Mubarak: Arabs won't recognize Israel until after peace deal
Arab states will be willing to recognize
and normalize ties with Israel only after a just and comprehensive Middle East
peace is achieved, but not before, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said on
Mubarak, in Washington for talks with the U.S. administration, told the al-Ahram daily that the Arab experience with stalled peace talks in the wake of the 1991 Madrid peace conference "did not encourage" taking steps towards normalization with Israel. Haaretz.com
This will probably be the direction that ME peace negotiations will take. I don't see the Arab world taking any favorable steps toward peace until Israel discontinues settlement growth. Then they will come back to the negotiations table. I believe we are close to a final status agreement, but before that comes, they will have to address a number of issues:
Sovereignty - Each people wants the right to self determination, but some plans deny self determination to one people or the other.
Borders - If there are two states, the land must be apportioned between them and some people will probably need to move. Palestinians demand that all Israeli settlers would leave any separate Palestinian state.
Immigration - Israel has a law of return that allows Jews from all over the world to immigrate to Israel and be granted citizenship automatically. Israel actively seeks Jewish immigration. Palestinian refugees who fled Israeli in 1948 and 1967 want the right to return to their homes in Israel (Right of Return), and Palestinians historically have tried to limit Jewish immigration to Israel and abolish the Law of Return. Many Palestinian refugee families have kept keys to their homes in what is now Israel, even though the homes themselves no longer exist. Return of Palestinian refugees and their descendants, including all those who claim the status of Palestinian refugees, would establish an Arab majority in Israel and would therefore mean the end of Israel as a Jewish state.
Resources - If the states are divided, scarce common resources must be apportioned between them. MidEast Web
The Obama Administration could be unveiling their ME peace proposal in a matter of a few weeks. Certain characteristics of the plan should be noticed such as the inclusion of a time limit, normalization of ties with Israel's Islamic enemies, and the division of Jerusalem.
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