Left, Right feel vindicated by Palestinian leak

Left says the documents prove a peace agreement was achievable, while the Right says they indicate unbridgeable gaps between the 2 sides.

Abbas Olmert 311 (photo credit: Associated Press)
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 political spectrum.
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.
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Sources close to Kadima leader Tzipi Livni said the documents revealed that she was a tough negotiator.
“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.”
Livni 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 made.
“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 dividing Jerusalem.
But Peace Now said that if the current diplomatic stalemate continued, Israel would regret not having accepted what the Palestinians offered.
“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.”
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