Thursday, November 15, 2007

Is Israel about to concede Temple Mount?

According to Rafiq al Hussaini, a senior adviser to Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian leader differs from Yasser Arafat ‘only in tactics’:

Both entered into peace talks in order to gain as much as they could and give away nothing. Abbas' senior adviser added: Had we managed to keep Jerusalem, the Jewish state would not have risen in Tel Aviv.

Abbas rejects Israel as Jewish state and demands undivided Palestinian control of Temple Mount, among a host of other concessions.

US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice decided on 5th November to set a date for the Middle East peace conference in Annapolis, Maryland she has been promoting. It will take place on 26th November, even though her talks in Jerusalem and Ramallah with Israeli and Palestinian leaders uncovered assent on only one small point: both sides agree that the event need not be preceded by accord on all the core issues of the dispute.

In setting the date, Rice made the best of Palestinian intransigence on six major points. The noes she encountered in Ramallah are disclosed as:

1. The Annapolis declaration will include Palestinian recognition of Israel - but not as a Jewish state.

2. The boundaries of the future Palestinian state will follow the pre-1967 War lines with minor adjustments through territorial swaps. A few hundreds of square meters may be offered on the West Bank in return for areas in central Israel, not the Negev.

3. Palestinian sovereignty over Temple Mount, the holiest shrine of the Jewish people, must be undivided and include the Jewish place of worship at the Western Wall.

4. The right of return for 1948 refugees is absolute and non-negotiable.

5. The future Palestinian state will enjoy full sovereignty, including its air and electromagnetic space and underground resources, such as water.

6. Negotiations after the Annapolis conference must be concluded by Aug. 2008.

The Palestinians chose that date because it coincides with the Republican Party's primary for electing its presidential candidate and bid President Bush farewell.

Notwithstanding the Palestinians' inflexibility on all the core issues of the dispute, Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert is determined to attend the conference declaring that Israel has at last found a partner for peace talks and without the meeting, the Middle East will plunge into catastrophe.

A partner for peace?

Only on their terms…


Blogger Surreptitious Evil said...

A partner for peace?

Only on their terms…

At least Islamist political movements are entirely consistent in their approach to "co-operation" with the Dar al-Harb. It should make the next communique from the brothers at the MCB easier for our political class to deal with. If they weren't such a bunch of spineless capitulators, anyway.

15 November 2007 at 08:16  
Blogger Man in a Shed said...

Those look like terms for a deferred surrender.

15 November 2007 at 10:11  
Blogger AethelBald, King of Wessex said...

Better these terms than what will inevitably be worse terms next time.

The timing of August 2008 is interesting. US Christianists will want to declare Israel a Jewish state in order to expedite the second coming. (If this sounds like nonsense then why do you think Bush still commands 30% approval?) and these Christianists form a significant support group for the GOP (Grand Old Party = Republicans). The Democrats are not dependent on Christianist votes and, in the likely event that Democrats win, Israel will not have quite the same clout with their administration. The new Democrat president then will have four years to sort out the Middle East before facing re-election and it is unlikely, in my view, that the American public will be very understanding of failure, especially if the economy continues to tank.

This all against the backdrop of the continually ticking demographic clock which will eventually dilute the Jewishness of any state which will be admissable to the Western liberal world.

Hamas is not Al Quaeda. It does not have Al Quaedas global ambition. But that could change. Both are moral forces, ideologically motivated. One would have to kill them all in order to eradicate the threat. It's just not practical even if it would be morally acceptable to some here. Israel must negotiate or sooner or later we will all fry.

15 November 2007 at 11:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I regret that the only "peace" offered by the Palestinians is "the Peace of the Dead". They have let their hatred corrupt them and that same hate will eventually come to consume them.


15 November 2007 at 17:15  
Blogger Buenaventura Durruti said...

1) Everybody should have problems with recognising Israel as a 'Jewish state' as it would condemn its Muslim and Christian citizens to second class status. It is very different to referring to the Uk as a Christian country: the one refers to the heritage and beliefs of the largest portion of its citizens, the other to an enshrined legal status (eg right to imigration).

2) Pretty much in line with Security Council resolution 242 so what's the problem. Or is israel a special case where international law and compliance with Security Council resolutions are optional?

3) Such re-states an aspect of point 2)

4) in line with international law

5) just states the bleeding obvious: a state has these rights. If it doesn't have these rights it is less than a state (cf 'Scotland's oil').

6) if they aren't concluded by then they go into limbo anyway awaiting the inclination and interest of the next US president.

15 November 2007 at 18:14  
Anonymous Dr. irene Lancaster said...

Israel is already a Jewish State in which Christians and Muslims are far happier than anywere else in the Middle East.

Why don't you just ask them?

Some of them are pretty wealthy as well. The Arabs I teach in Jaffa in a private, Church-run school, have swish cars, private music lessons and expensive clothes.

By the way, I've just been put in charge of the school carol concert.

Only in Israel.

PS: Just had a meeting with Christian Aid in Jerusalem. Talk about the lion sitting down with the lamb at this time of year.

Any idea which carols might be appropriate?

16 November 2007 at 12:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From David Lonsdale

It is unfortunate that some of your Grace's correspondents seem to have so little understanding of the scriptures. God has returned his people to their land, the land he promised them in his covenant with Abraham. Instead of speculating about the intentions of mere mortals, we should rejoice that the Jews are back in Israel and that the city of Jerusalem is once more under Israeli control.
When God came to Earth in the person of Jesus, he chose the weakest possible vessel, a baby, in which to make his entrance. Try though he might, through Herod, Satan was unable to exterminate the child. Is God now so weak that he is unable to defend Israel from those who would break her in pieces? By no means. God's will will prevail over the will of men.
Those who stand against Israel do so at their peril. Does Buenaventura Durruti represent the Roman view of the Jewish people?

16 November 2007 at 21:06  

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