Newsletter : 8fax0827.txt
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Beijing it's not, but the folks from Heeb magazine have concocted a Semitic version of
Condi Pulls a Solomon: Split Jerusalem in Half
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, completing Tuesday's visit to Israel, has been
pressing Israel to sign a document by the end of the year that would divide Jerusalem by
offering the Palestinians a state in Israel's capital city as well as in the West Bank and
Gaza Strip, according to top diplomatic sources involved in the talks.
The Israeli team, led by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, has been negotiating the division
of Jerusalem despite claims to the contrary but would rather conclude an
agreement on paper by the end of the year that would give the Palestinians a state in the
West Bank, Gaza and some Israeli territory, leaving conclusions on Jerusalem for a later
date, the informed diplomatic sources told WND.
The sources said the Palestinian team has been pushing to conclude a deal by January on
all core issues, including Jerusalem, and has been petitioning the U.S. to pressure Israel
into signing an agreement on paper that offers the Palestinians eastern Jerusalem.
Rice, the sources said, has asked Israeli leaders to bend to what the U.S. refers to as
a "compromise position," concluding an Israeli-Palestinian agreement by the end of the
year that guarantees sections of Jerusalem to the Palestinians. But Israel would not be
required to withdraw from Jerusalem for a period of one to five years.
The diplomatic sources said the plan is that once an Israeli-Palestinian deal is
reached on paper by January, Bush would issue an official letter guaranteeing that the
U.S. supports the conclusions of the document.
Any Israeli-Palestinian paper agreement is to finalize a process that began at last
November's U.S. backed Annapolis conference, which seeks to create a Palestinian state, at
least on paper, before Bush leaves office.
One Palestinian negotiator speaking to WND described as "crazy" the intensity and
frequency of Israeli-Palestinian talks in recent weeks, saying both sides have been
meeting on a daily basis, usually at the highest levels. The negotiator said Foreign
Minister Tzipi Livni and Chief Palestinian Negotiator Ahmed Queri have been leading the
The negotiator said Jerusalem is being discussed by both sides and that the two teams
are "closer than ever" on coming to an agreement on the status of the city. This claim was
verified to WND by other diplomatic sources involved in the negotiations.
The Palestinian negotiator said Jerusalem would be divided along the framework of the
2000 U.S.-brokered Camp David accords. He said the general philosophy for dividing
Jerusalem would be "Arab for Arab and Jew for Jew," meaning that most Arab-majority
eastern sections of Jerusalem would be granted to the Palestinian Authority while Israel
would retain Western, Jewish-majority sections.
Israel recaptured eastern Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount Judaism's
holiest site during the 1967 Six Day War. The Palestinians have claimed eastern
Jerusalem as a future capital. About 244,000 Arabs live in Jerusalem, mostly in eastern
neighborhoods. Jerusalem has an estimated total population of 724,000, the majority
A number of Arab-majority eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods widely regarded as slated for
a Palestinian state include large numbers of Arabs who live on Jewish-owned land
illegally. The Jewish National Fund, a U.S.-based nonprofit, owns hundred of acres of
eastern Jerusalem land in which tens of thousands of Arabs illegally constructed homes the
past few decades. Arabs are now the majority on the Jewish-owned land in question.
Asked by WND whether Jerusalem is currently being negotiated, Mark Regev, Olmert's
spokesman, simply stated, "No."
Olmert has several times denied Jerusalem is being negotiated. Members of his
government coalition have promised to bolt his government and precipitate new elections if
Jerusalem is discussed in talks.
Olmert, facing several criminal investigations described as "serious," recently
announced he will resign after his Kadima party holds primaries next month to chose a new
leader. That leader is widely expected to continue Israeli-Palestinian talks, especially
if frontrunner Livni takes Olmert's place.
The diplomatic situation in Israel is such that many commentators believe Olmert has an
interest in concluding some sort of agreement quickly. Many believe he would like his
input in an Israeli-Palestinian agreement to be among his final "achievements."
WND first exclusively reported Aug. 1 that Olmert told the PA he intends to accelerate
negotiations to reach some understanding on paper as soon as September.
Over the weekend, the Israeli media quoted officials close to Olmert stating the prime
minister is working for an interim document as soon as next month to be presented to the
United Nations. The document likely will not be the conclusion of negotiations but an
outline of some of the breakthroughs regarding the West Bank and Gaza.
One PA negotiator told WND of the planned paper: "Papers are very important. It puts
limits on the new prime minister. For example, the weak point of Israeli-Syrian
negotiations are papers signed by former prime ministers that now must be abided during
Regarding the expected agreement on the Gaza Strip and West Bank, the general plan,
according to top diplomatic sources, is to create a Palestinian state in the vast majority
of the West Bank, but for Israel to retain large West Bank Jewish community blocs of
Ma'aleh Adumim, Gush Etzion and the areas surrounding Jerusalem, and some land in the
northern West Bank adjacent to Israel.
A plan being floated and heavily influenced by the U.S. grants the Palestinians passage
between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip on territory that would be jointly patrolled by
Israel and the PA. The passageway would give the Palestinians access to areas close to
central Israeli population centers.
An area from the Israeli Negev nearly equivalent in land mass to the territory Israel
would retain in the West Bank would be transferred to the West Bank marking the
first official Israeli plan that calls for pre-1967 land to be given to the Palestinians.
Pre-1967 refers to Israeli territory that was not reconquered in the 1967 Six Day War.
Much of the plan previously was published by WND in a series of articles in recent months
and was published last week by Israel's Ha'aretz daily.
The plan would be set out on paper and implemented on the Israeli side in stages, while
the PA would need to first retake control of the Gaza Strip from Hamas before Israel would
give them most of the West Bank.
Regarding the division of Jerusalem, top diplomatic sources said both sides are close
to agreements on specific issues. One PA negotiator claimed the U.S. has guaranteed the
Palestinians that sensitive areas in eastern Jerusalem in which what he termed "extremist
Jews" are purchasing real estate would be handed to the Palestinians.
"The Israelis had no problem with this," the PA negotiator claimed. "We were also told
not to worry too much about scattered Jewish properties in Arab neighborhoods, or yeshivas
(Jewish seminaries) in the Old City." The PA negotiator's claim could not be verified by
sources in Jerusalem.
According to informed Israeli and Palestinian sources, officials from the State
Department in 2008 presented both negotiating sides with several proposals for
consideration regarding the future status of Jerusalem. It was unclear whether the U.S.
proposals were accepted.
One U.S. plan for Jerusalem obtained by WND was divided into timed phases, and among
other things called for Israel eventually to consider forfeiting parts of the Temple
Mount, Judaism's holiest site.
According to the first stage of the U.S. proposal, Israel would initially give the PA
some municipal and security sovereignty over key Arab neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem.
The PA would be allowed to open some official institutions in Jerusalem, could elect a
mayor for the Palestinian side of the city and would deploy some kind of so-called basic
security force to maintain law and order. The specifics of the force were not detailed in
The initial stage also calls for the PA to operate Jerusalem municipal institutions,
such as offices to oversee trash collection and maintenance of roads.
After five years, if both sides keep specific commitments called for in a larger
principal agreement, according to the U.S. plan the PA would be given full sovereignty
over agreed upon eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods and discussions would be held regarding
an arrangement for the Temple Mount. The plan doesn't specify which parts of the Temple
Mount could be forfeited to the Palestinians or whether an international force may be
The PA also could deploy official security forces in Jerusalem separate from a
non-defined basic force after the five year period and could also open major governmental
institutions, such as a president's office, and offices for the finance and foreign
The U.S. plan leaves Israel and the PA to negotiate which Jerusalem neighborhoods would
According to diplomatic sources familiar with the plan, while specific neighborhoods
were not officially listed, American officials recommended sections of Jerusalem's Old
City as well as certain largely Arab Jerusalem neighborhoods such as Jabal Mukabar, Beit
Hanina, Abu Dis, and Abu Tur become part of the Palestinian side. Also recommended were
the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Shoafat, Kfar Akev and Qalandiya
Iranian Cleric: Ahmadinejad is Major Threat
An Iranian cleric accused President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of betraying the people and
called on reformers to unite to defeat him in next year's elections, according to an
interview in a German newspaper.
"Ahmadinejad is not complying with the will of the people," The Financial Times
Deutschland quoted Grand Ayatollah Bajat Sanjani as saying. "This is a major threat, a big
danger," he added in an unusually direct personal attack.
The newspaper also said Sanjani accused Ahmadinejad's government of breaking the law,
seriously encroaching on existing freedoms and illegally empowering the Revolutionary
Ahmadinejad is expected to seek a second term in next year's presidential election. He
has faced mounting criticism from the public and opponents who back reform, particularly
over his handling of the economy and rising inflation which has hit about 26 percent.
Price rises are the biggest gripe for many ordinary Iranians. But Iran's supreme leader
has told Ahmadinejad to prepare for a second four-year term, according to media.
Palestinian Imprisons Mentally Ill Children for 20 Years
A shocking discovery has been made in the West Bank: A Palestinian man imprisoned his
two mentally ill children for more than 20 years in a dungeon he dug under his house
because he was ashamed of them, Palestinian police said on Tuesday.
The police found the brother and his sister, in their 30s, in an unlit and unventilated
dungeon during a raid against arms and drug dealers in the West Bank village of Beit Awa.
The father told police he has imprisoned his children because he did not want people to
laugh at him for bringing "abnormal children to this world."
Police said the father had been arrested and the children were sent to a psychiatric
hospital. The children's mother died years ago and their father remarried. He has two
children from his second marriage. Police declined to give his name or other details.
Giuliani Rips Obama's Israel Policy
The New York Post
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani ripped Sen. Barack Obama as "ambiguous" in his
stand on support for Israel, miles from the convention hall where the Democrats are
celebrating the near-nominee.
Giuliani, who's known as being staunchly pro-Israel and in favor of a strong
relationship between the US and the Jewish state, made the comments in a sit-down with The
Post as he started a two-day attack on Democrats during their convention, acting as a
surrogate for GOP Sen. John McCain.
"There's no question he's ambiguous about" his stand on Israel, Giuliani said, citing
specifically that Obama said months ago before a Jewish political group that he supported
an undivided Jerusalem, and later aides clarified it.
"I think that his position in dealing with the issues that are important to Israel,
like they are important to me in America, is -- (the) best and kindest thing you can say
is, ambiguity," he said, clearly referring to security.
Giuliani added it's "of grave concern. It either comes from deeply held views that he
has or lack of experience, one or the other. But in either case he's too close to the
presidency not to have formed views about this that don't require having to explain it two
or three different times."
The comments from Giuliani, who enjoys strong popularity in Jewish communities -- which
could play a key role in the swing state of Florida -- came as some Jewish voters have
expressed hesitance over Obama, and have cited Israel as the reason. Obama took a widely
covered trip to the Mideast and visited Israel last month, and described the US as a
"strong friend" of Israel.
Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor shot back: "Barack Obama has been a strong friend of
Israel in the Senate, as has Sen. Biden, and both will have an unshakeable commitment to
Israel's security. Mayor Giuliani has now made more false attacks than John McCain has
houses, so voters won't take this latest one too seriously," he said.
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