Why did the Palestinians reject Olmert's offer? - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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By redcarpet
#13176682
Because 94% of the WB isn't good enough. Sounds like a re-proposal of the ludicrous 2000 Camp David rubbish of a fragmented WB with Israeli controlled settlements scattered throughout it, and forcing the WB into 3 Palestinian cantons split from each other.

That's less than the two-state solution. Snobby mention of right of return of Palestinians to pre-1967 Israel(a "few thousand" doesn't cut it", no mention of prisoner release(including Pal. politicians), nothing about extent of Pal. sovereignty and no mention of reparations.

Just a re-run of the past.
By pugsville
#13176684
The basis I gather was swapping land in the west bank for land next to gaza (and the connecting link) I dont know much about the land around gaza, I didnt make it down there. Personally I not opposed to the general idea of expanding gaza, but I think if the swap land is going to away from the west bank a better than 1:1 as I guess the land is not of similar quality (I would have thought certianly not from the emotive aspect for both palestinains and israelis)

one answer

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1099714.html

One has to be careful when throwing the percentages around. There are different ways of drawing the 1967 borders and calculating percentages. There are a number of areas that one may say are part or not part of the west bank. The no mans land ara, some terrority around jersusalem and area of the dead sea. Access roads to settlements and the connecting link to gaza. One mans 97% is anothers 88%. There is always a fair bit of devil in the detail.

Also there was a fair bit of doubt about Olmert's ability to deliver, not the palestinians were that well organizsed.
User avatar
By War Angel
#13176718
Why did the Palestinians reject Olmert's offer?

Because they don't want a state of their own.
By chaostrivia
#13176879
I remember once watching an interview with Yossi Sarid, some like 5 years ago, when he said something like: when I said in 1968 that Israel must withdraw from the recently occupied land everybody was looking at me like I'm some kind of an insane lunatic. 35 years later, it is impossible to get elected as prime minister if you do not express your support of withdrawal from the WB, since majority of the Israelis support such a solution.

Even when I think of myself, in my stupid nationalist youth I was against any possibility of a Palestinian state, and today I am supporting it fully, and I was also an activist for the withdrawal from Gaza.

The Israelis are reasonable people. We react to the circumstances and try to be smart and not just "right".

The Palestinians do not possess this virtue. They rejected our right for our own country in ANY borders in 1948, in 1967, in 1978, in 1999, and still in 2009. This is due to their intolerant backward society, which does not allow the people's picture of reality to "evolve" and react to the circumstances.
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By clanko
#13176983
This tread is aimed at discussing this.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle ... 272425.stm

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite? ... 2FShowFull

The question is, why did the Palestinian MODERATES reject this offer?


You see Sebby, at what point do you honestly think that Olmert's own assertions and a J-Post article will be enough to paint a full picture of the diplomatic and accompanying record on such talks? I mean this in the most impartial sense, irrespective of any particular stance.

The Israelis are reasonable people. We react to the circumstances and try to be smart and not just "right".


I completely agree with the idea that there are many indications that Israeli public opinion is largely progressive on the most important issues in the Israel-Palestine conflict. In Israel, as with so many places (particularly Palestine), the problem is that the intransigent forces have the upper hand and continuously lead the country into prolonged and intensified situations which cause patriotism/war-fever to run rampant and confuse the issues.

The Palestinians do not possess this virtue. They rejected our right for our own country in ANY borders in 1948, in 1967, in 1978, in 1999, and still in 2009. This is due to their intolerant backward society, which does not allow the people's picture of reality to "evolve" and react to the circumstances.


You see Chaostrivia, there is such a thing as a wolf in sheep's clothing. You affirming your acceptance of a Palestinian state would surely involve the basic tenets of the realisation of such a position. Therefore, how you can refine the Palestinians' to one (unspecified position) when there are examples of huge concessions from the Palestinians side (if we take international law as our guide and not simply Israel's desires) throughout virtually every set of negotiations - I have to consign such sentiments to either ignorance or bias and double standards.
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By Nets
#13177032
Because the Arabs will never accept Jewish sovereignty over any part of the Middle East.
User avatar
By QatzelOk
#13177077
Nets wrote:the Arabs will never accept Jewish sovereignty

They don't have a tradition of powerful kings like Central Europe does.
User avatar
By clanko
#13177078
Because the Arabs will never accept Jewish sovereignty over any part of the Middle East.


I'm interested Nets, I usually appreciate your positions...I find them honest and methodological, which is precisely why I shall ask this question and ask you to explain it to me to the best of your abilities:

Do you equate being Jewish with being Palestinian, Iranian, Egyptian, Syrian, Jordanian or Lebanese?
By GandalfTheGrey
#13177497
What Clanko said.

This topic has been discussed previously and I'll repeat what I said before:

1. you can't judge the Palestinian rejection of a plan that we know nothing about - other than what we learnt from a couple of catch-phrases from a thoroughly discredited Israeli PM
2. Abbas stated clearly that he wanted to continue negotiations using Olmert's offer as a starting point - so saying the Palestinian's "rejected" the offer (based purely on Olmert's say so) is a complete lie.
By sebbysteiny
#13177680
Gandalf

2. Abbas stated clearly that he wanted to continue negotiations using Olmert's offer as a starting point - so saying the Palestinian's "rejected" the offer (based purely on Olmert's say so) is a complete lie


If true, that is an abolute disgrace. I think Abbas and anybody who supports this position should be thoroughly ashamed. The offer was made as an end point, a final peace proposal. Trying to claim it is a starting point rather than close to the end point of negotiations, when the offer was made at the end of negotiations not the beginning, is nothing short of dishonest theft aimed at torpedoing not just these negotiations but every peace process that will ever happen from now until forever.

To give a clear analogy of how awful this is, lets say you are buying a watch. You offer £500, I demand £1500. You offer £700, I demand £1000, you offer £900. I say, I've got to go for a bit, I'll be back. Then when I come back I say, okay I demand £1500 and I demand your offer of £900 be a starting point for our negotiations.

Except this isn't for a mere watch or a few quid. This is about peace in the middle east and the suffering of potentially millions of people for generations.

A total disgrace.



1. you can't judge the Palestinian rejection of a plan that we know nothing about - other than what we learnt from a couple of catch-phrases from a thoroughly discredited Israeli PM


It's a public offer and even if Olmert made it up, Abbas has not denied a word and could at any time accept that peace proposal. So I'm not impressed by this point. I think the Palestinians must be judged in the strongest possible way if the evidence strongly suggests the offer was one they should have accepted to end the conflict in the middle east by the two state solution.
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By redcarpet
#13177690
It's a public offer


It's been revealed to the public now, yeas. It wasn't made as a public offer, no.

This is about peace in the middle east


Everyone wants peace, Sebby. Even the sickest people in history. The question is what kind of peace? Like do both sides accept the terms?

A total disgrace


Wow, judgment before seeing the details. That's a first from you on this forum to my knowledge. Tsk, tsk!

if the evidence strongly suggests the offer was one they should have accepted to end the conflict in the middle east by the two state solution


And since no evidence is provided you can calm down Sebby, you'll have your chance to lie in defense of Israel soon enough no doubt.
By GandalfTheGrey
#13177711
If true, that is an abolute disgrace.


So your saying its an absolute disgrace that Abbas didn't accept without question an offer you know next to nothing about? You do realise that your attitude is wholely dependent on the assumption that Olmert's offer was perfectly fair and viable right? - Unless of course you really believe the Palestinians should accept an unfair and unviable offer. As we saw from Camp David, an offer of "94% of the west bank" sound appealing, but it can still prove to be an offer that is completely unviable for the Palestinians. In any case, its not as if Abbas rejected it out of hand, in fact he expressed his desire to flesh out the details and only asked for more time. This makes sense when you read more into the vague and haphazard way in which the offer was formulated:

... studying the details of the statements it is clear that the negotiations between Olmert and Abbas never went beyond touching the surface of the fundamental aspects of the conflict. In fact, most of the negotiations centered around only one of the five issues that need resolution, namely borders (though that does indirectly touch on another, i.e., settlements). According to Olmert, on the issues of Jerusalem and refugees there were either no negotiations or an Israeli refusal to include them on the table

http://www.bitterlemons.org/previous/bl ... .html#pal1

Not surprising at all then that Olmert wanted more time to understand and confirm the details.
User avatar
By Nets
#13177980
I'm interested Nets, I usually appreciate your positions...I find them honest and methodological, which is precisely why I shall ask this question and ask you to explain it to me to the best of your abilities:
Do you equate being Jewish with being Palestinian, Iranian, Egyptian, Syrian, Jordanian or Lebanese?


Clanko:

No, since I don't really see Lebanese, Palestinian, Jordanian, or Syrian as being anything other than political designations really. (Not going into the national/ethnic complexities of a cluster fuck like Lebanon), Palestinians and Jordanians are more or less identical in religion, culture, language, etc, the difference being a line on the map and differing interactions with the Jews over the last few decades. In short, no I do not view it as being Palestinian or Jordanian, but I do view it as similar to being Arab or Turkish.

I equate Jewishness not so much with the random "nationalities" in the Middle East, but more with the traditional "nations" of Europe. I see being Jewish more as being French or Greek or Polish. For example, I could become a French or Greek "citizen" but this would not really make me or my children French or Greek, these are nations of which I am not a member.

With this definition, I want Israel to be the State of the Jewish Nation ... not a theocracy, but I want Israel to be Jewish like Russia is "Russian" and Arab League Members are "Arab/Muslim" and Germany is "German". Germany can be considered the State of the German people without being racist, and no alarms are raised when Arab states constitutionally define themselves as having "Arab" and/or "Muslim" characters. Israel should be no different; it is a state (excluding Judea and Samaria which isn't really Israeli) which is just as Jewish demographically as Russia is Russian for example.

It is my sincere belief that the Arabs will never accept any state in the region which does not define itself as Arab.
By sebbysteiny
#13178069
Redcarpet

Your points are dealt with in my response to Gandolf.

Gandolf

So your saying its an absolute disgrace that Abbas didn't accept without question an offer you know next to nothing about? You do realise that your attitude is wholely dependent on the assumption that Olmert's offer was perfectly fair and viable right?


No, not at all. I'm saying it is an absolute disgrace that Abbas is asking that this offer, made after intense diplomatic negotiations, should now be the starting point for all subsequent negotiations. So it's the mannor in which Abbas has and is conducting these negotiations that is appauling.

This statement is in my understanding, dishonest, a major demonstration of bad faith on the part of the Palestinians and demonstrates that you simply cannot do business with Abbas.

Unless of course you really believe the Palestinians should accept an unfair and unviable offer. As we saw from Camp David, an offer of "94% of the west bank" sound appealing


This is a completely different subject and I'm not convinced at all that Camp David would have resulted in an "unviable" Palestinian state.

If it was, then I would absolutely support the Palestinians in their rejection of Camp David since a viable state is 100% essential. There seems to me to be no point at all in giving the Palesitnians a state if that state is not viable. And if Israel refuses to give the Palestinians such a viable state, then it would clear to me that Israel is not serious about making peace via the 2 state solution.

However, the facts as I understand them suggest that Israel has offered a viable state and the Palestinians are outright lying when they claim otherwise. Infact, because of this rejection of a viable state, I do not think the Palestinians have the right to suggest that their cause is in any way related to obtaining a viable state. If they wanted a viable state, they could have had one years ago. So I don't see how anybody can now honestly claim that the Palestinians are fighting for a a viable state. The reason they are fighting is by definition the reason they rejected Camp David and Olmert's offer and therefore has nothing at all to do with the establishment of a viable Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

I'm happy to go therough this in detail if you like incase I have made the error not you.

To begin, please answer the following question. 1) What was it about Camp David that would have resulted in the Palestinian state not being viable?

According to Olmert, on the issues of Jerusalem and refugees there were either no negotiations or an Israeli refusal to include them on the table


Olmert offered a symbolic and very limited "right of return", which means this statement is wrong. But more importantly, I don't see what the "right of return for refugees" is doing on the table at all. It is completely incompatible with the two state solution and should have been given up years ago asuming the Palestinians are serious about having peace by the two state solution. Infact, the single biggest reason that convinces me the Palestinians are not serious about peace is that, despite 10 years of negotiation where the right of return should have been dropped almost in its entirety on day 1, the Palestinians still talk about the importance of the full "right of return" as the only means of getting "justice, and we can't have peace without justice" and then they continue with a very dubious argument suggesting falsely that international law gives it to them. They even go so far as to pretend their main interest is a purist love of international law for its own sake, almost as if the total annihilation of Israel is an unfortunate coincidence that they havn't considered.

Further, when I ask real Palestinians why they want the right of return and have not dropped it, I never get a discussion about the suffering of refugees and the idea that this will somehow assist the refugees in dealing with life. Instead, I get a long sob story about the "injustice" of Israel's creation and how it is impossible for the Palestinians to "tollerate living next to a racist, collonialist entity". Ie, the right of return is justified by a refusal to recognise the Jewish claims to land therefore making the idea of "recognising Israel" completely empty. In every way, both in technical effect and the substantive reasons behind the Palestinian demand, the "right of return" is founded completely on a refusal to recognise Israel's existance and is therefore fundamnetally opposed to the two state solution.
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By clanko
#13178158
However, the facts as I understand them suggest that Israel has offered a viable state and the Palestinians are outright lying when they claim otherwise. Infact, because of this rejection of a viable state, I do not think the Palestinians have the right to suggest that their cause is in any way related to obtaining a viable state. If they wanted a viable state, they could have had one years ago.


I ask you to provide me with sufficient evidence and analysis to support this otherwise baseless statement that Israel has offered a viable state. Perhaps you find the language confusing and don't realise that the states 'viability' is entirely linked to its territorial congruity and complete self-determination. If you do realise this, then you have quite the task to demonstrate how this has been offered to the Palestinians.

If anything, the closest thing to the above was Taba and the basis outlined in the Clinton Parameters, no prize for guessing what happened to those, or the reaction from the Palestinian side.
By GandalfTheGrey
#13178226
No, not at all. I'm saying it is an absolute disgrace that Abbas is asking that this offer, made after intense diplomatic negotiations, should now be the starting point for all subsequent negotiations. So it's the mannor in which Abbas has and is conducting these negotiations that is appauling.


What are you talking about? All the man said was that he wanted more time to finalise the details. Would you rather he rejected it out of hand? Of course you completely ignore the concerns the Palestinians had with the offer: From all accounts, it seems to be a not much more than a re-badging of Barak's failed 2000 offer, and would involve the annexation of settlement territory which like Barak's offer, cut the WB into disontiguous islands. Indeed, Haaretz attributed the Palestinian rejection to the offer as "not provide[ing] for a contiguous Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital." Also, another "detail" that you probably don't hear much about - Olmert himself approved settlement expansion in Efrat and Ariel during this time, which would almost certainly be part of the territory that Israel annexed. Thus repeating the same trick as Barak in 2000 (who interestingly was also behind these latest approvals) when settlement expansion happened at record pace while the Camp David negotiations were taking place.

The more I read about the offer, the more it becomes apparent that it was a work in progress - and the evidence suggests that you are wrong about the negotiations being "intense" - when in fact they barely scratched the surface of the major issues (see previous quote from bitterlemons). Consider for example what was reported in a haaretz in April:

Olmert has agreed with Abbas that the negotiations over Jerusalem will be postponed. In doing so, he gave in to the Shas Party's threats that it would leave the coalition if Jerusalem were put on the negotiating table

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1010812.html

So thats several months after the original offer was proposed, and just a few weeks before Olmert's term expired. How you can claim to have an "end point" offer on the table while agreeing to "postpone" negotiations on one of the most fundamental sticking points is beyond me.

Clearly there was no comprehensive final offer, it was at best a draft proposal that needed significant work done to it. This was Olmert's desparate attempt to stamp his legacy. It was obviously rushed through to the extent that he didn't even consult his own people properly. As Abbas's spokesman put it, there was a "lack of seriousness." Olmert was only serious about getting something - anything - on the table, but the details were pretty much an afterthought.
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By Zionist Nationalist
#13178515
its not possible to give them 100% of the west bank and they know it but they just want the conflict to continune bicause their target is eventually "throw the jews to the sea"

west bank and gaza wont statisfy them they want all of israel.
By GandalfTheGrey
#13178516
its not possible to give them 100% of the west bank and they know it


Lets at least start with a contiguous block of land.
By sebbysteiny
#13178669
Clanko / Gandolf

I ask you to provide me with sufficient evidence and analysis to support this otherwise baseless statement that Israel has offered a viable state. Perhaps you find the language confusing and don't realise that the states 'viability' is entirely linked to its territorial congruity and complete self-determination.


This is great. If you want to discuss this further, I think we first need to establish the goal posts.

So please answer this question.

1) What is required for a 'viable' state?

Territorial congruity is clearly one factor. But then what amounts to territorial congruity because Gaza can never be connected to the West Bank by land, so if you make this too strict then it becomes impossible to offer 'territorial congriuity' to the Palestinians.

Please also answer my earlier question.

2) What was it about Camp David that would have resulted in the Palestinian state not being viable?

Can we also agree on this source being a fair summary of the negotiations?

http://www.mideastweb.org/lastmaps.htm

What are you talking about? All the man said was that he wanted more time to finalise the details. Would you rather he rejected it out of hand?


Straw man. What I actually was talking about was Abbas' public statements that Olmert's offer should now be the new starting point of all future negotiations even though this was infact close to an end point.

Indeed, Haaretz attributed the Palestinian rejection to the offer as "not provide[ing] for a contiguous Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital."


I don't care what Haaretz says, that's here say. What matters is what the Israelis offered the Palestinians, not what you say Haaratz say the Palestinians said the Palestinians rejected Camp David.

Also, another "detail" that you probably don't hear much about - Olmert himself approved settlement expansion in Efrat and Ariel during this time, which would almost certainly be part of the territory that Israel annexed.


So what? That doesn't change Omert's offer nor is it even wrong given that Ariel and Efrat are well within the parts of the West Bank that are virtually certain to be part of Israel not the Palestinian state. The Palestinians also built in Ramallah, which I believe is a moral equivilence.

The more I read about the offer, the more it becomes apparent that it was a work in progress


Whether or not it was a full complete offer, the Palestinians still rejected it, at least according tot eh sources I read. They didn't seek clarification, they didn't say "we can work with this but we need to flesh it out" they rejected it.

Olmert has agreed with Abbas that the negotiations over Jerusalem will be postponed. In doing so, he gave in to the Shas Party's threats that it would leave the coalition if Jerusalem were put on the negotiating table


Don't be such a numnut. This was a public official statement made to stop Shas, who had publically and officially threatened to leave the coallition, from leaving the coalition. But unofficially, which is what actually mattered, Jerusalem was discussed and Shas turned a blind eye. It was domestic politics and it is the standard way a lot of business is done in that region.

And it would have worked too if it wasn't for Abbas' absolutely rediculously stupid public statement claiming Israel had made many comprimises on Jerusalem. It's almost as if he deliberately torpedoed the process, since it was clear and obvious to everybody how important it was to be quiet about the Jeruaslem discussions. Sure enoughy, Shas' grass routes claimed Olmert was mocking Shas and Shas now needed to act or face public humiliation. So Olmert was forced to publically agree to postpone negotiations over Jerusalem, at least for a while until stability returned to the coalition. But even then it is likely Jerusalem was nevertheless discussed to some extent, though if it was not, it is entirely the Palestinians fault for trying to cause the collapse of an Israeli government that was talking to them.

I don't have time to find the exact article showing this but this was how I remember in real time it happened.
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