Hey, when push comes to shove maybe Ehud Olmert isn’t going to sell Israel down the river. The word is that if the GUT (Government of Unified Terrorists) between Hamas and Fatah does not recognize Israel, repudiate terrorism and accept previous Palestinian-Israeli government deals, Israel would have to re-evaluate its relationship with the terror kingpin Abbas. Of course when you are talking about Olmert “re-evaluate” could mean more one-sided concessions, but we can dream can’t we?
Israel may re-evaluate ties to Abbas
by HERB KEINON, THE JERUSALEM POST Feb. 7, 2007
Israel is concerned that Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, in his eagerness to set up a unity government, may be willing to establish one that does not meet the international community’s three benchmarks, something that could fundamentally change Israel’s relationship with Abbas.
Israel’s concerns on this matter have been articulated to leading players in the international community, The Jerusalem Post has learned. If Abbas accepts a government that doesn’t recognize Israel, forswear terrorism or accept previous Palestinian-Israeli government, then – in the eyes of senior officials in Jerusalem – Israel would have to re-evaluate its relationship with him. Although it is premature at this point to speculate, some officials in Jerusalem were speculating that were Abbas to agree to a government that does not accept the three principles, it might jeopardize the planned trilateral Olmert, Abbas, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice meeting planned for February 19.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, meanwhile, met Wednesday afternoon with visiting British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett who, according to Israeli sources, reiterated Britain’s firm commitment to the need of any Palestinian unity government to accept the three principles. According to a statement Olmert’s office released after the meeting, Beckett praised Israel for its policy of restraint in Gaza, as well as the steps Israel has taken to ease restrictions at the border crossings and to facilitate the transfer of goods. Beckett and Olmert also discussed Iran, with Olmert reiterating that he believes that with effective sanctions – including sanctions that a number of countries are taking outside of the United Nations framework – it might still be possible to keep Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. According to the statement, the two leaders agreed it was still possible to use non-military means to keep Iran from achieving a nuclear capability.
Olmert also raised with Beckett the issue of arrest warrants taken out in Britain against Israeli officers, and said there was a need for quick British legislation to prevent this from happening. Beckett was quoted as saying that her government was aware of the problem and was working as hard as it could to change the legislation.