"If we've reduced ourselves to having to choose which flavor of terrorism we'll tolerate, we have dramatically lowered our expectations on the war against terrorists, probably to the point of losing entirely...Read more
in the hope that it won't be returned empty," Olmert said.
"We, the state of Israel, will agree to the evacuation of many territories and the settlements that we built there. This is extremely difficult for us, like the splitting of the Red Sea. We will do it for real peace," he said.
He said that if the Palestinians establish a new government committed to carrying out the U.S.-backed "road map" peace plan and securing the release of a captured Israeli soldier, then he would call for an immediate meeting with Abbas "to have a real, open, honest, serious dialogue between us."To me, this policy demonstrates considerable sincerity on Israel's part, as it equates fairness and symbolizes true possibility; but I live in the states.
Olmert said that Israel planned to release "many Palestinian prisoners," including those serving long sentences, as a trust-building measure after Palestinian militants freed the captured soldier alive and healthy.
In exchange, Olmert said Palestinians would have to renounce violence, recognize Israel's right to live in peace and security and give up their demands to allow refugees from the 1948 Mideast War to return to their homes in what is now Israel.
"I believe Mr. Olmert knows he has a partner, and that is President Abbas. He knows that to achieve peace and security for all, we need to shoot for the end game," Erekat said.
denies he’s anti-Israel; Update: Carter says Shalit
kidnapping “probably” a mistake