Beleaguered DEFENSE Minister Amir Peretz, once again decided to confuse things by making a Major Foreign Policy speech. Now granted –this is a sticky situation, he is fighting to retain the party leadership, then make a policy paper that gives generalizations. But this guy decides to present a detailed new peace plan that runs contrary to the strategy of the government. This is not the first time this has happened. Someone’s got to tell this man that he is DEFENSE Minister NOT FOREIGN Minister.
Peretz has been a horrible Defense Minister, part of the team that refused to try to win the war in Lebanon, and has bungled this “Cease-Fire War.” What makes him think that he could convince people that he would be better as Prime Minister? He should not try to act as the government spokesman on foriegn policy. Especially because his policy is “Hey Lets Just Sell-Out to the terrorists”
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Defense Minister Amir Peretz said during a Labor faction meeting that “political stalemate has set in. We need a new road map that will combine the Saudi initiative and the current Roadmap’s guidelines regarding the Palestinian problem.” The defense minister added that he supports the launching of peace negotiations with Syria. “The price tag (for peace) is known,” he said.
The defense minister presented to his faction members his diplomatic initiative, which is founded on a commitment to provide the Palestinian public with a realistic diplomatic horizon, in order to strengthen the moderate camp within the PA. “Any stalemate will embolden the extremists,” Peretz said, stressing that his plan does not include conceding areas in Israel that were defined as Israeli regions.
Peretz’s plan, “to combine the Saudi initiative with the road map”, is comprised of three phases: Stabilizing the economic and security situation, general negotiation on a permanent solution and extension of Palestinian sovereignty, and specific negotiation regarding the details of the permanent solution.
Peretz’s comments came one day after former Prime Minister Ehud Barak announced his candidacy for Labor Party chairmanship.
In the framework [Peretz’s] of phase A, kidnapped solider Gilad Shalit will be released in exchange for Palestinian prisoners. In addition, the ceasefire will be founded on preventive operations by Palestinian security forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and on Palestinian-Israeli coordination [Abbas is ordering the missile fire he is going to stop because YOU ASK].
This stage is set to bring about an improvement in the life of the Palestinians and a revival of the economic activity in the PA, through the implementation of the “Access and Crossings Agreement.” Additionally, illegal outposts that were built after March 2001 will be evacuated.
Phase B of the plan focuses on negotiations over a permanent agreement and extending the Palestinian sovereignty. During this stage, Israel will negotiate with Abbas, or any other official Palestinian representative willing to recognize the Quartet’s conditions. [Because the Quartet includes the EU and the UN and we know how neutral they are?]
The negotiations will include, among other things, talks about security and customs arrangement in the Gaza port. The principles agreed upon will be presented to a multinational Arab committee, which will grant them its support.
The objective of the negotiations will be to achieve a two-state solution in the spirit of President Bush’s vision and based on the Saudi initiative.
Phase C of the plan is comprised of specific negotiations regarding the permanent plan, that will be derived from the general ideas consolidated in Phase B. This phase is longer than the other two phases and is planned for 18 months.
At the end of the last phase: Implementation of the agreement and the creation of a Palestinian state. The process will continue a number of years, with the support of the international community.
Peretz wants a new roadmap…lets give him one. A road map that will show him the way home, and lets tell him to stay there.