Breathtaking short-sightedness. What happens at the end of the 10- to 15-year hudna? The Muslims will fight again to destroy all of Israel, and will be that much stronger because of this. Don’t Olmert and Bush realize that? No, because they know nothing about the jihad ideology or Islamic law, and are sure that Islam is a religion of peace.
“Israel secretly studies ‘bold’ peace bid: Would surrender large tracts of West Bank,” by Mitch Potter in the Toronto Star, with thanks to Carl:
JERUSALEM””Bedevilled by the continuing scourge of homemade Qassam rocket attacks, Israeli officials are believed to be exploring a new diplomatic overture that calls for the surrender of large swathes of the West Bank to a new Palestinian leadership in exchange for a decade-long ceasefire.
The plan, still in the formative stages, was outlined yesterday in the Hebrew daily Ma’ariv as a “bold and original” initiative that would enable the creation of a provisional Palestinian state as a first step toward normalization with Palestinians and the wider Arab world.
Israeli President Ehud Olmert secretly presented the concept to President George W. Bush during a meeting at the White House Monday, the Ma’ariv report said, citing unnamed political sources in Washington and Jerusalem.
Palestinian and Israeli officials refused comment on the initiative, which Ma’ariv described as “consensual realignment” “” a term that implies Israel now is willing to involve Palestinians in a negotiated withdrawal from parts of the West Bank, where more than 250,000 Jewish settlers live on land conquered by Israel during the 1967 Six Day War.
But Ghassan Khatib, a senior Palestinian political figure, told the Toronto Star that diplomats working beneath the radar have begun “an exchange of views about the potential of moving forward on the basis of a long-term ceasefire of 10 or even 15 years.”
Leaders of the militant Hamas movement have for many years spoken of such a long-term hudna, or ceasefire, but only on the condition of a full Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 armistice lines “” terms deemed unacceptable to the Israeli leadership.
But as domestic and international pressure mounts for a renewal of regional diplomacy, Israeli officials now are re-examining whether a ceasefire can be struck on the basis of the more limited West Bank withdrawal the Olmert government was elected to enact.
“The big difference now is that Hamas is in power. And some of the Israeli officials who are examining this idea are realizing that what the Hamas offers in terms for a 10- or 15-year ceasefire is really not very different from what the (internationally brokered peace plan) Roadmap describes in its interim phase “” it is just another name for a Palestinian state with provisional borders,” said Khatib, who served under the previous Palestinian Authority government as labour minister.
“There is an exchange of views happening because some people believe there is potential here.”