Speaking at a conference at Tel Aviv University today, Israel’s former prime minister Ehud Olmert said that “during his tenure he offered Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas an unprecedented peace offer, based on a return to the 1967 borders and a fair demographic land arrangement which would see heavily Jewish areas in the West Bank remain under Israeli control. ‘I offered a land swap, I offered a solution for Jerusalem, where the Jewish part would remain under Israeli authority and the Arab sections would be given to the jurisdiction of a Palestinian state’ … According to Olmert’s plan, the Holy Basin would be demarcated under the rule of five different states with access available to believers of all religions. The offer was based on the agreements reached at a 2007 summit in Annapolis Maryland, Olmert said, and would be carried out in accordance with the Road Map for peace. Olmert said he and Abbas had reached an interim agreement on the Palestinian right of return, but he never received a final response from the Palestinians on the matter. ‘I found Abbas to be a fair partner, opposed to terror’, said Olmert. ‘What happened? That is the question of all questions, which I would answer if I could. I hope that the State of Israel will put at the top of its agenda the fact that there was a peace proposal offered by a legitimate government… It’s time the international community demand an answer from the Palestinians instead of arguing about a building here and a building there’ … Olmert added that he had ‘reached the conclusion that in choosing between the greater Israel and a Jewish, democratic state, I prefer the latter’, saying he knew it would be necessary to withdraw from much of the land the Palestinians want for a state. Olmert also said he had been ‘hours’ from meeting with the Syrian foreign minister during his tenure, but that the talks were canceled after Israel embarked on its offensive in the Gaza Strip”. here.
Why do people wait so long to say these things?
What would have happened if he had said it loudly, publicly, insistently, repetitiously, at the time?