The End - 2000 to 2009

I really hope Barack Obama reads this article and listens to the words of Israeli’s current outgoing Prime Minister very carefully.  Olmert compltely shocked me with his words but then again everything is willed by Allah and this can happen easily by Allah’s permission.  Maybe the dua’s of the true believers are coming into play.  Surely Allah knows best and we all pray for peace.

Read the article here:

Roger Cohen: Olmert to Obama: Think again
NEW YORK: Imagine Ehud Olmert, the outgoing Israeli prime minister, saying this to Barack Obama:

The United States has been wrong to write Israel a blank check every year; wrong to turn a blind eye to the settlements in the West Bank; wrong not to be more explicit about the need to divide Jerusalem; wrong to equip us with weaponry so sophisticated we now believe military might is the answer to all our problems; and wrong in not helping us reach out to Syria. Your prospective secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, said during the campaign that ‘The United States stands with Israel, now and forever.’ Well, that’s not good enough. You need to stand against us sometimes so we can avoid the curse of eternal militarism.”

Perhaps that seems unimaginable. But Olmert has already said something close to this. In a frank September interview with the Israeli daily, Yedioth Ahronoth, reprinted this month by The New York Review of Books, the Israeli leader chose to exit with a mea culpa for his country’s policies.

Those policies have been encouraged by the Bush administration, whose war on terror was embraced by the Israeli government as a means to frame Israel’s confrontation with the Palestinians as part of the same struggle. No matter that Al Qaeda and the Palestinian national movement are distinct. The facile conflation got Bush in lock step with whatever Israel did.

So, by saying Israel has been wrong, Olmert was also saying the United States has been wrong, even if he never mentioned America.

What Olmert, who appears on the verge of indictment for fraud, did say in his “soul-searching on behalf of the nation of Israel” was that he had made “mistakes” as a former right-wing hard-liner and that military power will not deliver his 60-year-old country from existential anguish.

“We could contend with any of our enemies or against all our enemies combined and win,” Olmert said. “The question that I ask myself is, what happens when we win? First of all, we’d have to pay a painful price. And after we paid the price, what would we say to them? ‘Let’s talk.”‘

Olmert is now convinced of the need to settle with the Palestinians and Syria through giving up parts of Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. The fact such views come from a former Likudnik is a measure of how the political ground has shifted in Israel ahead of elections early next year.

I think Olmert’s words should be emblazoned on the wall of Hillary Clinton’s eighth-floor State Department office: “We must reach an agreement with the Palestinians, meaning a withdrawal from nearly all, if not all, of the territories. Some percentage of these territories would remain in our hands, but we must give the Palestinians the same percentage elsewhere – without this, there will be no peace.

Asked if this included a compromise on Jerusalem, Olmert said: “Including Jerusalem.

He also declared: “I’d like to know if there’s a serious person in the State of Israel who believes that we can make peace with the Syrians without, in the end, giving up the Golan Heights.” Those words should go up on Clinton’s wall, too.

For Olmert, “holding this or that hill” is “worthless” and Israeli generals deluded in clinging to them.

These ideas will sit uneasily with the pro-Israel constituency that Clinton has dealt with as a Democratic senator for the state of New York. Nobody’s been more solidly pro-Israel than she. But to be effective, she must become a tough taskmaster in the name of Olmert’s compromises. That is in the best long-term interest of Israel.

Clinton noted during the campaign that the United States could “obliterate” Iran if it launched a nuclear attack on Israel. Olmert chose different language. He noted “a megalomania and a loss of proportion in the things said here about Iran.” Once again, his words are instructive.

I am fiercely attached to Israel’s security. Everything depends, however, on how that security is viewed. Israel can continue humiliating the Palestinians, flaunting its power with a bully’s braggadocio. It will survive that way – and be desperately corroded from within. Neither domination nor demography favors Israel over time.

Its moral authority is already compromised by a 41-year occupation. The Diaspora Jew did not go to Zion to build the Jew among nations.

This is the reality behind Olmert’s warning that “we have a window of opportunity – a short amount of time.” This is the reality behind his appeal to “designate a final and exact borderline between us and the Palestinians.”

For that, Palestinians must also compromise, especially on the right of return, and they must renounce terrorism. Return must essentially mean return to a new and viable Palestinian state.

Getting to such a two-state deal at, or close to, the 1967 borders will require concerted U.S. involvement from Day One of the Obama administration. Its tone should be one of tough love, with the emphasis on tough.

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  • 11 Responses for "Ehud Olmert: “We must reach an agreement with the Palestinians, meaning a withdrawal from nearly all, if not all, of the territories.”"

    1. genieyclo December 1st, 2008 at 12:32 pm

      Interesting that he’s taking this line when he’s leaving, as did Sharon when he was leaving, and Clinton, and now even Bush!

    2. Khaled December 1st, 2008 at 12:42 pm

      Why is it that all leaders say these things when they’re leaving the office?

    3. genieyclo December 1st, 2008 at 2:08 pm

      @Khaled because they all feel the guilt in knowing what they’ve done to the people of Palestine! They are trying to get redemption for the evil they caused and helped fuel.

    4. aamer khan December 1st, 2008 at 3:23 pm

      too little too late?

      it’s never too late.

    5. Yousuf December 1st, 2008 at 7:38 pm

      This is great, but he’s LEAVING. Let’s hope George W. Bush loses all his friends and is the only one in the world who wants Israel to stay… but Bush is also LEAVING!!!

    6. darthvaider December 1st, 2008 at 11:46 pm

      it’s very easy for him to make this statement now that he’s out of office. Although he ‘resigned’, its well known that suspicions of corruption and public pressure forced him to resign.

    7. Dawud Israel December 2nd, 2008 at 2:04 am

      No, they know that this is the only way and that is it inevitable. Other Israelis have been discussing this notion as well.

      Because they want to survive as a people and not have to constantly struggle or fear another Holocaust. They have every right to be afraid, but I think Jews want peace and just to live in peace and they realize the only way way is to bring about peace now.

      This is my belief: The Jews are going to be the ones that will bring peace to the Palestinian people. Not just because Muslims are incompetent of doing so (and Jews know this) or Arab/Muslim leaders have their own vested interests, but also because it is in the interest of the Jewish people and their survival, so they MUST do it, and they know this.

    8. David December 2nd, 2008 at 2:01 pm

      How long would it take to complete such a deal? It would be nice to see an actual detailed plan……even if the goal can’t be accomplished over night.

    9. darthvaider December 3rd, 2008 at 12:37 am

      a deal huh….kind of like the Annapolis Treaty/Accord/Agreement?

    10. David December 3rd, 2008 at 4:11 am

      Yeah, who knows,

      Started off as the land of botched deals

      followed by new deals

      and soon the new old deals

    11. Hussein December 6th, 2008 at 7:18 pm

      salaams

      Israel is militarised and force creats an equal reaction!their power is eroding and the US is broke

      hussein

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