Mofaz plan faces criticism from Kadima MKs

Mofaz plan faces critici

Kadima's number-two man, former defense minister Shaul Mofaz, presented his plan for a Palestinian state with temporary borders to his faction at the Knesset on Monday, taking heat from other former ministers. Mofaz presented the plan two weeks after Kadima leader Tzipi Livni prevented him from doing so and openly sparred with him before the cameras, saying there was not enough time for a serious discussion on diplomatic issues. This time around two and a half hours were allocated for the meeting, which ended with Livni saying the debate in the party would continue. While Livni made a point of listening to Mofaz and not responding to him on Monday, other Kadima leaders took turns criticizing his plan. "Creating a Palestinian state with temporary borders is dangerous, especially when Hamas still controls Gaza," former internal security minister Avi Dichter said. "This would result in three states." Kadima faction chair Dalia Itzik said it was good that Mofaz had come up with new ideas for solving the Middle East conflict, but she said his plan was "full of holes." The head of the Kadima council, former minister Haim Ramon, said that Mofaz should endorse the Annapolis process, which he said brought Israel international support and allowed Operation Defensive Shield in Gaza to succeed. Former interior minister Meir Sheetrit called Mofaz's plan "impossible to implement." He said the lesson of the failures of the Oslo peace process was that staged plans cannot succeed. "The Palestinians won't accept a state with temporary borders and no one else would either," Sheetrit said. "A state with temporary borders would not solve any of the current problems. We shouldn't give the Palestinians a single inch until we have peace." Sheetrit said Kadima should instead endorse the Saudi diplomatic plan, which calls for Israel to return to pre-1967 borders and let in Palestinian refugees in return for peace with the entire Arab world. He said he tried in vain to persuade prime ministers Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert to adopt the plan. "Why pay a price for peace with only the Palestinians when we can pay the same price for peace with all the Arab states?" Sheetrit said. No MKs backed Mofaz in the meeting, but afterwards MK Ronit Tirosh praised Mofaz for devising a plan, while the prime minister lacked one. She said she would support the plan's implementation if conditions were right on the Palestinian side.