Arab leaders have revived a five-year-old peace plan that offers Israel normal ties with all Arab countries in return for the withdrawal from land seized in the 1967 war, the creation of a Palestinian state and a "just solution" for Palestinians displaced in 1948 with Israel's creation. Saudi Arabia said that Israel must first accept the Arab peace initiative before it would agree to any direct talks with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Olmert has called for a summit with the Saudis in order to discuss the peace process, following an Arab League decision to re-launch a 2002 peace initiative that calls for an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 boundaries and a just and agreed solution to the refugee problem.
A Saudi source told The Associated Press that Israel must accept the proposal "before any meeting is considered." The source's comments, given on condition of anonymity, were the first Saudi response to the prime minister's offer. Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni have expressed reservations regarding several of the proposal's clauses, specifically the clause regarding the refugee issue, although have said the initiative contains many positive elements. It has been previously reported that Saudi Arabia is holding secret contacts with Israeli officials, but is refusing public talks.
The foreign ministers of 10 Arab states will met in Cairo and called on Israel to accept the peace initiative approved at the Arab League summit in Riyadh. The foreign ministers "will call on the government of Israel and on all Israelis to accept the Arab peace initiative and use the existing opportunity to renew the direct negotiations on all tracks," Moussa was quoted as saying. The 10 countries that represented are members of the Committee for Furthering the Arab Peace Initiative. Moussa heads the committee, which includes Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Syria, Lebanon, Qatar, Tunisia, Bahrain and the PLO.
According to the Arab press, the purpose of the conference was to offer Israel normalization in relations in return for a withdrawal to the 1967 lines. Part of the program would include the establishment of a Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem.
The Saudi Arabian government announced that it was now Israel's responsibility to undertake steps that would enable progress in contacts with Arab states. "First and foremost, Israel must recognize that peace requires that it end its continued and inhuman attacks against the Palestinian people," the Saudi statement read.
The most ridiculous item of the news goes to the Israeli foreign minister, Tzipi Livni. “It’s impossible for Israel to accept the Arab peace initiative in its current version”, Livni told reporters. The Arab initiative plan, which was adopted by the Arab League at a summit in 2002, would require the Arab world to normalize ties with Israel in exchange for a full withdrawal from Arab land occupied since 1967 and the establishment of a Palestinian state.
She added; “Therefore the dream of returning to the 1967 borders should not be considered the vision of a viable Palestinian state. That should be subject to negotiations,”. With the current settlement activities over the occupied territories, hopefully the Palestinians will have some land to negotiate about before the negotiation ends.
To support her incoherent thoughts, the PM hopeful cited a fact that was hidden from all of us “the dummies” and that is “a Palestinian state did not exist in 1967, nor were the West Bank and the Gaza Strip connected.” Of course, she did not explain why the Palestinian state did not exist in the first place, neither she mentioned the UN resolutions 242, 383 both called for Israel to withdraw from the land that it occupied in 1967.
Jordan’s King Abdullah II said, “Israel must choose between mentality of ‘Israel the fortresses or ‘living in peace and security with its neighbors.’ The Arab Initiative which allows the Palestinian to have an independent state over the West Bank and Gaza (only 22% of the land) might be the last offer on the table that we Arabs have. If it is turned down then Israel has two options. First keep occupying the land and dealing with Hamas, and Hezbollah. An option that was proven last summer to be expensive and humiliating one.
The second option is to stable a bi-ethnic democratic state instead of a Jewish state; a one that grant the Palestinians the full rights. Interestingly, many moderate Palestinians seem lately to be moving toward that goal by attempting to relive the “Black South Africans” experience to reject violence as an option and attempt to change the regime inside out rather than outside in. Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister, Olmert acknowledged the efforts made at the Arab summit and has said he is willing to meet with Arab leaders in order to discuss a Saudi peace initiative aimed at resolving the conflict in the Middle East. "I think the readiness to accept Israel as a fact and to debate the terms of a future solution is a step that I cannot help but appreciate," Olmert said: "Israel is at a critical crossroads of important decisions. He added.