Friday, May 16, 2008

David Makovsky - Commentator or Promoter?

From an interview I came across:

After meeting with a number of cabinet ministers, members of the Knesset, members of the coalitions, of the Labor party, I can tell you that they almost all are very worried that if he is forced to step down it will either immediately lead to new elections or will lead to new elections after a brief interim government. They feel new elections would lead to an unraveling of whatever has been done on the Palestinian issue. They genuinely believe, and I've talked now to so many of them, that Olmert was very committed and probably was planning on having some sort of document worked out with the Palestinians by August. For them it would be a tragedy for a possible peace between Israel and the Palestinians if he would step down. Others say no, that Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni will pick up where he left off. Some of them are worried that the government will unravel and new elections will be held and that Benjamin Netanyahu of Likud, a critic of the Annapolis process, would emerge victorious in an election.


I definitely want to be clear on the issue of the weaknesses on both sides because people are going to ask this. I reaffirmed this in my meetings that any document Abbas and Olmert produce will not be able to be passed by the Palestinian and Israeli ruling bodies, but would be initialed and would be basically the platform for Olmert and Abbas to run for reelection on. It would have to go through the people and the people will have to decide if that's what they want.

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