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Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Arab peace offensive and what Palesinians must do

This view of the Arab peace initiative is interesting. On the one hand, it presents the initiative as an offensive, which will "prove" that Israel does not want peace. It casts Israel as an enemy of peace, that is trying to gain recognition without making "the required concessions." At the same time, it is careful not to mention right of return of Palestinian refugees, but only to refer to Resolution 194. Thus far, it is the same old message.
On the other hand, it rightly points out that there can be no possibility of peace unless the Palestinians can stop the security chaos and demonstrate that they can control terrorism. This in itself is quite a breakthrough, and different from rhetoric of the past
Arab efforts :
(Original text in Arabic)
Ashraf El Ajrami
(Free translation - )
First, this  time the Arab States can prove themselves, and the Palestinian people and the entire world. Secondly they are more serious in dealing with decisions and stand not only on issuing statements. It can be said that Riyadh Arab summit constituted an important turning point towards an effective Arab action coupled to what has already been said. The meeting of the ministerial committee in charge of following up the summit theme of the Arab peace initiative, decided to form two working groups of Arab contacts with the international influential parties and Israel to market the initiative, and create political momentum leading to its application, working on the first contact with international bodies composed of both Jordan and Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Morocco, Qatar, Palestine, in addition to Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa.
The second group is confined to Egypt and Jordan because they are the two countries which maintain full diplomatic relations with Israel and ties by peace agreements. Such a step is of great importance because it demonstrates that Arab countries are serious in seeking to undermine the way for political initiative that seems the only viable plan for the application at this stage. This practice is now perceived by all parties. On the other hand it blocked the Israeli government's attempts to transform the Arab initiative into an invitation for public relations, especially in terms of the normalization of Israel's relations with the largest number of Arab states without Israel paying the price required in return. The Israeli position which tried to appear to be a positive initiative towards talked about acceptable items  and probably meant that the items in question are those that talk about a peace between all Arab countries and Israel and normalizing relations with it, while the Israeli government refuses to return to the 1967 borders and rejects absolutely the search for a solution to the refugee issue.
Olmert, himself a Yemenite [!!- that is what it seems to say] wants to meet with Arab countries including Saudi Arabia and perhaps got an American promise to obtaining such a meeting, which includes ten parties, including four Arab countries, namely Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, in addition to the international quartet committee, Palestine and Israel.
That is why the the Arab party, which relates to him in Jordan and Egypt led to thwart it. This is what was expressed when the Israeli Foreign Minister invited anybody, asking the Arab League to "show flexibility" and support for the negotiating process with Israel. Now Israel is at stake practically.
The Arab call is serious and sincere... fair and logical way to go where the Arabs present maximum flexibility, based on the application of the principle of two states along with return to the 1967 borders and a just and agreed solution to the refugee issue on the basis of resolution 194, to get Israel  peace and security. The normalization means to become an organic part of the region live in close good-neighborly relations with all the Arab countries.
If Israel fails to respond to this generous offer, it would have decided to proceed on the path of war and confrontation and conflict, and bear all the consequences arising therefrom, thus confronting  world public opinion. Communications, which were supposed to be by Egypt and Jordan with Israel, should not be restricted only with the official level, but it is more useful to include wider segments of the Israeli public opinion through their different representatives.
The more the Israelis face facts about the nature of the Arab peace initiative, the more it will activate pressure on the Israeli government which is now feeling the pulse of the street on the Israeli side, which began gradually to the option of negotiations after the painful experience that met the Israeli army in Lebanon, as well as a section of the Israeli population in the north, after the failure of unilateral solutions to bring stability and security to Israel.
This opportunity must be exploited by all who seek to not miss a special time and thus sully the region. The opportunity which now seems within reach may become impossible or may be possible again only after a long time. What applies to Israelis applies in part to the Palestinians. They must seize the opportunity now available in the concentration of Arab States on the theme of the success of the Arab peace initiative and work on their internal arrangements and create the atmosphere to receive any positive development, but also to contribute effectively to convince various regional and international Palestinian groups for peace.
They must completely control the internal security situation and consolidate the cease-fire and extend it to the West Bank in addition to the Gaza Strip, and solve the problem of Gilead Shalit. Naturally the internal security situation is a critical priority in reversing a positive image of the Palestinians for the different regional and international forums. In this context, it does not appear that the security plan ratified by the Palestinian government is able to save the Palestinian people from  destructive anarchy, as it relates to procedural matters mainly secondary, and far from addressing the core issues that affect the central core of the security crisis. The plan does not address the security paradigm, the issue of disarming the resistance. This is essential given that each disturbance began primarily under the mantle of the "resistance" or exploited it.
This must include the recognition that there are persons of  importance of controlling all weapons of the resistance. This is detailed in the National Accord document. Without controlling weapons of the resistance and identifying a reference standard Palestinians will be subject to various forms of chaos. The plan does not give a  logical solution to the issue of executive power to be part of the framework of legitimacy. Even by obviating[?] such factions are so integrated into other security services, and restructuring these devices.
Executive power has become an integral part of the security problem, and was an element in many of the clashes and security tensions... How can the security agencies operate with each other than under these ties?..
On the other hand, the plan did not set a specific mechanism to disarm the militia groups. It is not enough to have patrols in the streets or barriers here and there, supposed to be organized things fixed rules including the enactment of strict laws regarding who can bear arms. And without the elimination of security problems and the chaos of arms, no one in the world can help, including our Arab brothers who have taken the thankfully push towards reviving the political process in order to reach a just solution to the conflict, and international parties, which continue to provide assistance to the Palestinian people.

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