Sunday, August 17, 2003

At a news conference in Beirut, Palestinian Authority External Affairs Minister Nabil Shaath asserted that the US-sponsored roadmap plan guaranteed the millions of descendents of 1948 Palestinian refugees a right to settle in pre-1967 Israel (report).

It sounds like Shaath was making this claim so as to gain support for the PA's roadmap stance from hardline Palestinians in Lebanon. But when Palestinians blame Israel for not meeting its"roadmap" obligations, remember that they likely have in mind things like prisoner releases, the security fence, or accepting refugees - as distinct from the committments that are actually in the roadmap.

The consensus in the weekend Israeli newspapers was that the hudna is not likely to last much longer.

More: The updated version of the article above also quotes PA Information Minister from an interview on Israeli Army Radio this morning. Amr said that the PA does not seek to change the Jewish character of Israel and that a pragmatic solution to the refugee issue will be found. In my opinion there's no reason to think that this moderate view is much more than flattery. Plenty of Israeli leftists have presented to the Israeli public the claim that the Palestinian leadership is secretly moderate - only to have been thoroughly humiliated afterward. The most notable example is the unrepentant Yossi Beilin (see here).

No comments: