THE BALL is in Israel's court. If it displays obduracy at this stage, it would become difficult to resolve major issues at a later date that would set the boundaries of a future Palestinian state and settle, once and for all, the status of Al Quds as well as the question of the return of Palestinian refugees. An unbending stance by Israel on the issues of prisoners and further military pull-out could have potentially explosive consequences that could derail the peace process finally and, perhaps, irreversibly.
A PEACE imposed by force will last for only as long as the force is there and, once it is no longer there, the suppressed grievances will resurface again. The Zionists should realise that the Palestinian people will not be answerable, or responsible, to a person known as Yasser Arafat, particularly if he signs a dictated deal that doesn't achieve Palestinian rights in full. The Palestinian people will not be bound by any agreement signed by Arafat that doesn't restore Palestinian rights.
HAS ANYONE ever heard of more original, or stranger, negotiations than the ones going on between Israel and the Palestinians? [Ehud] Barak has threatened Arafat that if the Palestinian Authority does not accept his proposal, he will respond by implementing in full the PA's demand to carry out the Wye agreement in full. Arafat is not responding by saying, "Great, give me what I'm insisting on." Instead, he prefers to continue negotiating over Barak's proposal. There is no more convincing proof that the agenda proposed by Israel is good for both sides.