Arab Peace Initiative Can Be a Starting Point, Not a Diktat

[Guardian-UK] Ron Prosor - It is important to realize that the Arab peace initiative cannot be seen as a "take it or leave it" offer. It cannot serve as a diktat, or replace the need for bilateral negotiations, on both the Palestinian and Syrian tracks. The plan is an interesting starting point for negotiations, but the international community should be under no illusions. Elements of the text are a cause for grave concern as regards the survivability of the State of Israel. The demand that Palestinians should be able to relocate to areas inside the borders of the State of Israel jeopardizes Israel's very existence. It is difficult to understand why Palestinians, having created a state of their own, would subsequently insist on sending their own people to the Jewish state. Israel's concern over the future of Jerusalem should also not be underestimated. From time immemorial, Jerusalem has been the eternal capital of the Jewish people, and will always remain so. The 1967 borders might provide a reference point for negotiations, but the demographic realities and security concerns of Israel's population must be taken into account. The Saudis, Kuwaitis and other Gulf states could do more to encourage the Palestinians towards compromise. Instead of perpetuating unattainable fantasies that have long held back the Palestinian cause, they should help their Palestinian brethren set realistic, attainable goals. Three realities must be acknowledged: Israel exists, Israel belongs, and recognizing Israel would be to the benefit of every Arab society. Everyone in the region with the ability to promote this understanding must be urged to do so. The writer is the Israeli ambassador in London.

2008-12-09 08:00:00

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