Monday, April 9, 2007

The Arab Initiative: Peace Plan or Ploy?

Is the Arab peace initiative the real thing or a fancy gimmick?

Peace Plan or Political Ploy?

by Carlos

They have treated the wound of my people carelessly,
Saying "Peace, peace," when there is no peace.
(Jeremiah 6:14)

April 8, 2007 - The "new" Saudi peace initiative is being hailed as a breakthrough. But what is its real significance?

This "new" plan is identical to the plan the Saudis proposed at the Arab Summit in March 2002. Here are some of its key provisions, as stated in the actual text:

Full Israeli withdrawal from all the territories occupied since 1967, including the Syrian Golan Heights, to the June 4, 1967 lines as well as the remaining occupied Lebanese territories in the south of Lebanon.

Achievement of a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem to be agreed upon in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolution 194.

The acceptance of the establishment of a sovereign independent Palestinian state on the Palestinian territories occupied since June 4, 1967 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The rejection of all forms of Palestinian patriation which conflict with the special circumstances of the Arab host countries.

In return for these Israeli concessions, the Arabs promise "normal relations with Israel in the context of this comprehensive peace."

This plan requires analysis. Looking at it closely, one can see that it would leave Israel in a worse position than it was in prior to 1967. Israel would have to withdraw from all areas occupied since 1967, which would mean once again a division of Jerusalem and the loss of Judaism's holiest site. In addition, Israel would have to accept a right of return for Palestinian refugees. The Arab interpretation of Resolution 194 always included this right of return. In addition, the Saudi plan rules out any resettlement ("patriation") of Palestinian refugees that Arab host countries may decide is against their interest. There is only one place remaining for the resettlement of the Palestinian refugees: Israel. Continued here

No comments: