Finnish state TV, YLE news
, has an article on their website “Saudi Arabia Has a Leg in Both Camps”
by journalist Anna Wallius
. What is interesting, is that her article reflects the deep bias that exists within that news agency, by ironically casting Olmert’s counter offer to the Saudi five year old proposal, as being disigenuous, not the Saudis. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
This is of course the reason why the Saudis brought out this highly discredited “peace plan” in the first place, in order to cast Israel as the “bad guy” when it expectedly –and wisely– rejects their ridiculous “all or nothing” offer. I also believe that they (the Saudis) were banking on the anti-Israel bias within Europe to help promote their disingenuous plan, and it looks as if at least one European news agency is grabbing at the ring, YLE Finland. So I believe that the reintroduction of their five year old “peace plan” by the so called “Arab Quartet” (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan) warrants further examination and discussion, not only for their timing but for the overall intention by the main proponents of the initiative as well.
What the Saudis need to be explaining to the international community is why are they now interested in a plan that –even before it was taken off the shelf– was well known by all parties concerned that in its present form, was completely unacceptable to the Israelis. How is the re-introduction of a highly rejectionable plan, unaltered, and attached with an “all or nothing” price tag –as well as the veiled threat of more violence if rejected– supposed to induce an Israeli interest in the plan?
The timing of the Saudi push for a permanent settlement between Israel and the Palestinians, as well as the conditions that come with it, are highly suspect. I would wager that the Arab proposal was a disingenuous one from the very beginning, with not peace as the prime motivator, but the freeing up of international funds being withheld from the rejectionist Hamas run government.
In order to make any sense of it, one must remember that the Saudis are vying/competing for the heart and soul of the region with an ever exertive Iran, who have been busy within the Palestinian Authority for some time now. The Saudis are trying to win good favor with the average Sunni Arab by getting the boycott dropped, and thereby becoming a major player at the expense of Egypt and Iran. The Saudis’ wish to gain more influence inside the heartland of the Sunni crescent is the reason behind their “take it or leave it” offer to the Israelis.
Ironically, if the Arabs were genuine about making an attempt at a permanent settlement, they would have made a counter offer to Olmert’s sugestion for a conference. Olmert was basically calling their bluff, but would also seize any opportunity if it presented itself for a start at a dialogue with the various Arab states.
Let’s be frank here, the Saudi led Arab “Quartet” is frustrated by the “other” Quartet’s successes in managing the boycott against the terrorist led government of the Hamas. They now seek a way to maneuver Israel into the position of being “the rejectionist” –not Hamas– by offering a disingenuous “peace plan” that not only trashes the spirit and the letter of UNSCR 242, but it also seeks to destroy the Jewish nature of the state of Israel, with an “all or nothing” demand for the resettlement of millions of Arabs into Israel.
The EU’s foreign affairs representative, Javier Solana, recently stated in Bremen Germany that: “this is the first time in many years that the Arab League has taken an active role for the development of peace”. While Solana feels the need to be complimentary towards the Saudis for their “bold step”, I can’t blame the Israelis for not wanting to do the same.
The Saudis first –in a long time– “active role” in promoting peace, is actually a plan for the annulment of UNSCR 242 and the destruction of the Jewish state. If that’s the best the Saudis can hope top offer, its better that they take a less active role in peace making. *L* KGS