NEW YORK, April 7, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Christians for Fair Witness on the Middle East questions the following statement in the April 1, 2011 Churches for Middle East Peace ("CMEP") bulletin: "For two years the current government of Israel has made no response to Palestinian proposals for a two-state solution." What are the proposals CMEP is referring to?
As Rev. Thomas A. Prinz, pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Leesburg, Virginia and Fair Witness Executive Committee member points out "actually, there have been no proposals coming from the Palestinians. The last peace proposal that was put on the table came from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in the late summer of 2008. While there had been a lot of negotiating leading up to the package proposal Olmert offered, unfortunately Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas failed to accept it or make a counter-offer."
According to documents in the Palestine Papers, PM Olmert's offer was presented to President Abbas on August 31, 2008. Abbas and Olmert met on September 16, 2008, but as seen in the Palestine Papers, Abbas appears to have decided not to counter-offer at that meeting. PM Olmert has repeatedly stated that Abbas never presented a counter-offer, and the documents in the Palestine Papers support his claim.
Fr. James Loughran, S.A., Director of the Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute and Fair Witness Executive Committee member, says "Both President Abbas and PM Netanyahu have shown intransigence over the last two years when it comes to the peace process. President Abbas sat out nine months of PM Netanyahu's ten month settlement freeze and then walked out of talks as soon as the freeze ended. PM Netanyahu refused to extend the freeze. Neither leader is acting like a peacemaker. We need to be careful not to distort facts and further complicate an already complicated and troubled road to a negotiated end to this conflict."
Please visit our website for access to a full report on the Palestine Papers and the 2008 Olmert Offer.
SOURCE Christians for Fair Witness on the Middle East