A confidant of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Monday that his government would support a division of Jerusalem, which is reportedly a key component of an Israeli-Palestinian declaration to be made at a U.S.-sponsored Mideast peace conference next month.
As part of recent negotiations between the sides, Deputy Vice Prime Minister Haim Ramon has proposed turning over many of the Arab neighborhoods of east Jerusalem to the Palestinians. Ramon said the Palestinians could establish the capital of a future state in the sector of the city, which Israel captured from Jordan in the 1967 Mideast war.
In return, Israel would receive the recognition of the international community, including Arab states, of its sovereignty over Jewish neighborhoods and the existence of its capital there, Ramon said.
On Monday Ramon said even hawkish elements of Olmert’s coalition, like Cabinet Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu Party, would back such an Israeli concession. The centrist Labor Party would also support the proposal, Ramon said.
One of the most shameful legacies of the Bush Administration has been its refusal to do anything to resolve the problems in Israel. There were some half-hearted efforts at the beginning – remember the “road map?” – but essentially, all has been quiet on the Chimp front for the entirety of his presidency. But as the article suggests, the Deciderer has changed his strategy. The United States has finally become involved, and all of a sudden, progress appears to be happening.
If you really want to fight a “global war on terrorism,” get to the root cause. With the exception of Al-Qaeda, most of the groups we designate as terrorists – Hamas, Hezbollah, etc. – are active because of the existence and actions of the Israeli government. Whatever side you are on in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, resolving it takes the impetus for these groups away. A sane administration would realize that.
But we all know that an administration that prides itself in not talking to “evildoers,” that is seriously considering using nuclear weapons on a country that has not attacked us, that invades and occupies countries for their natural resources, that exists mostly to move wealth from the poorest to the richest in America…well, how long is it till 2009 again?