Breaking with his predecessors, Olmert has boldly demanded that his Palestinian bargaining partners accept Israel's permanent existence as a Jewish state, thereby evoking a revealing response.'Boldly'? That one word gives the show away. Olmert is many things, but he is crafty--not bold. Just look at what Pipes brings as his proof:
Unless the Palestinians recognize Israel as "a Jewish state," Olmert announced on November 11, the Annapolis-related talks would not proceed. "I do not intend to compromise in any way over the issue of the Jewish state. This will be a condition for our recognition of a Palestinian state."Let's face it , there is no promise that can be phrased in such a way that it can not be wormed out of--or broken. What really gives a promise some kind of standing is the character of the person making the promise.
[Sure, Olmert does not 'intend' to compromise, but let's not forget about those "painful concessions" he talks about. Those 2 words can be brought into play to defend any concession Olmert makes]
He confirmed these points a day later, describing the "recognition of Israel as a state for the Jewish people" as the "launching point for all negotiations. We won't have an argument with anyone in the world over the fact that Israel is a state of the Jewish people."
["Launching point"--or point of departure? Let Olmert say emphatically that this one issue is the red line that he and the Israeli government shall not cross. (not that many would believe him)]
The Palestinian leadership, he noted, must "want to make peace with Israel as a Jewish state."
[Can't you just see Abbas telling Olmert that how he wants to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, but nebuch--his position is too fragile to say so publicly...so let's just shake on it.]
In this case, Olmert.
I rest my case.