Abbas Olmert 311.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Sunday’s leaks of Palestinian documents regarding concessions offered by former
prime minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in
their diplomatic negotiations reinforced the positions of politicians across the
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Politicians on the Left said the documents proved a
peace agreement was achievable, while the Right said they indicated the gaps
between the two sides were unbridgeable.
Sources close to Kadima leader
Tzipi Livni said the documents revealed that she was a tough
“I maintained the discrete nature of the negotiations for
many months in order to maintain chances for an agreement, even though it meant
paying a political price,” Livni said on Monday at a special session of the
Knesset marking its 62nd birthday. “A peace agreement ending the conflict and
maintaining Israel’s national and security interests is possible.”
said it was now clear that Kadima’s government had laid the foundations for
ending the conflict, adding that the peace process had neither failed nor ended,
but had been unable to lead to an agreement due to Israel’s national election
and the lack of sufficient diplomatic overtures to the Palestinians by Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
Kadima MK Yoel Hasson said the documents
proved that Olmert and Livni had succeeded in gaining significant concessions
from the Palestinians. He singled out the differences between Olmert and Livni,
who was not willing to make some of the concessions her boss had
“Unlike the Likud’s lies, Livni insisted on keeping the settlement
blocs, did not concede holy sites in Jerusalem and did not agree to take
refugees into Israel,” Hasson said.
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin (Likud)
called the offers made by both Olmert and Livni “delusional” and said they would
only perpetuate the conflict. He added that a consensus of Israelis opposed
But Peace Now said that if the current diplomatic
stalemate continued, Israel would regret not having accepted what the
“It’s important that the world knows how narrow the
gaps were between the two sides and how relatively easy it is to reach an
agreement,” former Meretz leader Yossi Beilin said. “An agreement was not
reached because the Olmert-Livni government didn’t accept even the most
pragmatic offers from the Palestinian side.”