Peres, Herzog: Don't expect miracles at ME summit

Peres to UJC members: If the conference succeeds, it won't be a full success. But if it fails, it will be a complete failure.

By
October 13, 2007 22:08
2 minute read.
Peres, Herzog: Don't expect miracles at ME summit

peres 298. (photo credit: AP)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Neither President Shimon Peres nor Welfare and Social Services Minister Isaac Herzog believes there will be any kind of miraculous breakthrough at the US-sponsored peace summit in Annapolis. Peres, who has had considerable experience in negotiating with the Palestinians, told a gathering of prominent members of the United Jewish Communities (UJC) over the weekend that the conference could be a turning point in the peace process. "If the conference succeeds, it won't be a full success. But if it fails, it will be a complete failure," he said. Dwelling briefly on negotiating tactics, Peres said: "You must be careful not to win too much from your opponent or he'll run away." On the other hand, "You musn't lose too much or you'll lose too much support at home," he said, alluding to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. The prime minister must be careful to keep the process going, he added. As he has done on previous occasions, Peres said that war united people, but the cost of peace divided people. As for the division of opinions in the negotiations, Peres said: "We have a government with a coalition. The other side has no government and no coalition, which is even worse." But there is still promise, he said, the principles are known. "But you don't negotiate about principles, you negotiate about details. We have to find pragmatic solutions." "We will make a supreme effort to overcome the difficulties" in the coming two months, Peres told the UJC gathering at Beit Hanassi. The two most crucial issues were the Palestinian demand for the right of return and the final status of Jerusalem, Peres said. "The Palestinians are beginning to realize that no Israeli will agree to commit suicide to satisfy the Palestinians," he said, referencing Israel's objection to the right of return. He said Israel cannot agree to such a demand because it would radically change the demographic ratio and Israel would cease to be a Jewish state. Even though he did not expect an immediate solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, because "narrowing the gap between the opening and the fallback positions takes time," Peres said he was nonetheless optimistic, citing the good relations between Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. "They have established mutual trust," he said. "I don't think they'll come up with an agreement in Washington, but they'll reach a benchmark of ideas," said Herzog. Asked by one of the UJC members what differentiated the Annapolis conference from that of Ehud Barak and Yasser Arafat, Herzog said there was no comparison because Camp David was a "summit" with the PA founder, whereas the upcoming conference was a "process" between Olmert, Abbas and PA Prime Minister Salaam Fayad, whom Herzog categorized as "a superb prime minister."

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town

By SHARON UDASIN