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AUSCHWITZ BORDERS?

Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert & Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Reportedly Discuss Peace Plan

Likud MK Yuval Steinitz: 'Olmert's West Bank Withdrawal Scheme Will Push Israel Back To Auschwitz Lines'

While Olmert & Abbas Were Meeting in Jerusalem, Palestinian Terrorists Launch More Qassam Rockets At Sderot

Mahmoud Abbas and Ehud Olmert

Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reportedly discussed an Israeli withdrawal on the West Bank at their latest meeting in Jerusalem. According to Israel Radio, the two leaders also considered a land swap involving West Bank settlements in return for Israeli territory in the Negev desert as well as a partition of Jerusalem. The right- wing Likud party has charged that Olmert has no mandate to negotiate such issues. Likud MK Yuval Steinitz told IsraCast that an Israeli pullback to the former lines of 1967 would lead to a Holocaust for the Jewish state.

The Likud Opposition party is about to launch a major campaign to block the latest concessions made by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at their latest meeting in Jerusalem. Likud MK Yuval Steinitz told IsraCast the Jewish state could not possibly defend itself on the lines of 1967. He recalled that even super-doves like the late Abba Eban had called them the 'Auschwitz lines'. At the latest Olmert-Abbas meeting in Jerusalem, the Israeli leader reportedly discussed such an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank, a partition of Jerusalem and a territorial exchange of settlements for Israeli land in the Negev.

Steinitz charged that the Prime Minister did not enjoy any broad public backing for such wide scale moves. On the contrary, Olmert was probably trying to drum up support in the media and abroad in order to stave off a possible demand for his resignation by the Winograd enquiry into his handling of the Second Lebanon War. Steinitz a former chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, warned that Olmert's withdrawal plan without adequate security zones would lead to another Holocaust for Israel and the Jewish people.The Likud would now launch a campaign both in the Knesset and in then streets to prevent its being implemented.

Footnotes: The wide-ranging discussions between Olmert and Abbas comes against the backdrop of accelerated international diplomacy in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.An international peace conference is slated for this fall to be preceded by visits by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, EU representative Javier Solana, and Tony Blair representing the Quartet that also includes the UN and Russia.

Prime Minister Olmert and his Kadima party depend on Labor's support in the government coalition. Labor Party leader Ehud Barak recently took issue with Olmert by ruling out a West Bank withdrawal until Israel installs an anti-rocket system to prevent the future rocketing of central Israel by West Bank terrorists. No such an anti- rocket system can be deployed for several years. However, the latest concessions attributed to Olmert are very similar to the plan accepted by Barak when he went to Camp David as prime minister seven years ago.If so, this will make it more difficult for Defense Minister Barak to reject today. Olmert's latest proposals could also arouse opposition in his own Kadima party which is comprised of many former members from the right-wing Likud.

While Olmert and Abbas were meeting in Jerusalem, Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip launched more Qassam rockets at the Israeli town of Sderot. One Israeli civilian was wounded when one of the rockets hit an apartment building.

David Essing

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