It is always interesting to observe Shimon Peres, attempt to weave a repetition of Oslo into the current disengagement planning. His upcoming trip to meet Egyptian officials is an attempt to undermine Mr. Sharon who looks upon the upcoming disengagement as a necessary tactical move and unrelated to the Road Map. The Prime Minister believes that absent an end to incitement, the dismantling of terrorists groups, the institution of the rule of law etc, there can be no progress toward the Road Map.
Mr. Peres seems to fall closer to the Egyptian governments point of view that disengagement must be accompanied by major Israeli concessions regarding Egyptian troops in the Sinai, the granting of air and sea sovereignty for the PA in Gaza with a port and airport, and the immediate progress to the road map talks which would include a contiguity between Gaza and the PA in the West Bank. Implicit is the further immediate Israeli “disengagements ‘from West Bank settlements. His theme is that unlike the Prime minister this is not the end of a process (of giving back settlements), but is only the first step.
In addition Mr. Peres allegedly is in favor of arming the PA in order for them to police their territories .The Prime Minister not only is not prepared to commit himself to immediate road map talks, he equally is reticent about the concept of “contiguity “ preferring to think about a rail line as a connecting link.
In any case it is sad that we have not learned the proper lessons from the spilled blood of Israelis. When Mr. Peres in another life arranged for PA sharpshooters to be trained by the CIA ,Jewish blood flowed. If the disengagement occurs, there must be a demilitarized PA entity. without air rights. The PA currently has enough firepower to do the job of disarming Hamas and Islamic Jihad..IT IS THE WILL THAT IS LACKING..
Inviting Egypt for a greater role in the Philadelphia corridor and the Sinai is an unwise slippery slope that will prove disastrous for the Israelis.
Despite his age Mr. Peres has all his faculties and he brings his considerable world prestige to bear on his aim to destroy the settlements, divide Jerusalem and turn the clock back to pre 1967. The voters of Israel have rejected his concept of transforming Israel (from a Jewish State to a “Hong Kong “) each time, but like an Ever-Ready battery he keeps ticking. Sadly he occupies the number three position in the government and Mr. Sharon has himself to blame for depending so much of his policy on this sly politician.