I just got through with a conference with Miri Eisin, Foreign Press Spokeswoman for Israeli PM Ehud Olmert' office, and I have more question than answers, I'm sorry to say. I could not hear the questions being asked of her after her initial press conference, so it may just be a misunderstanding.
There was a meeting yesterday with President Mubarak, PM Abbas, King (or President) Abdullah from Jordan and PM Olmert in the efforts of taking an opportunity out of this madness (the civil war in the Gaza Strip) and turning it into a chance to move forward with the 2 state solution. She kept repeating that PM Olmert, she and the others were not going to allow the terrorists to define them, but that the moderates were going to take control and define themselves and their destiny.
They were going to move forward-cautiously of course-with diplomacy. It is going to be a process with a vision of peace at the end of the rainbow. What happened in Gaza was horrific, but this opens the door to opportunity and they are going to walk through it.
There are three main articles that came up. They are:
1. Abbas fired Hamas' elected officials from the government, and now Abbas is working with an emergency government.She also talked about the atmosphere produced so the talks could move forward. She stated that it would be a good idea to widen the scope of the dialogue. They are going to meet again next month, since the new emergency government is only around 10 days old.
2. There will be 250 Arab prisoners, some will be Fatah, released from Israels prisons. The criteria for their release will be that they must not have blood on their hands and they must admit that Israel is NOT the cause of the suffering for the Arabs in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. They had brought it on by themselves by their own actions, their own choices, their own doing (or lack thereof).
3. Abbas has said to the Arabic world, in Arabic (very important because they sometimes say one thing in English and another in Arabic) that he renounced the violence of Hamas, he believed in a 2 state solution living side by side with Israel in peace, and he recognizes Israel. (I'm not sure of the last one. I can hardly read my notes!)
Then the questions started. I could not hear the questions, but I could hear the answers. Maybe that is where the confusion comes. The first answer was indeed unique. For the first time, there were no, "Yes, BUT's" in their conversation.
Then she said they would give access to the West Bank! This way they could have freedom of movement. (Do you know who else could have freedom of movement, dear?) They also recognize the emergency government as the ruling government. (How long have we been called occupiers, although the government is in Iraq is elected?) However, access and free movement are very important to human beings. (I just pray it is not a mistake.)
There shall never be a compromise with terrorists such as Hamas and others. As to the money that has been held back due to the Hamas government, that shall be released just as soon as they can both agree on a way that is best for the people's humanitarian needs. There are dozens of truckloads per day being delivered everyday, but the Left press will not write about this. (It bothers me that facts are not disclosed, no matter what the situation.) Also, they both want to make sure the money goes to the moderates and not to the terrorists.
Later in the questioning period, they declared there would not be any benchmarks, ultimatums, or the such. This is what people looking in from the outside do not understand. You cannot do such a thing, especially with a government that is only 10 days old!
At the meeting yesterday, Mubarrak said that what Hamas did was create 'a coup'. Abbas agreed, basically, because he said the same thing at a later date. Abbas also declared it was totally unacceptable. However, it is too soon to expect any elections in the West Bank.
There were questions about trust (many questions). The answer was rather usual. Trust must be built, even if it is with your enemies of old. What alternative is there? (Fight back?)
Iran was mentioned, Syria was mentioned, Russia was mentioned, and I have no answers for you. My fault. I was writing as fast as I could! I did happen to catch one comment. Israel has an economy that surpasses that of the EU! I wish I knew those numbers. Now that's something new I could really sink my teeth into.
Let us pray for Israel and her neighbors countrymen and women. (Notice I did not say governments?) Pray for peace, understanding, forgiveness and readiness.Let us also pray that Israel realizes that the more the give, the more the Arabs will consider this weakness. I know most of the Israelis have hearts of peace, and they want the war to stop. Sometimes you have to have take other paths, sometimes you don't. Let us pray this is one of those times you don't, but if it is? Let us pray they have the chutzpah! (Yes, I am an Israel supporter. You can't even sue me! Hahaha.)
H/t: Israel Project.