Netanyahu: Saudi Peace Initiative Can Bring Peace to the Middle East.

Both Haaretz and YNet are reporting that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that the 'spirit' of 2002 Saudi peace initiative could promote comprehensive peace in the region.

The initiative, backed by all 22 members of the Arab League, offers Israel full normalization in return for a withdrawal from territory conquered in the 1967 Six Day War, a Palestinian state and an equitable solution to the Palestinian refugee problem.

Speaking during a reception marking an Egyptian national holiday outside Tel Aviv and days before US President Barack Obama's peace envoy, George Mitchell, is expected in the region for new talks about how to renew peace efforts, Netanyahu praised the 2002 initiative, saying "I believe that this spirit can help create an atmosphere in which a comprehensive peace is possible."

Nabil Abu Rdainah, aide to Mahmoud Abbas, reacted to Netanyahu's statements by saying the Palestinians were ready to "immediately" resume talks on a two-state solution based on an Israeli pullout from land captured in 1967, including East Jerusalem.

If Israel met these terms, including a halt to settlement construction, "the road to peacemaking will be open."

Tags: Abbas, Israel, Netanyahu, Palestine, saudi peace initiative (all tags)

Comments

22 Comments

Recced

But I will believe it when I see it...not when I hear it.

by Ravi Verma 2009-07-23 12:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Netanyahu: Saudi Peace Initiative

So basically the two sides are in agreement except on East Jerusalem?  Well it shouldn't be hard at all to resolve that piddling little side issue!

by Steve M 2009-07-23 12:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Netanyahu: Saudi Peace Initiative

Sure.  Abbas can just say he accepts an undivided Jerusalem as Israel's capital "in spirit".

by Jess81 2009-07-23 01:51PM | 0 recs
Where's the quote?

Here:

"We appreciate the efforts by Arab states to advance the peace initiative," said Netanyahu. "If these proposals are not final, they can create an atmosphere in which a comprehensive peace can be reached."

The question to ask Bibi is whether his non-precondition preconditions are final.  It seems to me that he is saying something like 'if you are willing to move toward accepting my offer, then this opening of yours is welcome.'

For things to move forward, there have to be signs of willingness to move towards one another.  The Arab League has basically said that this is the offer.  Bibi's speech drew pretty clear red lines around his position.  Now Bibi says he thinks this proposal is positive if it produces a different one that conforms to his red lines.

The other big question is the significance of the timing of this statement.  No ideas on that at the moment.

by Strummerson 2009-07-23 12:26PM | 0 recs
Actions speak louder then.....

I would feel a little more optomistic if Bibi was willing to suggest something other then "if the proposal are not final.."

That basically says very little.

Any specificity on any issue that would make it more acceptable to Israel, would have been a more intriguing answer, if he is trying to say there is negotiating room if this is not the FINAL bid?

Maybe it's just me, but I always get the feeling, Bibi is just playing the sound-bite gaming to TRY to seem like he is reasonable. But, I never see any action.

Strummerson said it in another post: Israel IS the big player, the power in this negotiation.

The first move needs to be theirs.

If the BIG POWER lays down it's nonnegotiable terms out front, there is a name for that already.

Unconditional surrender.

by WashStateBlue 2009-07-23 01:01PM | 0 recs
Like I said before, Benjamin Netanyahu

can be a peacemaker. maybe abbas should get on board the peace train and give peace a chance

by Lakrosse 2009-07-23 03:23PM | 0 recs
Didn't you read the diary?

it quoted Abbas' spokesmen saying they were ready to negotiate peace based on a withdrawal from the occupied territories.

by JJE 2009-07-24 06:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Like I said before, Benjamin Netanyahu

Abbas isn't negotiating at this point b/c he wants to keep the pressure on Obama to keep pressuring Bibi for a settlement freeze, which would give him an enormous influx of political capital with his own electorate.

But I think he could use the negotiations to turn the tables on Bibi's [not so] subtle obstructions.

And Lakrosse, are you capable of writing a comment without a cliche?  Sheesh, two in the same sentence.  Was that supposed to be snarky?

by Strummerson 2009-07-24 06:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Like I said before, Benjamin Netanyahu

I know I was thinking the same thing.  It's so bad that it can mean absolutely anything depending on where you put the air quotes.

by Jess81 2009-07-24 11:41PM | 0 recs
Everyone knows Israel

as presently governed, with the enthusiastic support of their electorate, will do absolutely nothing to further a two state solution.

by ReillyDiefenbach 2009-07-23 06:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Everyone knows Israel

No government has enthusiastic support here.  It's all tepid.  Israelis of all political stripes have little faith in the professional political class.  It's seen as fundamentally corrupt and self-serving.  Once in a while someone idealistic and honest gives it a shot.  Look up Aram Mitzna for how that worked out (and there are even rumors regarding his tenure as mayor of Haifa).  He's now trying to help save a depressed development town in the Negev (and doing a hell of a job).

by Strummerson 2009-07-23 10:04PM | 0 recs
Mitzna

Typo there, in case anyone actually wanted to look him up.  It's Amram Mitzna, not Aram.  Interesting man.  Former general and signatory to the Abed Rabbo/Beilin drafted Geneva Agreement.  Labour brought him in to try and pull the party together ofter Barak's electoral collapse to Sharon.  Between the camps of Benjamin Ben Eliezer and Shimon Peres, he was basically stymied in reforming the party and crushed by Sharon in the following election.  He left the Knesset to work with the collapsed management of depressed Yerucham.  

Here's a recent piece on him from Haaretz: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1100 732.html

If the Israelis could get behind him, things would look better.  But he was sabotaged by the "professionals" and didn't have the political skills to outmaneuver them.

So there are indeed Israeli leaders who are pragmatic, basically ethical, and conscientious.  They just have a hard time commanding the national stage for institutional reasons.

by Strummerson 2009-07-24 02:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Mitzna

Hey Strum.  I agree that such leaders exist and agree they have a tremendously hard time commanding the Israeli national stage.  

But I'm not so sure the reasons for this are entirely institutional.

I assume you'd agree.

by YuedoTiko 2009-07-24 08:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Mitzna

Maybe not entirely.  But the professional politicians are a small and very self-serving group.  Mitzna fell flat not because of his ideas, rather because the factions in his own party resemble a high school lunchroom that has been sealed for 30 years.  

I guess that my point is that it's hard to know what someone like Mitzna might accomplish if the institutional apparatuses weren't so committed to undercutting him.  Some speak highly of his accomplishments in Haifa and he seems to be pulling of a hell of a job down in Yeruham, a place where few share his cultural or political orientations, but are following his leadership anyway.

by Strummerson 2009-07-25 09:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Netanyahu: Saudi Peace Initiative

It is interesting that the 14 people (at this point) who voted in the poll are skeptical that Netanyahu will do anything to further a two state solution by way of the Arab League plan. We have been hoodwinked before, since Oslo, in fact, by disingenuous peace talk from the Israeli government, and Netayahu's most recent statement is no different. The government can't even dismantle 23 of the over 100 illegal illegal outposts. The colonization continues.

The Israelis have lost all credibility.

by MainStreet 2009-07-24 01:50AM | 0 recs
ah yes.

my straw poll is extremely scientific!

by canadian gal 2009-07-24 05:34AM | 0 recs
Re: ah yes.

It reflects MyDD bloggers, an unscientific collection of the left wing. Still, I suggest that similar statistics would result if you took a larger sample, say from Daily Kos.

by MainStreet 2009-07-24 07:55AM | 0 recs
I voted in it...

Therefore it reflects that vast majority of Americans thinking on this!

by WashStateBlue 2009-07-24 08:09AM | 0 recs
Re: I voted in it...

No, this poll is obviously restricted to the left wing blogging community. CG apparently also posted the diary on Daily Kos, and the stats were pretty much the same.

Skepticism, unbelievability, hold on to your wallet kind of deception.

by MainStreet 2009-07-25 11:55AM | 0 recs
Re: ah yes.

Shocker: Number of Americans who say U.S. should support Israel drops from 71% to 44% in one year

by Philip Weiss on June 14, 2009

One of my new themes on this site is that the Israel lobby as we know it is over. Gaza and Netanyahu shattered it. Obama gave his speech in Cairo because he knew he would have political cover from American Jews to reach out to the Muslim world. Marty Peretz and Charles Krauthammer didn't like the speech, but Jeffrey Goldberg and Roger Cohen (and Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod) did. That's the ballgame.
This morning Ori Nir of Peace Now provides powerful evidence for my theory from a still-secret poll that says that women and Democrats are defecting:

"Israel Radio ran a scoop this morning: poll data showing a sharp drop in Americans' perception that Israel's government seeks peace. The poll was conducted by a U.S. organization that strives to improve Israel's image here."

You see: When Obama distances himself from Israel, the American people are listening. And the poll was conducted by The Israel Project, a lobby organization that I gather had a couple of people on hand in Cairo to interpret Obama's speech to reporters. (I missed them.)

http://mondoweiss.net/2009/06/israel-rad io-ran-a-scoop-this-morning-poll-data-sh owing-a-sharp-drop-in-americans-percepti on-that-israels-government-s.html

by MainStreet 2009-07-24 08:31AM | 0 recs
Sorry, I don't believe this....

The state-run radio station's Washington correspondent, Nathan Guttman, obtained data from a recent unpublished poll, conducted by the Israel Project, an organization that works to improve Israel's image in the United States.

Show me a poll by a major US poll group, because I don't trust this.

Too many reasons for these guys to want this poll to read this way, or for this reporter to spin this, for me to think the drop is that dramatic.

Heck, that is a hell of a fund raiser for this group, since their job IS TO LOBBY the US for the Israelis?  That's a money maker right there.

I also want to see the question they asked?

It's hard to believe it actually means we shouldn't SUPPORT Isreal, that generic?

Sorry, I am skeptical that this is just not spin by that reporter.

by WashStateBlue 2009-07-24 08:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Sorry, I don't believe this....

A good point to make. The Israeli Project would be more inclined not to see such stats and would likely have preferred that Americans maintain their strong support for Israel.

If bias is present then it should have gone in the opposite direction: more Americans supporting Israel. It is probably a side effect of the Gaza massacres, and the Netanyahu election, untoward effects of what the Kadima people hoped would gain them more support from Israelis in the last election, and the hard right gaining control of the government.

It didn't work out that way, it seems.

by MainStreet 2009-07-24 09:04AM | 0 recs

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