Israel: “Barghouti’s release not on the table (TT adds the qualifier) …yet.”
Make no mistake, the Israelis will in fact, release the convicted murderer of four Israelis and a Greek monk when they deem that the time is right. The TT has a running bet with a Finnish journalist over this very issue, for I believe that the Israelis deem Barghouti’s time in prison as a means in keeping the popular man alive.
When they do release him, it’ll be at a moment where Barghouti’s entrance into the Palestinian political spot light will be viewed as the most effective for him and for Israel. At least that’s the thinking. I can’t give it any hope of success, because Barghouti’s politics vis-a-vis Israel is the same as the rest of the Palestinian leadership’s.
“The official told The Jerusalem Post that Barghouti and several other prominent security prisoners could be released in the coming days or weeks. Barghouti is serving five life sentences for the murders of four Israelis and a Greek monk. But an official in Jerusalem said Saturday night that “the release of Marwan Barghouti is simply not on the table today.” The official also said that last week’s release of 198 Palestinian detainees freed “was not the first prisoner release and will not be the last.”
The question of an additional prisoner release will be one of the items on the agenda at talks in Jerusalem on Sunday between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Olmert, who will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, will stress Israel’s desire to move forward with the Annapolis process with the aim of reaching a deal with the Palestinians before US President George W. Bush leaves office in January.
Also Sunday, Vice Premier Haim Ramon will convene a special ministerial committee to draw up a list of 450 security prisoners Israel is willing to release in an Egyptian-mediated prisoner swap with Hamas in return for kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Schalit, who last week marked his third birthday in captivity in Gaza
I hate to be negative about Israel’s chances at securing peace with the Palestinians before Bush Jr. leaves the Oval Office, but I have to be realistic. As long as the majority of the Palestinians have not given up on a “Greater Palestine”, the war will go on, it’s as simple as that. KGS
To further underline the Palestinian perspective concerning peace with Israel, TT reader Harri sent the following link
that bolsters the view that the Palis are not too interested in conducting rational and reasonable peace negotiations with Israel.
‘Jerusalem will be returned to the Palestinians not by way of negotiations or hugging and kissing the enemy, but through blood, shahids and resistance,’ Haniyeh says, adding ‘Muslims must protect Al-Aqsa Mosque’
Remember folks, the Hamas received the overwhelming vote of confidence by the people called the “Palestinians” (Palestinian nationalism was a KGB construct). So the Arab love affair and desire for a Greater Palestine is still high on their “to do” list.