PA to Use Israeli Media to Promote Saudi Plan

The Palestinian Authority will promote the Saudi Plan in a series of ads that will be published in Israeli newspapers beginning on Thursday.

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Maayana Miskin,

Saudi King Abdullah with Abbas
Saudi King Abdullah with Abbas

The Palestinian Authority will promote the Saudi Plan in a series of full-page advertisements to be displayed in Hebrew language newspapers in Israel beginning on Thursday. The program, which includes allowing millions of foreign Arabs to move to Israel, will put PA ads in Israeli papers for the first time in history.

The project is being coordinated by MK Ahmed Tibi, who also is translating the Saudi Plan from Arabic to Hebrew.

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas decided to run the ads because he feels Israelis have not given the Saudi Plan the consideration it deserves, MK Tibi explained. “Abu Mazen [Abbas's terrorist nickname—ed.] believes that this initiative is the best method to solve the conflict, and he thinks that up to this point the Israeli public and Israeli politics have not been given a chance to truly understand the initiative."

Abbas believes that more Israelis will support the Saudi initiative if they have a chance to read it, according to MK Tibi, who added that "this is an historic opportunity." The advertisements will be “a big first step, but not the last step” in the PA's attempts to promote the initiative, he said.

The ads will be titled “The Arab Peace Initiative,” with the subtitle, “Full relations and diplomatic ties between Israel and 57 Arab and Muslim states in exchange for a comprehensive peace agreement and a full end to the occupation.” Tibi hopes to run the ad in Yediot Acharonot, Maariv, Haaretz and Yisrael HaYom.

The ad will also include quotes from Saudi Prince Abdullah calling for “a full Israel withdrawal from all Arab territories conquered in 1967” and promising “normal relations in the context of a comprehensive peace with Israel, by convincing Arab states that a military solution to the conflict will not bring peace or security.”

Under the Saudi Plan, Israel would be required to give away the Golan Heights, all of Judea, Samaria and most if not all of eastern Jerusalem, including the Old City and the Temple Mount. Israel would not be allowed to maintain sovereignty over densely populated areas in Judea and Samaria, and would be required to remove more than 300,000 Israeli citizens living in the area.

Israel would also be required to find “a solution” for millions of foreign Arabs claiming descent from those who fled the country during the War of Independence. Israeli supporters of the plan say the clause would allow Israel to reach peace without accepting the foreign Arabs as citizens. However, groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and many of the foreign Arabs themselves, say they are willing to accept nothing less than residence in Israel and full citizenship.

The Saudi Plan has received praise from President Shimon Peres, although he said he does not support the plan as is but believes it to be a good starting point for negotiations.