Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert completed his change of perspective toward peace with the Palestinian Authority by finally acknowledging the need to abandon a hard stance on the West Bank and accept the reality that most land taken as a result of the 1967 war must be returned to their rightful owners. In an interview with Israel’s biggest selling newspaper, Yedhiot Ahronot, he urged working to reach an accord with President Abbas before it is too late to attain such a compromise. Olmert warned delay would only play into the hands of Islamic militants. The alternative was “the very great danger that there will be a bloody clash, which will thwart any possibility of continuing negotiations.”
Olmert admitted “what I am saying…. has not been said by any Israeli leader before me.” The Israel prime minister finally said the truth– “In the end, we will have to withdraw from the lion’s share of the territories and, for the territories we leave in our hands, we will have to give compensation in the form of territories within the State of Israel at a ratio that is more or less one to one.”
Prime Minister Olmert is already being blasted by hard liners, but it is important that an Israel leader has finally spoken the truth.