Olmert to J Street: Abbas a partner for peace (YNetNews.Com -Yedioth Internet) Yitzhak Benhorin Published: 03.27.12, 11:56)
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At liberal advocacy group´s gala dinner, former PM says return to pre-
1967 borders, coupled with land swaps only way to achieve peace. On
Iran: Let global powers lead anti-nuke campaign
WASHINGTON - "Don’t tell me there is no partner. There is a partner.
(Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas) wants peace with Israel,"
former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said during a J Street gala dinner
The former Israeli premier said Abbas was against terror during the
Yasser Arafat era and was in favor of peace negotiations during Ariel
Sharon´s tenure as prime minister, as well as during his own.
"It may not be the same peace we want, but that’s why we negotiate,"
he said, but added "when we try to look at the entire picture, no one
should relieve the Palestinians from their responsibilities."
Olmert criticized current Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu over the
stalled peace process, saying that any future peace agreement with
the Palestinians will be based on what he had offered to Abbas in
2008 – a return to the pre-1967 borders with land swaps. There is no
alternative to this solution, Olmert claimed.
The former PM, who faces a series of indictments and court hearings
on charges of bribery and abusing public trust, rejected the
Netanyahu government´s demand for Palestinian recognition of Israel
as a Jewish state and reiterated his proposal for dividing Jerusalem.
He said the capital should be divided in such a way that Israel would
maintain control over its Jewish neighborhoods, the Palestinians
would control the Arab areas, while the so-called "Holy Basin" -
which includes the area of the Temple Mount, the Mount of Olives,
Mount Zion and a variety of Christian holy sites - would be
administered by Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the Palestinians, Israel and
Turning his attention to the Iranian threat, Olmert said Israel must
allow the world´s superpowers to lead the campaign against Tehran´s
nuclear program, but stressed that Israel must not relinquish any
option and ought to build capacities to deal with the situation in
the event that "we’ll have to secure the existence of the state of
Israel – as a last resort, not the first one." (Copyright 2012 ©
Yedioth Internet 03/27/12)
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