Thursday, October 18, 2007

Annapolis Summit: Core Values

The title of the Haaretz article sounds clear enough:
Source: Joint Israel-PA statement to address 'all core issues'

Israel is prepared to make a joint declaration with the Palestinians at the international peace conference scheduled to take place next month in Annapolis that will address the core issues of Jerusalem, refugees and permanent borders, a senior government official told Haaretz Wednesday. Palestinian officials demanded Israel commit to a timetable for negotiations.
The impression thus far has been that Abbas and friends were setting the agenda--and small things like stopping terrorism and ensuring Israel's security were not high on the list.
They still might not be--but it seems that Olmert may have actually put his foot down:
But Rice's dealings with the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah seems to have hit a bump, after she reportedly told the Palestinians that Israel will not commit to a timetable for negotiations. Palestinians sources also said that Israel will not have the so-called Right of Return - the Palestinian demand that they be allowed to return to Israel proper - mentioned in the document.

...Rice reportedly told the Palestinians that Israel was prepared to commit to what the Palestinians called "a vague mention" of the issue of permanent borders. Israel is not prepared to commit to the 1967 borders, the Palestinian sources reported.
In response, Abbas apparently had a tantrum and canceled a joint press conference with Rice. That might have been more impressive if Abbas was more of a leader and could be thought of as his own man.

He isn't.
Arafat had to take the Arab world into account when he met with Clinton and Barak.
Abbas does not even have the Palestinians themselves behind him.

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