Why do Arab leaders threaten war if their peace proposals…

…are not accepted by Israel?  See below.

From a Haaretz article, March 2007:

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas warned on Thursday of violence if Israel rejected a Palestinian “hand of peace,” and called for an international conference on achieving peace. “I reiterate the sincerity of the Palestinian will in extending the hand of peace to the Israeli people… We should not waste more chances in the history of this long and painful cause,” he told the closing ceremony of an Arab summit. “The entire region will be under renewed threats of war, explosions, as well as regional and international confrontations, as a result of the absence of a solution or the impossibility of implementing one,” Abbas added.


“We hope our summit would result in the formation of an Arab committee headed by the Saudi Arabian monarchy, the head of the summit, to follow up implementation of the Arab initiative,” he said, referring to an Arab land-for-peace proposal. He called for a “negotiated settlement that will be sponsored by the international community and within the framework of an international peace conference in the region.”U.S. calls endorsement of peace plan ‘very positive’
The United States welcomed the endorsement by Arab leaders on Thursday of a 5-year-old peace initiative intended to end the Arab-Israeli conflict, calling it was a “very postive” step.

“That is something that we view as very positive,” said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack when asked about the outcome of the Arab summit and endorsement of the 2002 plan drawn up at a previous summit in Beirut.The plan, parts of which have been rejected by

Israel, offers normal ties
with all Arab countries in return for its withdrawal from land captured in the 1967 Six-Day War, the creation of a Palestinian state and a “just solution” for Palestinians displaced in 1948.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice pressed Arab leaders during a visit to the region over the past week to follow up on the Arab plan and use it as the basis to engage with the Israelis.

Despite Israeli reservations, Rice said she had not asked Arab leaders to amend the plan.

“We encourage them, however, to use it as a point of active diplomacy and as a way of energizing the push for peace in the Middle East. Their efforts and those of others have an important role to play,” said McCormack.McCormack declined further comment on the summit’s endorsement of the plan until he had more details but said Rice wanted Arab states to play a more active role in encouraging peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.Arab leaders gathering for a two-day summit in

Saudi Arabia on Wednesday unanimously approved the Saudi peace initiative originally launched in 2002. Abbas voted in favor of the initiative, although Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas abstained in the vote. The plan offers

Israel recognition and permanent peace with all Arab countries in return for an Israeli withdrawal from lands captured in the 1967 Six-Day War. It also calls for setting up a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital and a just solution to the issue of Palestinian refugees. At the summit, Saudi Arabia‘s King Abdullah called for an end to the international blockade on the Palestinian government. The king said: “It has become necessary to end the unjust blockade imposed on the Palestinian people as soon as possible so the peace process can proceed.” The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, on Wednesday urged Arab states to be flexible in their land-for-peace offer to

Israel. Addressing the Arab summit, Solana called for an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 boundaries. He called the Arab initiative a general concept that has to be developed. He also urged Arabs and Israel to deal with the plan as a starting point in negotiations. In a written message to the Arab leaders gathered in

Riyadh, Solana said the EU hopes all the members of the Arab League will fulfill their responsibilities and contribute to the success of this enterprise. “Failure to rise to today’s challenges will put the Middle East at risk of missing the train of human and economic development,” he said in the message. Before arriving in Riyadh, Solana expressed optimism that the relaunched initiative could reinvigorate the Middle East peace process. Solana’s presence at the summit was designed to highlight the European Union’s support for the peace initiative, officials said. If

Israel rejects the Arab peace initiative, it means it is not interested in reaching a peaceful solution with its neighbors, Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said Wednesday. Speaking at the summit, al-Faisal said, “If Israel refuses, that means it doesn’t want peace.” Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh urged Arab leaders not to compromise on the Palestinian refugees’ right to return to their homes in Israel, a clause in the initiative which Israel has asked to modify. “I expect the Arab summit meeting to reiterate the Arab countries’ commitment not to compromise on the Palestinian refugees right of return,” Haniyeh said. At the summit, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged Arab leaders to prove they were serious about peace with

Israel by reviving their five-year-old initiative. “The Arab peace initiative is one of the pillars for the peace process… This initiative sends a signal that the Arabs are serious about achieving peace,” Ban told Arab leaders. “When I was in

Israel I urged my Israeli friends to take a new look at the initiative. Here in Riyadh, I also urge you, my Arab friends, to benefit from this initiative and reiterate your commitment to it,” he said. At the summit, Arab League chief Amr Moussa urged Israel to accept the initiative rather than ask for changes. “The Israeli response was to ask for an amendment. We tell them to accept it first,” Moussa told Arab leaders. “We are at a crossroads – either we move toward a real peace or see an escalation in the situation.”


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