The Saudi ambassador to Washington, Adel al-Jubeir, speaking at the Annapolis conference, insisted firmly that the Arabs would never recognize Israel as a Jewish state because of its Arab minority.
Speaking after the opening session, Saudi FM Saudi al-Faisal emphasized that to achieve a permanent accord, it was essential for Israel to freeze settlement activity, dismantle unauthorized outposts, release jailed Palestinian prisoners, discontinue building the West Bank barrier, and lift the siege against the Palestinian people.
The Syrian deputy foreign minister Feisal Makdad said the precondition for the Arabs to establish normal relations with Israel was its withdrawal from all the lands captured in 1967.
President Bush earlier stated: The road map's provisions will be implemented immediately until a peace treaty is achieved under the supervision of a US-led Palestinian-Israeli mechanism. The Palestinian demand for a multilateral mechanism was thus rejected. Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas are to hold biweekly meetings.
Israelis must do their part, said the US president: The occupation which began in 1967 must be replaced by a negotiated settlement for a homeland for the Palestinian people. Outposts must be removed and settlement expansion halted. He added that the US is committed to an Israeli state as the homeland of the Jewish people.
Bush also stressed that the Lebanese people must be allowed to choose their president without outside interference and intimidation.
Olmert stressed that the incessant Palestinian missile fire on Sderot is a warning road marker. "We and you (Palestinians and Arabs) are running out of time," he said. "We want peace and are ready for a painful compromise. The reality of 1967 will change substantially."
He then called for peace with all the Arab and Muslim states. Abbas said the occupation must end, and called it the source of terrorism.
================== Did You Catch That?
There are some very troubling implications to the statements reported in the previous article. "The reality of 1967 will change substantially," said Olmert. You realize what that means? Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), half of Jerusalem and the Golan Heights are now officially up for grabs. "Israel must end the occupation," said Bush. Since when is it "occupation"?
In 1967, Israel successfully took back land that belongs to her - historically, biblically and politically. If Israel "stole" that land, then the US should return large portions of its land mass to its previous owners - Mexico, France, etc. I can't imagine anyone being very enthusiastic about that! History is being reinvented right before our eyes.