with if I thought the people running it were incompetent.

    On the other hand, if I was a politician and found myself in a position of dealing with a war situation, I’d send the troops to get the job done. But I’d do it with far more efficiency than the US has mustered on its last three major ventures.

    So far, we’ve seen a defeat in Vietnam; the return of dirt cheap Afghani heroin to Europe and the USA (which must mean there is some major league corruption going on over there); and the incredibly poorly thought out performance of the entirely unjustified forced regime change in Iraq.

    That reflects far more poorly on the state of US politics than it does the actions of some armchair warriors.

    That’s not at all phony (NB, no e), simply a reflection of the fact that life is complex, whereas you seem to be trying to suggest that life should be run by some abstract rule.

    Now, unless you have anything new to add on the subject, consider yourself sanctioned under the groundbreaking MCH Exception, for I intend to delete any more such repetition on the grounds that we are all bored to death by your one trick pony remarks.

    Please also bear in mind that this is not any kind of dilution of either your point or your right to speak your mind, it’s just that your medium has become tedium.

  • MCH

    Chris;

    Delete whatever you want. But look for the “Words speak louder than actions” crowd to dominate BC again.

    My medium was 95% reactive. So, who’s repetitious…?

  • MAOZ

    Clavos #27, bingo! Well put.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    MCH: You are! Feel free to come up with a new insight any time you want though, I’ve nothing at all against you or your position, it’s just that WE’VE GOT IT!

  • Clavos

    Thanks, MAOZ.

  • MCH

    Question:
    What do Dave Nalle and John Kerry have in common?

    Answer:
    Their view on Vietnam.

    —————-

    “When was it Karl Rove’s turn to go to Iraq, or Bush’s or Cheney’s? Their turn came during Vietnam which was a different war and one which NO ONE should be faulted for avoiding service in by any means necessary.”
    – Dave Nalle, above

    “How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?”
    – John Kerry, testifying before Congress in 1971

  • MBD

    “When was it Karl Rove’s turn to go to Iraq, or Bush’s or Cheney’s? Their turn came during Vietnam which was a different war and one which NO ONE should be faulted for avoiding service in by any means necessary.”

    And no one should be faulted for calling them chickenhawks.

    Is there a better description?

  • http://warpages-leejay.blogspot.com Liam Bailey

    When you have never been called on, or had to go to war, as I have not, it is easy to think and to say, when the call comes we should all go, fight and die alongside our peers.

    I first thought about this in a context of world war I and II, and I knew then that, in those wars I would have enrolled voluntarily. I had no kids then. But a while back, when I thought about kissing my wife and child goodbye to go to Iraq and a firm chance of never seeing them again, I don’t think I could have done it. The difference, World War I and II would have had a direct impact on the UK if we lost. Iraq is a dirty war for the interests of capitalism. The oil execs and those who will profit from victory should be on the front lines.

  • MCH

    “And no one should be faulted for calling them chickenhawks.”
    – MBD

    (my comment self deleted, adhering to the “MCH exception”)

  • MBD

    “When was it Karl Rove’s turn to go to Iraq, or Bush’s or Cheney’s? Their turn came during Vietnam which was a different war and one which NO ONE should be faulted for avoiding service in by any means necessary.”

    No one should be faulted unless they use the same reasoning for all ‘different wars’ and not favor others going to such wars.

    In the case of Rove, Bush and Cheney, what they avoided in Vietnam they foisted on others in Iraq. That clearly makes them chickenhawks.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Thanks MCH! Appreciate it.

  • STM

    MBD: “Sounds like you guys have joined with Buchanan and his, “A Republic, not an Empire”

    What’s wrong with an Empire, old chap? …

  • MBD

    “What’s wrong with an Empire, old chap? …”

    They tend to crumble with nasty results.