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Erekat: Arab League stance 'not something new'
Published Tuesday 30/04/2013 (updated) 02/05/2013 14:58
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BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The PLO's top negotiator said Tuesday that a concession by the Arab League that Israel and the Palestinians trade land was already an official position.

“This is not something new,” Saeb Erekat said in a statement.

“The Arab delegation presented the official Palestinian position: Upon Israel’s unequivocal acceptance of the two-state solution on the 1967 border, the State of Palestine as a sovereign country might consider minor agreed border modifications,” he said.

Erekat added: “The Arab League delegation ratified the Arab Peace Initiative, which has been endorsed by 57 Arab and Muslim countries. ... Israeli rejection of this initiative shows once again that the Israeli government lacks of a peace plan. Rather, it is fully engaged in further colonization and attacks against Palestinian rights and regional stability.”

At a meeting in Washington on Monday, US Secretary of State John Kerry met with top Arab League officials to discuss the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, a Saudi proposal which would see 22 Arab countries normalizing ties with Israel in return for a withdrawal from lands it occupied during the 1967 Six Day War.

Speaking after the talks, Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim, who led the delegation, agreed that any deal should be based on a two-state solution with the borders defined by the lines which existed before June 4, 1967.

But he also expressed support for a proposal by US President Barack Obama for a "comparable and mutual agreed minor swap of the land" between Israelis and Palestinians to reflect the realities of the burgeoning communities on the ground.

Israel's lead peace negotiator Tzipi Livni praised the "important" concession by the Arab League bid to move the peace process forward.

"This is very good news," she told army radio. "It's definitely an important step -- I welcome it."

"Let's talk about it -- we are ready for changes, something which will allow the Palestinians, I hope, to enter the (negotiating) room and make the necessary compromises," she said after Arab League representatives said for the first time they would accept the concept of land swaps in the context of an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines.

"It also gives a message to Israeli citizens: it is no longer just us ... talking with the Palestinians, there is a group of Arab states who are saying: you reach an agreement with the Palestinians and we will make peace with you, we will have normalization with you."
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1 ) Mel / USA
30/04/2013 21:57
'Tipsy Livid'is so full of opportunist BULL! Any talk/debate of FAIR "land swaps",must take place AFTER Israel withdraws to pre-67 borders & dismantles,or hands over(to Palestine as compensation)all illegal Jewish-only aparthied colonies(aka "settlements")& ceases ALL new annexations of existing illegal outposts to larger Jewish-only colonies.A JUST PEACE,for all,is mapped out in UNResol 242!Follow that LEGAL process 1st.Then,Israel must formally declare its borders!The rest is fair diplomacy!

2 ) Outlier / USA
01/05/2013 01:56
In not showing support, or at least staying silent, Erekat has hindered rather than helped the Palestinian cause.

3 ) shirley / australia
01/05/2013 02:48
the plos top negiator that dosent say much for the PLO as it stands warn you these idiots have setpals up by not rejecting US straight away talks and demand Isreal recognize state of Palestinethe Us does not even do this plus letting US start putting conditions on what PA do like joining UN bodies the PA always get pals trapped and only resistence pressure get them out pals should have learnt alesson by now and where is reconcilliation pals will not have swiss cheese state AL uselesssbowing to U

4 ) ian / australia
01/05/2013 03:08
Well said Dr. Saeb. Tzipi is full of it, spinning wildly (for an ignorant western audience) that the hardline Arab League has made an important "concession" and accepted Obama's (!) radical new proposal! Jesus! What Livni fails to mention is that land swaps are minor alterations either side of the '67 line, which is still the BASIS of any exchanges. The implication is that beyond the Green Line (inc. East Jerusalem) is defacto Palestine and the Palestinians are under no compulsion to bargain

5 ) ian / australia
01/05/2013 03:08
(contd.) with bits of it they want to keep, like the Haram and Old City of Jerusalem! Israel could keep, say, (the hideous) Pizgat Ze'ev or even the Gush Etzion bloc but ONLY in return for comparable chunks of Israel proper...EAST of the border. You can just FEEL (even from Australia!) Israel's resistance to giving up ANY of the land it has stolen and its hunkering down, with armies of lawyers and lobbyists, to fight any attempt to compel it to.

6 ) Tobias / USA
01/05/2013 05:58
Any "stance" based upon "withdrawal from lands occupied during the 1967 Six Day War" does not provide secure borders for Israel's survival, and SECURITY FOR ISRAEL will always be MORE IMPORTANT THAN "NORMALIZATION" with 22 Arab states.

7 ) Palestinian / occupied Palestine
01/05/2013 07:34
land swap means giving up jerusalem. they have now completely sold palestine. full stop. traitors have become officials and race to admit who made the concessions first!!!

8 ) deb / UK
01/05/2013 10:55
Land swap to reflect realities on the ground (500000 settlers) so Israel will be keeping more land. And no mention of "right of return" that was also part of the peace agreement.

9 ) shirley / australia
01/05/2013 12:05
again pals should not have engaged in this process one iota and yes it is an old condition but should have been made redundant by UN vote pals do not have to surrender anything including any small border area NOT ONE MORE GRAIN OF SANDand again should have been dumped when US saying settlements not aproblemand he wants no viable pal stateaor east jerusalem look how obama tried to get pals to give up suuport from Arab states and to normalize with Isreal even before talks ARABS CAN DEFND STATE O P

10 ) ian / australia
01/05/2013 13:38
What's REALLY nauseating is Tzipi's aside about "the necessary compromises" she hopes Palestinians will be prepared to make when talks resume. Isn't the illegal expansion of Israel from the '47 Partition Plan border (which Israel accepted) to the '49-67 Armistice line (acquired by war) and the sacrifice of ALL that Palestinian land "compromise" enough? A state on the '67 line really is a final offer. The fertile land along the Jordan and near Hebron are essential to make it agriculturally viable

11 ) ian / australia
01/05/2013 13:39
(contd.) and the Haram al-Sharif and historic Old City confer dignity and cultural integrity. For Palestinians, there's nothing LEFT to give up. (And I'd point out that land swaps aren't "compromises". They're exchanges of assets of equivalent value.)

12 ) Two Truths / USA
01/05/2013 14:04
1- "Israel will not talk on basis of 1967 lines" (nor should it), and
2- "PALESTINE" can not talk on basis of 1967 lines, because it had
- NEITHER HAD BORDER "LINES",
- NOR EVEN EXISTED IN 1967.

13 ) Libra - scales of justice / United Kingdom
01/05/2013 15:20
Canaan land was given to Abram and his descendants. I would hate to see it split up, God did not give it two parts, it was a whole. In fact given from the Nile to the Euphrates. It should not be split - it would spoil the promise to Abraam. Genuine Jews, lived together in peace with their Arab neighbours, before the Zionists came from Europe etc., I believe those days will return after the judgement of God, so why should the Palestinians agree to the land deal Israel will hand out to them.

14 ) Around / World
01/05/2013 18:34
The only available future for the palestinian state (which is observing something at UN currently and forevere) is area A and may be, if palestinians behave properly, some parts of the area B. That's it.

15 ) Tibi / Tubas
01/05/2013 20:34
It is time the PLO forgot the "Arab League stance", and instead start
focusing on their own stance, because if the PLO ever intends for
"something new" to be created, like a real UN-member Palestinian state, then THE PLO MUST CHANGE, it's "stance"
OR PALESTINE WILL NEVER BECOME A REALITY.

16 ) @ Libra-13 / Yesterday & Today
01/05/2013 20:49
Only the West Bank and Israel lands were "in fact given to Abraam", and:
-a- The Jews of today (his heirs) are just as "genuine" and indigenous as the Arabs that recently started calling themselves "Palestinians", and
-b- The Jews of yesterday hardly "lived together in peace with their Arab neighbours", anymore than other non-Muslims residents do today, like:
- the Christian genocide by Sudan,
- the Christian ethnic cleansing from Iraq, and
- the coptic murders in Egypt, etc. !!!

17 ) To Forget, To Restart, / And To Realize
01/05/2013 22:24
Israel will continue to prosper, for as long as it takes, for Palestinians:
1- to forget things, that they want but don't need (like 1967 lines,
a settlement freeze, an East Jerusalem capital, or refugee return),
2- to restart unconditional peace/statehood negotiations, and
3- to realize that their state will not be created any other way !!!

18 ) ian / australia
02/05/2013 02:33
#6 "Any "stance" based upon "withdrawal from lands occupied during the 1967 Six Day War" does not provide secure borders for Israel's survival..." Why not? Israel has by far the most sophisticated military in the region and could easily defend itself despite a narrow "waist". And do you REALLY think newly sovereign Palestine would want to ATTACK Israel (and suffer the wrath of its vicious neighbour) or that if some old-school stalwarts couldn't break the habit and fired rockets, the state

19 ) ian / australia
02/05/2013 02:34
(contd.) wouldn't come down hard on them for such insanely self-destructive behaviour? (Of course we both know the old chestnut about indefensible Israel is a patent lie. It's cynical obstructionism to thwart Palestinian statehood, which is your REAL goal (also Tzipi Livni's) but which, for some reason you (and Tzipi) seem kind of squeamish to admit to, hence the subterfuge.)

20 ) @ scales of justice #13 / Genuine
02/05/2013 05:02
-a- Zionists came from Europe, after being deported during the Roman invasions, and refugees calling themselves "Palestinians" want to return after being deported during the Arab invasions of 1948 & 1967, and -b- Already the Zionists are born on the land for several generations, while Palestinian refugees are not, so -c- At this stage the Zionists from Europe are more "Genuine" and indigenous than Palestinian refugees, and as time goes on ... !!!

21 ) ian / australia
02/05/2013 06:18
#2 "In not showing support, or at least staying silent, Erekat has hindered rather than helped the Palestinian cause." Hilarious Outlier. ROFL. Do you really think Tzipi Livni's new up-beat attitude and the Arab League's breakthrough "concession" supporting "land swaps" represents new hope for peace which sourpuss Dr. Erekat is throwing away? ROFLMAO.
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