Monday, October 20, 2008

Israel Considering Saudi Peace Deal

Israel Considering Saudi Peace Deal
posted: 23 HOURS 28 MINUTES AGOcomments: 252filed under: World News(Oct. 19) -

Israeli leaders are seriously considering a dormant Saudi plan offering a comprehensive peace between Israel and the Arab world in exchange for lands captured during the 1967 war, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Sunday.
Barak said it may be time to pursue an overall peace deal for the region because individual negotiations with Syria and the Palestinians have made little progress.

Barak said he has discussed the Saudi plan with Prime Minister-designate Tzipi Livni, who is in the process of forming a new government, and that Israel is considering a response. Barak, who leads the Labor party, is expected to play a senior role in the next government.
Livni's office refused to comment on her talks with Barak.
Saudi Arabia first proposed the peace initiative in 2002, offering pan-Arab recognition of Israel in exchange for Israel's withdrawal from Arab lands captured in 1967 — the West Bank, Gaza Strip, east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. The 22-member Arab League endorsed the plan last year.
Israel has said the plan is a good basis for discussion, but expressed some reservations.
"There is definitely room to introduce a comprehensive Israeli plan to counter the Saudi plan that would be the basis for a discussion on overall regional peace," Barak told Israel's Army Radio.
He noted the "deep, joint interest" with moderate Arab leaders in containing Iran's nuclear ambitions and limiting the influence of the radical Islamic Hezbollah movement in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza.
Analyst Ghassan Khatib, a former minister in the Palestinian Cabinet, said interest in the plan was "a little bit late" but welcome.

"I strongly believe that the Arab initiative is the best approach to peace between the Arabs and the Israelis," he said. "It fulfills all the legitimate objectives of Israel and those of the Palestinians and at the same time it has this regional dimension and it reflects one of the rare issues on which Arabs have consensus."
While Israel's outgoing prime minister, Ehud Olmert, has welcomed the Saudi plan, he and other leaders want to keep small parts of the territories captured in 1967. Israel also objects to language that appears to endorse a large-scale return of Palestinian refugees to lands inside Israel. Israel says a massive influx of Palestinians would destroy the country's Jewish character.
Yuval Steinitz, an Israeli lawmaker from the conservative opposition Likud Party and a member of parliament's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, said that for Israel, the Saudi plan is a nonstarter and called Barak's remarks "an empty political gesture."
"It doesn't recognize Israel's right to defensible borders ... (and) demands Palestinian refugees settle in the Jewish state as well as the Palestinian state, which is totally unacceptable," he said.
Israel's ceremonial president, Shimon Peres, proposed putting Israel's various peace talks on one track last month at the United Nations, calling on Saudi King Abdullah to "further his initiative." He has since been pushing the idea in meetings with Israeli, Arab and Western officials, his office said.
While Peres has no formal role in Israeli foreign policy, he is a Nobel peace laureate and well respected in the international community.

In Sunday's interview, Barak said he was in full agreement with Peres.
"I had the impression that there is indeed an openness to explore any path, including this one," he said of his talks with Livni.
Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat noted that pursuing the Saudi peace initiative did not necessarily undermine the direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians and he encouraged Israel to pursue this track.
"I think Israel should have done this since 2002. It is the most strategic initiative that came from the Arab world since 1948," he said. "I urge them to revisit this initiative and to go with it because it will shorten the way to peace."
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Sunday that he would meet with Olmert on Oct. 27. The two leaders have been meeting regularly this year, to assess progress in peace talks.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. Active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.
2008-10-19 13:38:29

Perhaps this will be a step forward for progress in the Middle East. Peace is achievable if both parties are willing to set aside their differences and start pursuing commonalities. I can already hear Fungelical Zionists like Tim LaHaye impede this progress with conspiracy theories about a One World Government/Religion and a literal Anti-Christ figure (instead of figurative anti-christs as the only references to any type of anti-Christ are in I and II John, one of which is in a plural case) though.

See also: Obsession "Stars" Have Lectured at U.S. Military Colleges; U.S. Navy Uses Film, Tim LaHaye says Allah is not God, Fundaresentalism, Did Tim LaHaye Just Call Israelis "Not-To-Be-Trusted Yids?",, Christian Zionism---an even handed overview, Professor Mark Chmiel on Christian Zionism and Allies for Armageddon: The Rise of Christian Zionism.


Sarko Sightings said...

This maybe an interesting development! Or it maybe the same old psedo peace deals!

TheoPoet said...

Sorry it took so long to get back to you, but thanks for your visiting. I seem to have gotten behind on responding to comments.

Anyways, we can only hope! I know I may be idealistic about achievable peace, but I'm not blindly idealistic. I think Ataturk, the founder of Modern Turkey, said it best when he said: "Peace at home, peace in the world." I believe Jesus would probably agree. Peace begins with individuals wanting peace, but until they pursue actions that ensure peace, peace can't be.

Here's are 2 links about some PBS documentary I saw a few years ago: and Talking to the children - the documentary film, 'Promises,' focuses on Israeli and Palestinian children---interesting and hopeful stuff.