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“Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

Annapolis Conference: A Complete Failure From The Start

Posted by Atilla89 on November 28, 2007

You know, I hate to say this, but sometimes Olmert has his good points. Yes, you read that correctly, now let me explain. Ehud (“Peace is achieved through concessions”) Olmert, has decided to get some backbone. At the start of the Annapolis conference he demanded that the Palestinians recognise Israel first and foremost as a Jewish State, something which the Palestinians, and indeed most of the Arab world have refused to do.

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.

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.”

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.” The Palestinian leadership, he noted, must “want to make peace with Israel as a Jewish state.”

Ok, now it shouldn’t be so hard to predict what the Arab response will be. This the reason why I believe any ‘peace agreement’ with the Arabs will NEVER work unless they modernise and reform.The Palestinian leadership responded quickly and unequivocally to Olmert’s demand:

* The Higher Arab Monitoring Committee in Nazareth unanimously called on the Palestinian Authority not to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
* Salam Fayad, Palestinian Authority “prime minister”: “Israel can define itself as it likes, but the Palestinians will not recognize it as a Jewish state.”
* Yasser Abed Rabbo, secretary general of the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s executive committee: “This issue is not on the table; it is raised for internal [Israeli] consumption.”
* Ahmad Qurei, chief Palestinian negotiator: “This [demand] is absolutely refused.”
* Saeb Erekat, head of the PLO Negotiations Department: “The Palestinians will never acknowledge Israel’s Jewish identity. … There is no country in the world where religious and national identities are intertwined.”

Hey presto, no more conference. FrontPage goes on to show just how stupid Saeb Erekat’s statement is.

Saeb Erekat (left), head of the PLO Negotiations Department, with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Erekat’s generalization is both curious and revealing. Not only do 56 states and the PLO belong to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, but most of them, including the PLO, make the Shari‘a (Islamic law) their main or only source of legislation. Saudi Arabia even requires that every subject be a Muslim.

Further, the religious-national nexus extends well beyond Muslim countries. Argentinean law, Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe points out, “mandates government support for the Roman Catholic faith. Queen Elizabeth II is the supreme governor of the Church of England. In the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, the constitution proclaims Buddhism the nation’s ‘spiritual heritage.’ … ‘The prevailing religion in Greece,’ declares Section II of the Greek Constitution, ‘is that of the Eastern Orthodox Church of Christ’.”

FrontPage then concludes this little article very nicely with a statement that I wholeheartedly agree with.

Arab recognition of Israel’s Jewish nature must have top diplomatic priority. Until the Palestinians formally accept Zionism, then follow up by ceasing all their various strategies to eliminate Israel, negotiations should be halted and not restarted. Until then, there is nothing to talk about.

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