Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

7 Shevat 5761 - January 31, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network

Opinion & Comment
News Analysis
A Declaration Without Content

by Aryeh Zisman

From the entire mountain of the Taba talks, nothing emerged. The declaration is devoid of all content though its main and only message is not missing: it is an attempt at election propaganda. However, in that, Barak failed too. To all it is clear that this is a vain declaration and nothing more than show. It is difficult to understand how a serious person like Ben Ami was drawn into such an empty show.

The feeling among the staff of journalists which accompanied the talks in Taba was that this was a declaration without any actual content. In all of the questions, broad gaps remained.

Take for example the issue of Jerusalem. Israel proposed that there be a special jurisdiction in all of the sacred sites. However the Palestinians rejected this proposal, and demanded autonomy in the entire Old City.

On the question of the refugees, all of the Israeli proposals were rejected, among them Beilin's proposal to give the refugees a questionnaire in which they will state whether they wish to return to Israel or to receive compensation. Israel, according to the proposal, won't be obligated to accept the requests of the refugees. However, the refugees will nonetheless feel that they have demanded what they wanted. The Palestinians rejected the laughable proposal, and continued to demand the return of the refuges in full.

Also no agreement was made on the issue of the borders. The Israeli contingent took care to report all along that the Palestinians had advanced toward Israel on the issue, but it became clear that the Palestinians rejected the Israeli proposals and demanded to limit the settlement blocs in the territories, and concomitantly, to receive alternative, high- quality territories, for every piece of land which will be given to Israel in the territories. Israel refused.

The Palestinians also demanded that Maaleh Adumim and Givat Zeev be dismantled, and to stop the building on Har Choma. On the issue of the Jordan Valley, the Palestinians rejected the demand of Israel to rent out territories and rejected the request of Israel to leave a military force on the site, and an emergency warehouse.

The only thing which Abu Ala feebly hinted was that the calmness displayed at Taba should be reflected on the scene too. However, Abu Ala didn't promise that such would be the case. He didn't say that the Palestinian Authority would make efforts to quiet things down, but only that "he hopes that such will be the case." With hopes, it seems, one doesn't make peace. Ask Barak.

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