Monday, February 02, 2009

So close, yet so unachievable...

Via Sign and Sight:

Bernard-Henri Levy is travelling through Israel and Egypt to get a better picture of the situation there. One of the people he talked to was Ehud Barack, who described for him the Israeli dilemma: "'Two possibilities,' he explained to me in a tone of voice which, I swear, betrayed the curiosity of a strategist faced with an unknown tactic. 'Either we are informed in time and don't shoot and then they win. Or we don't know the environment, end up shooting, they film the victims, send the pictures to a TV station and then they've won again.'" The full article is here is French.

I translated the penultimate paragraph from the article:

Ehud Olmert’a peace offer:

I met Ehud Olmert in Jerusalem. He recounts, not without amusement, the choreography of harried mediators in a rush. He related Mubarak’s double game; the international community will have to eventually force him to seal Egypt’s Gaza borders to Bedouin smugglers. This is when his tone changes. And, lowering his voice as though speaking confidentially, he tries to tell me about Abu Mazen’s last visit, just three weeks ago, where he was in this office, sitting in the very chair I was occupying.

" I made him an offer. 94,5% of the West Bank. Another 4,5% made up from territoriy within Israel proper. A tunnel, under Palestinian control, connecting the West Bank and Gaza, making up for the remaining 1% . As for Jerusalem, a logical and simple solution: Arab quarter will go to him; Jewish quarter will go to us. The Holy Sites will be placed under a joint administration comprised of Saudi, Jordanian, Israeli, Palestinian, and American representatives. Abu Mazen asked for a map, on which I would draw out the perimeters of my proposal. I did not, because I know him, and I know how it would be: the next time we meet, the proposal I’d drawn out would be taken as a starting point for further negotiations. Well, then… the offer is there… I am waiting ". Too good to be true? Is it possible that we have managed to sidestep, so recently, another opportunity to make peace?

Update: Here is an official translation, on the Huffington Post


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