Friday, November 17, 2006

Europeans come up with new Mid East Peace Initiative

It seems the international community really is split on the Middle East. First Britain makes unexpected overtures to Syria in secret, now France, Spain and Italy announce a 5-point plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian deadlock without consulting the UK. Why this division?

According to an article in The Guardian "One particular cause of frustration has been the American veto, last Saturday, of a security council resolution condemning Israel in the wake of an artillery attack in Gaza which killed 18 Palestinian civilians. France, a permanent member of the council, voted in favour, describing its text as "balanced", but Britain abstained."

Meanwhile, Israel is also trying to formulate its own peace plan to rival that of the so-called Arab Quartet. Although Olmert has not come up with anything and the US isn't pushing him to talk to the Palestinians even if Hamas manage to be accepted in a unity government, there are some Israelis willing to negotiate.

It is reported in the Jewish Forward that ...."Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni is working, according to sources close to her, on a series of new steps to reinvigorate the peace process, provided that the new Palestinian government is acceptable to Jerusalem. Livni, who said more than once that “as a lawyer, I always prefer to write my own drafts than to put corrections into the other side’s draft,” fears that without an Israeli initiative, the Arab League peace plan might gain momentum as the only game in town. In her speech at the General Assembly, Livni signaled her new ideas, conveying the message that the Israeli public is ready for a historic compromise. “Israel has made its choice,” Livni told the Jewish activists in the opening session, stating that there is a conflict between the Jewish right for all of the Land of Israel and the need to preserve Israel as a democratic state. “For both elements to live together, and not in contradiction, and to assure our security, we have to give up part of Eretz Yisrael.Livni’s message did not resonate well with the 3,000-strong crowd at the L.A. convention center."

The situation on the ground remains hostile. Israeli planes carried out five overnight air raids across the Gaza Strip. Palestinian medics said five people were wounded.

Palestinian fighters fired two rockets into southern Israel, but neither caused any casualties.

In the West Bank, a 25-year-old Palestinian militant was killed by an Israeli Army sniper during a raid into a West Bank refugee camp before Israeli troops also staged an incursion into Ramallah.

Infrastructure Minister Benjamin Ben Eliezer, advocated "targeted killing" operations, branded assassinations by the Palestinians, and warned that Haniyya should not be immune.

1 comment:

William said...

Well this will be a first - as I was reminded this week by Israeli Nobel Prize laureate Sami Mickael - Israel has never - in all its history - initiated a peace process of itself. Tzipi would be the first.

As regards the European states offering Middle East peace plan without UK
Brian Whitaker,,1950148,00.html

Brian writes: "In a sign of growing frustration at diplomatic inaction as Israeli-Palestinian
violence escalates, Spain, France and Italy yesterday unveiled a five-point peace initiative, taking Britain by surprise."

Well yes - bloody brilliant that is DECEMBER ! ! ! Wake up Europe and get your act together. The ball game will be entirely different by December. For one thing, Syria has brokered a deal with Hamas on the national unity government etc which will be announced within days. Not that the Syrians will get any credit.