Always Israel's fault (cont.)

Leo Rennert
In its Aug. 31 edition, the Washington Post runs an article by Jerusalem correspondent Howard Schneider that accurately reports the indictment of former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on corruption charges, but does him a grave injustice when it gets around to recapping his diplomatic efforts to reach a two-state peace deal with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. ("Olmert Indicted on Graft Charges -- Israeli Is Accused of Double-Billing" page A6.)

Schneider writes that Olmert pushed for a peace deal almost to the end of his tenure as prime minister, "but the talks collapsed in December" of last year.

This doesn't begin to tell the tale of the failure of the Olmert-Abbas negotiations.  Schneider completely omits the fact that Olmert offered Abbas a Palestinian state on all of Gaza, 93 percent of the West Bank (with some 5 percent land compensation from within Israel), plus a land corridor linking Gaza and the West Bank, plus all Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, plus internationalizaiton of Jerusalem's holy sites under the control of an administrative directorate comprised of Saudi Araba, Jordan, the Paletinian Authority, Israel and the United States, plus absorption by Israel of some 50,000 Palestinian refugees under a family reunification plan.

Olmert's two-state plan was even more generous than the Palestinian statehood terms offered by Ehud Barak to Yassert Arafat at Camp David in 2000.

But like Arafat, Abbas turned his back on Olmert's proposal without volunteering any compromise of his own.

One would think that, in the current context of President Obama's strong push for a two-state solution, Schneider might have found it relevant to mention how such an ultra-generous proposal by Olmert was summarily nixed by Abbas.

After all, the Palestinians are not about to get a better deal from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  And even if Obama managed to bend Netanyahu to something close to the Olmert parameters, it would seem that the Palestinian leadership still remains the real obstacle to any push for a realistic two-state solution in the foreseeable future

But since Post coverage remains deeply invested in portraying Abbas as a "moderate" peace partner, Schneider evidently couldn't bring himself to inform Post readers that this Post-promoted image of the Palestinian leader doesn't square with his real record.

And so, Schneider writes that the Olmert-Abbas talks just "collapsed'' -- with the cause of this collapse carefully hidden from Post readers.  It's the Schneider-Post way of letting Abbas off the hook.
In its Aug. 31 edition, the Washington Post runs an article by Jerusalem correspondent Howard Schneider that accurately reports the indictment of former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on corruption charges, but does him a grave injustice when it gets around to recapping his diplomatic efforts to reach a two-state peace deal with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. ("Olmert Indicted on Graft Charges -- Israeli Is Accused of Double-Billing" page A6.)

Schneider writes that Olmert pushed for a peace deal almost to the end of his tenure as prime minister, "but the talks collapsed in December" of last year.

This doesn't begin to tell the tale of the failure of the Olmert-Abbas negotiations.  Schneider completely omits the fact that Olmert offered Abbas a Palestinian state on all of Gaza, 93 percent of the West Bank (with some 5 percent land compensation from within Israel), plus a land corridor linking Gaza and the West Bank, plus all Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, plus internationalizaiton of Jerusalem's holy sites under the control of an administrative directorate comprised of Saudi Araba, Jordan, the Paletinian Authority, Israel and the United States, plus absorption by Israel of some 50,000 Palestinian refugees under a family reunification plan.

Olmert's two-state plan was even more generous than the Palestinian statehood terms offered by Ehud Barak to Yassert Arafat at Camp David in 2000.

But like Arafat, Abbas turned his back on Olmert's proposal without volunteering any compromise of his own.

One would think that, in the current context of President Obama's strong push for a two-state solution, Schneider might have found it relevant to mention how such an ultra-generous proposal by Olmert was summarily nixed by Abbas.

After all, the Palestinians are not about to get a better deal from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  And even if Obama managed to bend Netanyahu to something close to the Olmert parameters, it would seem that the Palestinian leadership still remains the real obstacle to any push for a realistic two-state solution in the foreseeable future

But since Post coverage remains deeply invested in portraying Abbas as a "moderate" peace partner, Schneider evidently couldn't bring himself to inform Post readers that this Post-promoted image of the Palestinian leader doesn't square with his real record.

And so, Schneider writes that the Olmert-Abbas talks just "collapsed'' -- with the cause of this collapse carefully hidden from Post readers.  It's the Schneider-Post way of letting Abbas off the hook.