- Aug 4, 2008
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
Had Yasser Arafat accepted President Clinton's bridging proposal, the Palestinians would have gained 97% of the West Bank and all of the Gaza Strip. Israeli settlements would have been removed from the territory given to the Palestinians. Yasser Arafat did not.
Arafat did not accept the Clinton proposal as is but did not reject it. The PA wanted to negotiate more hoping for a better deal. After camp david, the negotiations continued in Taba. Israel offer was better than the one in camp david. The two parties were making progress. The negotiations stopped because of the Israeli elections and then Barak losing. Sharon, the newly elected PM stopped the negotiations and the process was halted.
In a May 17, 2002, NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF wrote: Is Arafat Capable Of Peace?
It is clear that in July 2000 at Camp David, Mr. Barak and President Clinton suggested a courageous, path-breaking peace plan permitting a Palestinian state with a capital in Jerusalem. But, equally clearly, it still would have left the Palestinian state shorn of at least 9 percent of the West Bank, crippled by the loss of water and good land, and (even in the best version) nearly divided by an Israeli annexation running east from Jerusalem. It is reasonable to question whether it would have created a viable state. The notion that the failure of Camp David was completely Mr. Arafat's fault arose when President Clinton publicly said as much, partly in an effort to boost Mr. Barak's re-election prospects.
''The mistake was to put all the blame on Arafat, not only because he did not deserve it,'' said Yossi Beilin, a former Israeli negotiator. ''Maybe he deserved part and maybe it is true that the Palestinians did not initiate ideas, but it was a tactical mistake to put all the blame on one side.'
Talks continued at Taba, Egypt, and by all accounts made considerable progress. Mr. Ben-Ami says the Israelis even kept a helicopter standing by to rush the Palestinian negotiators to Gaza in case a deal was reached.
''Progress was made at the Taba talks,'' Mr. Arafat said this week, and he referred to the joint statement on Jan. 27, 2001, when the negotiations were suspended because of the imminent Israeli election. In the statement, the two sides declared that they ''have never been closer to reaching an agreement and it is thus our shared belief that the remaining gaps could be bridged'' after the election. But (mostly because of Palestinian violence) Ariel Sharon won, and is unwilling even to consider such a deal.
But the common view in the West that Mr. Arafat flatly rejected a reasonable peace deal, and that it is thus pointless to attempt a strategy of negotiation, is a myth.
The Moratinos Document, outlined the progress and noted th position of both parties at the time.
IMRA - Thursday, February 14, 2002 Text: "Moratinos Document"- The peace that nearly was at Taba