Gal-On: PM should pull out of ME parley

Meretz faction head says Olmert can't deliver a peace deal since Lieberman and Yishai sit in the gov't.

October 5, 2007 13:49
4 minute read.
Gal-On: PM should pull out of ME parley

olmert abbas 224.88. (photo credit: AP [file])


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 analysis 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


Click here for previous talkbacks for this article Meretz faction head Zehava Gal-On on Friday joined Labor MK Ophir Paz-Pines in calling on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to cancel his participation in the upcoming Annapolis conference. "Since the goal of the conference amounts to a mere declaration of interests and doesn't deal with the core issues, it will be pointless," Gal-On was quoted by Army Radio as saying. "Olmert is not the leader who can reach an agreement with the Palestinians when (Israel Beiteinu chairman Avigdor) Lieberman and (Shas chairman Eli)Yishai sit in his government," added Gal-On. Paz Pines made a similar call to Olmert after Wednesday's meeting between the prime minister and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during which the two leaders agreed to present a declaration of interests at November's Middle East conference. Olmert and Abbas decided that formal negotiations on core issues such as borders, Jerusalem, settlements and refugees would only commence after the Maryland gathering. MK Otniel Schneller (Kadima), a close associate of Olmert, came to the defense of the prime minister. "While Olmert is proudly representing the public interest, Gal-On is waving a white flag to the Palestinians," Army Radio quoted him as saying. Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice plans to shuttle between Jerusalem and Ramallah starting next week in an effort to narrow the gaps ahead of the conference. The open-ended visit was announced by State Department spokesman Sean McCormack on Wednesday after Olmert and Abbas agreed that their negotiating teams would meet regularly, beginning next week, to draft the joint statement to be presented to the conference. Rice will travel to Israel and visit the Palestinian Authority, with possible stops in neighboring Arab states. An American diplomatic source told The Jerusalem Post that although Rice would encourage the sides to draw up a joint document that could create the right atmosphere for the conference, she would not become involved with the details of the negotiating teams' work. Instead, she would focus on planning for the conference in terms of agenda, timing and level of participation. According to the source, it was possible that formal invitations would be issued when the secretary returned home after her Middle East trip. "The hard work has already begun, the really hard work is about to begin," McCormack told reporters. "Part of that work is going to be the secretary going out next week to the Middle East," he said. "I would expect that there is going to be a lot of going back and forth among various parties in the region." McCormack said there had been "encouraging statements" about the upcoming meeting from expected participants, including the Israelis and Palestinians. Sources in Jerusalem said following Wednesday's meeting between Olmert and Abbas, which was held in the succa at the Prime Minister's Residence in the capital, that the negotiators would meet in secret at regular intervals until a statement was drafted. Olmert and Abbas will also continue to meet every fortnight. PA Information Minister Riad Malki said Thursday that the Palestinians had "high expectations" of the upcoming conference, particularly in the wake of Abbas's recent talks with US President George W. Bush and other world leaders in New York. His remarks contradicted those of other PA officials who have been seeking to lower expectations. Malki said the Bush administration had informed the Palestinians that the conference invitees would include representatives of the Quartet, the Group of Eight countries, the permanent members of the UN Security Council, 12 Arab countries - including Syria and Lebanon - Turkey, Indonesia and Malaysia. "President Abbas has also asked the US administration to invite India, South Africa, Brazil, Greece and Spain," Malki told reporters in Ramallah. "This wide participation would turn the gathering into a big international conference that would contribute to resolving the Palestinian issue." Summing up the Palestinian strategy toward the conference, Malki said the current negotiations with Israel must lead to a "fundamental document" regarding the final-status issues. The conference participants, he added, would then be requested to endorse the document. Following the conference, the Israelis and Palestinians would start six months of intensive negotiations on all the details of the core issues. After the two principals reach a final agreement, another international peace conference would be convened to endorse it - on condition that it had first been approved by the Palestinians through a national referendum. The PA minister, nonetheless, did not rule out the possibility that the Palestinians would boycott next month's conference if they failed to reach an agreement with Israel on the core issues in the coming weeks. "There's no point in participating in a weak conference," Malki said. "Israel will then bear responsibility for the failure of the negotiations. The Palestinians, for their part, are determined to reach an agreement." Sa'di al-Krunz, a member of the PA team negotiating with Israel, warned Thursday that a failure of the conference would lead to a "big disaster." He also called on Israel to take significant measures on the ground ahead of the summit, such as removing checkpoints and halting the policy of detentions, incursions and targeted killings.

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

People attend a public speech of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in the southern Hormozgan province
July 18, 2019
U.S. places sanctions on int'l network involved in Iran nuclear program


Cookie Settings