Via Juan Cole

Freedom is on the March, with the Israeli's and Saudi's getting closer:
Meanwhile, a de facto Israeli-Saudi alliance appears to be building against Iran and the Shiites. Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz is now saying that the 2002 Beirut peace plan put forward by then crown prince--now King--Abdullah of Saudi Arabia must be the basis for going forward with an Arab-Israeli peace process. Abdullah got the Arab League to offer Israel full recognition and political and economic relations if only they'd go back to the 1967 borders and recognize a Palestinian state.

At the time, then prime minister Ariel Sharon dismissed Abdullah's plan rather rudely. But now Israel has been bloodied by a Lebanon war that it lost on points to Hizbullah despite its clear military superiority. Bashar al-Asad of Syria pointed out that every generation of Arabs hates the Israelis more than its predecessors. Iran is emerging as a new hegemon in the eastern stretches of the Middle East.
I have heard Israeli ministers talking of this plan on the news in the last few weeks. Essentially, the Israeli's give back 90% of the land they occupied, and trade 1-for-1 for the remaining 10%. Once they remove the Palestinian's grievances, the Israeli's lives will get easier. They'll still have to be forever vigilant and independent through strength, but by ceasing the very real oppression of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Territories, they'll sap some of the power out of their opposition.

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