Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Annapolis conference doomed

From Ynet News, 16/10/07, by Yitzhak Benhorin:

WASHINGTON – In a rare display of bipartisanship, members of Israel's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee from both sides of the political spectrum declared the upcoming Annapolis peace conference doomed.

The unanimous opinion was voiced by four leading MKs currently visiting Washington for a series of high-ranking meetings prior to the conference......

Following the meeting with Jeffrey, MK Yossi Beilin (Meretz) said that the Americans were "creating a situation wherein failure in Annapolis may lead to disaster. It would have been possible for bilateral talks between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to continue. If after seven years of no negotiations at all, this summit fails – it could truly bring about catastrophe.

Failure, Beilin said, would also spell out the end of Abbas' rule and "give an unbelievable boost to Hamas' strength."....

'We can't ignore what happened in Gaza'
Meanwhile MK Yuval Steinitz (Likud) said he was also concerned about a possible deterioration of the situation after Annapolis. The US is ignoring the reality on the ground, he said, adding that a non-viable agreement would be worse than no agreement at all.

He warned against "signing an agreement with Abbas on Judea and Samaria while ignoring everything that has happened in Gaza over the last two years – we gave up everything and got an Iranian-backed Palestinian army in return."

Steinitz accused the US of "playing with fire when it comes to Jerusalem. It's difficult enough as it is to control the city, there are constant attempts to turn the Temple Mount into ground zero for all religious wars. Israeli control over East Jerusalem is the only thing preventing a bloodbath and religious war that could ignite the entire Muslim world.

"If Annapolis fails it would be bad. If Annapolis succeeds we fear that once against Israel will give up everything and receive nothing in return." ....

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