PA Demands Kotel as Failed Taba Accords Revived
by Hana Levi Julian
(IsraelNN.com) Israel and the Palestinian Authority have agreed to take a second look at the principles discussed during the January 2001 Taba Summit between then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak and then-Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said this week that he has accepted the principles reached during the negotiations but that had not been formalized in a final document, as a basis for current negotiations, according to an unnamed PA official quoted by the Maariv newspaper.
The source said that the PA has also agreed to the same principles as a basis for talks but has not formulated that in a formal manner.
“The problem is that Olmert has internal opposition from Barak,” said the source referring to the former PM who recently returned to politics and became Defense Minister.
“The gaps between Olmert and Abu Mazen are not large,” he said. “In one-on-one talks with Abu Mazen, Olmert has already agreed to Taba but he has not announced this formally.” He predicted that an agreement of principles would be reached by the time of the Mideast summit scheduled for November 26 in Annapolis, Maryland.
PA “Accepts”, but Demands Jews Throw on ‘Kotel’
PA negotiator Adnan Husseini, a senior advisor the PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, said the PA now accepts the Taba agreement that Arafat turned down six years ago, according to Voice of Israel government radio.
However, he rejected Israeli sovereignty over the Western Wall as well as the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Givat Ze’ev and Ma’aleh Adumim.
Husseini said Thursday night that the Western Wall “is part of Islamic heritage that cannot be given up, and it must be under Muslim control.” He also insisted that the entire Old City belongs to the Muslims.
Abbas earlier had agreed that a land swap would allow Israel to retain sovereignty over the Jewish Quarter and the Western Wall in the Old City.
Summary of Taba Accords:
The concessions by Israel in Taba six years ago included:
• Jerusalem would be designated as an open city, with Israeli sovereignty over the Western Wall and Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem and PA sovereignty over Arab neighborhoods in the city. Each side would define their part of Jerusalem as its capital. The issue of the Temple Mount had not been resolved and the PA has now demanded the Western Wall as well.
• Israel agreed to withdrawal from Judea and Samaria over a 36-month period and withdrawal from the Jordan Valley over an additional 36-month period, to be replaced by an international force. Arafat rejected these ideas.
• Israel proposed handing over blocs of land occupied by Arab residents, and retaining so-called “settlement blocs” within Judea and Samaria.. Arafat rejected this.
• Israel agreed to withdraw from 97 percent of its territory restored in the 1967 Six-Day War. Arafat rejected this too.
• Israel agreed to a limited so-called Right of Return, which would allow some 5,000 foreign Arab descendants of those who fled the country during the 1948 War of Independence. Barak proposed that the Arabs be allowed to immigrate (a) to Israel, (b) to Israeli swapped territory or (c) to the PA state. A second proposal offered to Arafat included (a) rehabilitation and relocation within the current Arab host country or (b) relocation to a third country. Arafat rejected these proposals.
• Both sides agreed to phase out the UNRWA agency that administered internationally-funded programs among the PA population, within five years.
• Both sides agreed the PA state would have sovereignty over its airspace.
• Both sides were willing to make a commitment to fight terror and cooperate on security issues.
• Both sides agreed to abide by United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 and that the June 1967 lines would become the basis for permanent borders between Israel and the new PA state.
background story from One Jerusalem: PA Advisor Wants More Of Jerusalem
I guess in the eyes of the main-stream or as Rush calls it the "drive-by media", acceptance of the ridiculous conditions for "peace" set at Taba represents further evidence that the PA is the moderate negotiating partner vis a vis Hamas which would never accept such "limited" conditions.
The provisions of the Taba plan would leave Israel hardly stronger or strategically better off but with an arab terror organization in control of 97% of Samaria, Judea and Gaza (not mentioned directly) including control of the airspace. Why the insistence of maintaining seemingly endless talks with these people raises questions as to the sanity of the Israeli side?
Jerusalem will always be, not a point of contention as the conventional wisdom crowd would have you believe, but a beacon of hope and strength for the Jews. Jerusalem is indeed the single issue which SHOULD unite all Jews and will prevent any major accord with the arabians, unless the arabians give up claims to the Jewish holy city. Organizing to oppose the government's negotiating strategy and to remind these wayward and rebellious Jews that in the words of MBD "Jerusalem is not for sale" is underway drawing heavy weights such as Rav. Elyashiv (see story).
The pali cause, for what its worth will not be advanced when their
The Jewish people must unite over the issue of Jerusalem. The Israeli electorate must unite over the disposal of the morally and spiritually failed Olmert government. Shas and Yisroel Beitenu are the empowering and enabling Olmert to continue this reckless abandonment of the land and thereby ancient Jewish dreams and both parties' leaderships should be held accountable.
In closing, here are some comments by the late Lubavitcher Rebbe ZTL, in response to a letter he received from 1970 concerning Jerusalem. Olmert is very lucky he didn't have to contend with the Rebbe.
Jerusalem Is Only For Am Yisrael
November 20, 1970
Concerning your letter dealing with my words regarding Jerusalem, which were challenged, saying that there is no basis for what I said ... I only wish it were true. But to my sorrow, the present situation clearly refutes the contention that there is no basis for my words. What aggravates this impression is that they (the Israeli Government) are numbing public opinion — with the usual slogans. I warned about this also, and they know that the only thing which is holding them (the Israeli leaders) back now is lack of convincing propaganda, which will satisfy the Jewish masses. Now with regard to the politicians, they have already toyed with many different phraseologies, among them one which I mentioned (they want to turn The City of the Great King into “The City of Three Kings”).
There is presently “no King over the Jewish people, and each man does according to what is right in his eyes,” since we are, after all, living in a democratic society. [They will then decide the issue of Jerusalem] as “three partners,” in order of quantity, of course, which is the deciding factor in a democracy; first come the Christians, then the Muslims, and only then ... (Yesterday, the most important newspaper here, the New York Times, printed the latest approach, which was taken from the words of the Foreign Minister in the name of the Government: “It is the desire of the Israeli Government to retain “political control” over Jerusalem, and not to compromise on places upon which Israel’s security depend, like the Golan Heights and certain other points on the West Bank of the Jordan.” This is sufficient evidence for whoever understands.)
May it be G-d’s Will that in approaching the month of redemption, the month of Kislev, we should be saved — even before the coming of Moshiach — from the modern-day Hellenists. Through the spreading of the wellsprings of Chassidus, which is the central theme of the holiday of redemption Yud-Tes Kislev, each individual will light flames using pure oil, which has not been tampered with by the hand of a stranger, or even lit by one, illuminating both the house and the outside world simultaneously, in an increasing and illuminating manner.
Respectfully, with blessings for true health
and good news in all mentioned here
and with blessings of Mazal Tov
on the birth of your grandchild,
may he live and be well,
/Signed: Menachem Schneerson/