PM: Rabin Would Divide Jerusalem

Olmert says we must face reality like Rabin did and agree to divide Jerusalem. Minister Yishai: Rabin said Jerusalem was not up for negotiation.

Hillel Fendel ,

The late Yitchak Rabin
The late Yitchak Rabin

Outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, speaking at the State Memorial Ceremony for former Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin, laid out his diplomatic plan for Israel - and attributed it to the late Rabin.

Olmert spoke at Mount Herzl on Monday afternoon.

Rabin "understood what more and more people are now ready to accept," Olmert said, "with the necessary caution and awareness of all the risks and difficulties: if we are determined to preserve the Jewish and democratic character of the State of Israel, we must inevitably relinquish, with great pain, parts of our homeland, of which we dreamt and for which we yearned and prayed for generations, and we must relinquish Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem [emphasis added], and return to that territory which comprised the State of Israel until 1967, with the necessary amendments stemming from the realities created on ground."

Trade and Industry Minister Eli Yishai of Shas immediately responded with a statement of correction: "When U.S. President Clinton visited the Knesset, Rabin said that Jerusalem is not up for negotiations, and that Jerusalem was and will always be the capital of the State of Israel under full Israeli sovereignty."

"It is unfortunate," Yishai said, "that there are those who try, in the name of Rabin's memory, to formulate unacceptable policy for the State of Israel." Yishai added that Shas would remain steadfast in not joining a government that would divide Jerusalem.

Olmert: Let's Return to Galilee, With a New Zionism
After saying clearly that Israel's future lies almost exclusively within its pre-1967 borders, Olmert continued, "We must return to our familiar places, in the Galilee and the Negev, build them and realize the tremendous potential embodied in the unbounded energies of our people; we must reignite the flame of ingenuity and creation, and nurture a new kind of Zionism - realistic, sober, responsible and bold."

This must be done, he said, before Hamas takes control of the Palestinian Authority:
"Waiting unnecessarily to make a decision will change the delicate balance in the international community which currently adheres to the notion of two states for two people, with defined, agreed-upon, internationally recognized borders. If, G-d forbid, we drag our feet, we might lose the support for the idea of two states. The alternative is incomprehensible. Everyone understands this."

Olmert warned that "a new regime may take control of the Palestinian territories and be radical and not open to the negotiation process."

Hamas, to which Olmert was referring, is opposed to the very existence of Israel, in the Negev and Galilee just as in Judea and Samaria.

'Olmert Would Suggest Buying into Teetering Wall St. Firms'
Lerner: Commentator Dr. Aaron Lerner of IMRA noted that by Olmert's logic of rushing to sign an agreement with the PA before Hamas takes over, "if Ehud Olmert worked on Wall Street last August, he would have urged his clients to rush out and buy into teetering financial institutions so as not to miss out on the chance before they crashed."

Olmert stated that "everyone understands" that if Israel does not negotiate an agreement with the PA before Hamas takes over, we will "lose the opportunity to bequeath to the world, as a basic fact, the idea of two states, and guarantee, for eternity, with the backing of all international institutions, a recognition of the borders of the Jewish state."

The Dangers of a Palestinian State
Actually, however, many analysts feel it would be a very positive development if the two-state solution were to become void. Their arguments have been widely detailed, such as in a compendium entitled Dangers of a Palestinian State, edited by Raphael Israeli.  In addition, editorial columnist Avi Davis, the author of The Crucible of Conflict: Jews, Arabs and the West Bank Dilemma, long ago summed up some of the arguments as follows:

"For Israel, the prospects are frightening. Despite years of attempted peace making, the evidence from the Arab world is that rejection of Israel's right to exist remains as resolute as ever... The establishment of a hostile Palestinian state within miles of Israel's major cities eclipses the Jewish state's vital warning time for a potential Arab invasion and the minimum space its reserves require for mobilization. It opens up a front that starts ten miles from Tel Aviv and reaches 1,000 miles deep across the Arabian Peninsula to Teheran. Pinning hopes on a buffer regime that has failed to do even the minimum to curtail incitement against Israel or whose children's textbooks preach jihad against the Jewish state, seems the height of folly.

"For the United States, a Palestinian state also represents an unwarranted leap of faith. Already confronted in the region by rejectionist states such as Syria, Iraq and Iran, it can count on adding a fourth if the State of Palestine comes into being. Continuing a policy of state terror, its military adventurism will initially be directed not against Israel, as might be expected, but against neighboring Jordan whose population is 80% Palestinian... [It] will attempt to topple the Hashemite kingdom, completing the PLO's aborted coup of 1970 and purging the region of its remaining moderate, western-oriented Arab state. Thus engorged, it will then have considerable muscle to turn on Israel with a full military assault. This will leave the United States with a vast swathe of the Arab world implacably hostile to the West and a fertile breeding ground for terror."