Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is a bit like Wiley Coyote in those old cartoons. Remeber how he would chase that road runner to the end of a cliff, start to fall and,. just at the last minute he would grab on to a twig for dear life. Eventually the twig and coyote would tumble to the ground. Winograd has pushed Olmert off the cliff , he is desperately reaching out for something to hang onto. Unfortunately he is trying to hang on to the branch in the left side of the party and one-sided concessions. In the end will Olmert bring the branch of Kadima down with him, or will it be Israel’s entire Etz Chayim?
PM: ‘We’re ready to invite Arab leaders without preconditions’
“We are ready to come and to invite” Arab leaders “without preconditions from us or their side,” Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told reporters Tuesday after arriving in Petra for talks with Jordan’s King Abdullah II, expressing Israel’s readiness to discuss the Arab peace initiative and find ways to implement the plan.
Olmert later told a conference involving Nobel Laureates and Israeli and Arab youth on ways to solve conflicts in the Mideast that his country was “ready to sit down and talk about it carefully” and was willing to listen to Arab views.
“We heard about the Arab peace initiative and we say come and present it to us. You want to talk to us about it, we are ready to sit down and talk about it carefully,” he told the conference in the ancient city.
Describing the plan as “very interesting,” Olmert said “we are ready to cooperate to find the appropriate manner to implement it. If the Arab countries want to present their peace initiative, we will be more than happy to sit down and listen carefully.”
Olmert invited the “22 leaders of the Arab nations that are ready to make that kind of peace with Israel, to come to Israel, wherever they want and to sit down with us and start talk and present their ideas.”
He added that if they were willing to invite him somewhere for talks, then “I’m ready to come.”
Olmert went on to say that “if Hamas agrees to abide by the Quartet’s conditions we will agree to sit with them around the negotiating table,”, adding, however, that Hamas was “an obstacle to peace since it refuses to recognize Israel.”
Despite Olmert’s optimism, the Palestinians indicated it would take time to set up a meeting between Olmert and Abbas.
“I think it will take time before they meet again. The Israelis are not ready. All we’ve been told it that they are willing to prepare for the next meeting,” Palestinian Authority spokesman Nabil Abu Rdeneh said.
“The peace process is frozen, but what we are looking for is seeing a real serious step from the Israeli side to sit at the table to negotiate what the roads map and the Arab peace initiative are calling for,” Rdeneh added.
Olmert and Abdullah held rare high-level talks on the sidelines of the conference but there were no immediate reports on the results of the meeting.
The conference in Petra, a city carved into rose-red stone and built by the Nabataean culture some 2,000 years ago, was hosted jointly by the King Abdullah II Fund for Development and the New York-based Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity.
Four Israeli schoolchildren hand picked by their government joined Palestinian students and youth from Kuwait, Morocco, Jordan and Egypt