[Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA: When Saeb Erekat claims that Israel is
"obligated" to release all prisoners he knows damn well that this is not
the case. There was an obligation in the various Oslo agreements to
"release prisoners" but the wording did not include the crucial "the", just
as UNSC 242 did not include the crucial "the" in calling for Israeli
withdrawal from territories.
Let's make this clear: Saeb Erakat is a very bright guy. In fact, I would
admit that the odds are that he knows the documents associate with the Arab
Israeli conflict better than most Israelis he meets with. And that's why it
is so annoying that he insults our intelligence when he palms off such a
claim when he himself knows it isn't true.
The puzzle to me: there are certainly things in the agreements that require
a 3 second attention span to comprehend so I can understand why Israeli
officials may feel it is a hopeless cause to try to explain them to Israeli
journalists or the Israeli public. But this is a real no brainer. Why
donít we have a two second response from Israeli officials slamming Erekat
for misrepresenting Israel's obligations vis-ŗ-vis prisoner releases? ]
PLO Official Denies Holding Quiet Talks with Israel
CAIRO, June 10, 2012 (WAFA) - PLO Executive Committee member Saeb Erekat
Sunday denied the Israeli media allegations regarding the holding of a new
meeting between President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli vice Prime Minister
Shaul Mofaz, according to a press release published by Erekatís office.
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported Sunday that 'a line of communication
between Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Abbas is established
Erekat described these allegations as a ďtrial balloon,Ē stressing that the
communications that took place with the Israeli side were to coordinate the
exchange of letters between Abbas and Netanyahu.
Erekat delivered a letter from Abbas to Netnyahu on May 27th. The letter
discussed several issues, including settlement activities, peace references,
and the implementation of Sharm el Sheikh Memorandum, which included the
release of all prisoners detained before the singing of Oslo Accord in 1993,
in addition to releasing Palestinian prisoners in accordance with a previous
agreement between Abbas and former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
He stressed the Palestinian leadershipís clear position regarding resuming
negotiations with Israel, based on Israelís commitment to halt all
settlement activities, recognize the 1967 borders and to release all
prisoners, adding that these are not Palestinian conditions, but rather