According to the radio news on Wednesday evening PM Sharon had made a speech to a pro-Israel group in the US by video link on Tuesday or Wednesday in which he launched a trial balloon for the terms of a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. The basic points were:
(1.) Israeli settlements on the west bank would not be removed.
(2.) Palestine would be made up of the patchwork of unconnected townships now under Palestinian control.
(3.) Israel would not under any circumstances deal with Arafat.
I have not seen anything on this in the papers or on the radio news. Was the Wednesday night report accurate? If so. is this sort of a plan practical or do-able?
It seems to me that even as a trial balloon first proposal this thing is dead on arrival. The Palestinians are not likely to accept any of the points. Every thing I have heard indicates that any Palestinian State must be made up of the whole West Bank with out Jewish settlements embedded in the territory. Right now Arafat is the only Palestinian leader accepted by the Palestinian population and there is no one to replace him. Any replacement would be regarded as an Israeli puppet and the equivalent of Quisling. A puppet’s consent to these, or for that matter, any terms for peace, would be rejected by the Palestinians.
Assuming that these are the points of a proposal made by Sharon, by making the proposal has Sharon yoked himself to so untenable a proposition that he cannot shift his ground so as to work toward a geographically unified Palestinian State and the removal of West Bank Jewish settlements and Arafat as the Palestinian head of state?
Does this proposal just confirm suspicions that Sharon’s government has no intention of letting go of the West Bank and will not accept any solution that involves Israel letting go of the occupied territories?