Wednesday, October 13, 2010

New chapter in 'Freeze soap': PA ready to recognize Israel 'as whatever' state within borders of '67

Palestine: little, less, lost?

Senior Palestine Liberation Organization official Yasser Abed Rabbo said on Wednesday that the Palestinians will be willing to recognize the State of Israel in any way that it desires, if the Americans would only present a map of the future Palestinian state that includes all of the territories captured in 1967, including East Jerusalem.
In response to U.S. State Department Spokesman Phillip Crowley's statement on Tuesday night that the Palestinians should respond to the Israeli demand, Abed Rabbo told Haaretz, "We want to receive a map of the State of Israel which Israel wants us to accept."
"If the map will be based on the 1967 borders and will not include our land, our houses and East Jerusalem, we will be willing to recognize Israel according to the formulation of the government within the hour," added Rabbo.
Abed Rabbo continued, "It is important for us to know where are the borders of Israel and where are the borders of Palestine. Any formulation the Americans present – even asking us to call Israel the 'Chinese State' – we will agree to it, as long as we receive the 1967 borders. We have recognized Israel in the past, but Israel has not recognized the Palestinian state."

Abed Rabbo's remarks were in reaction to a statement of U.S. State Department spokesman Jim Crowley who on Tueday said that the US was still trying to find a formula to overcome the settlements impasse and to allow the two sides to resume direct negotiations. He made clear that Washington wanted the Palestinians to make some kind of counter-proposal to the proposal Israeli prime minister Netanyahu had made, namely that Israel would consider an extension of two months of the building freeze in the settlements on the West Bank, if the PA would recognize Israel as a Jewish state. 'Prime Minister Netanyahu has offered his thoughts on both what he's willing to contribute to the process, what he thinks he needs for his people out of the process, we would hope that the Palestinians would do the same thing, Crowley told reporters. He also offered support for Netanyahu's stance, saying the United States regarded Israel as a Jewish state. 'We recognize that Israel, you know, is a -- as it says itself -- is a Jewish state,' Crowley said.

And so the Settlement Freeze Soap is continued. It started with US-promises of a basket full of goodies for Israel if it was willing to continue the freeze for another 60 days. Next Bibi tried to bribe his minister of Foreign Affairs, Lieberman, in coming aboard by backing a draft law to make an oath of loyalty to the 'Jewish and democratic State Israel' compulsory for all non-Jews who wish to obtain Israeli citizenship. The US pressurized the Arab Ligue in the meantime to give the US one more month to try to find a formula to end the impasse. After that there was Netanyahu's 'offer' to the Palestinians,
which was rejected out off hand by the Palestinians. And the 'next Act' in this comedy series  was Crowley's demand that the Palestinians make 'some kind of counter proposal' to Netanyahu. We'll see what's next.
(Will be continued) 

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