Many others criticize Olmert plan
New York – Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak and Jordans Prince Hassan have expressed opposition to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmerts plan for further Israeli unilateral withdrawals in Judea and Samaria. Hassan has additionally warned that the plan if implemented could entail dire consequences for Jordan and the region. Mubarak and his Foreign Minister, Ahmed Abel Gheit, made their position against Olmerts plan clear in a meeting with Olmert on Sunday in Sharm el Sheikh and Hassan warned in a recent interview that implementing the Olmert plan could facilitate the spread of Hamas Islamist extremism into Jordan.
Excerpts from the Egyptian and Jordanian remarks:
- Hosni Mubarak: There have to be direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians in order to reach a peace agreement (China View, June 5).
- Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abel Gheit: Egypt at this stage is against any unilateral moves by Israel (China View, June 5).
- Jordanian Prince Hassan: It is a different dimension of the demographic bomb when one considers that if Jordan were to open the floodgates [the Jordan River border] that a significant percentage of the Palestinian population would find its way to Jordan in a matter of months … If Jordan sits back and accepted developments as they are and does not play a proactive role, it is conceivable that far from breaking the deadlock in West Bank terms, what is an ideological movement [Hamas] could spread to Jordan and the rest of the region (Washington Times, June 3).
Other figures who have criticized or opposed Olmerts unilateral withdrawal plan include former Israel Defense Force (IDF) Chief-of-Staff, Lieutenant-General Moshe Yaalon, outgoing Israeli National Security Council (NSC) head Major-General Giora Eiland, former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, former Defense Minister Moshe Arens, former Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman, Yuval Steinitz, current Tourism Minister and number two Labor Party figure, Yitzhak Herzog, Housing Minister and senior Kadima figure, Meir Shitreet, former CIA Director, R. James Woolsey, former Israeli ambassador, Zalman Shoval, Center for Security Policy President, Frank Gaffney, Mideast scholar Daniel Pipes, Jerusalem Post Managing Editor Caroline Glick, leading Israeli journalist for the left-wing Haaretz newspaper, Ari Shavit, and 2005 Nobel Prize Winner in Economics, Professor Robert Aumann.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, It could not be clearer that Egypts Mubarak and Jordan s Prince Hassan both explicitly oppose Olmerts plan to carry out further unilateral withdrawals in Judea and Samaria. A major study by the Washington-based Center for Security Policy has also shown that implementing Olmerts plan will endanger US military assets in Israel and Jordan and allow Iranian and Al-Qaeda forces to establish themselves in Judea and Samaria. It is important to remember that Islamist terrorists, in addition to attacking Israel, have targeted Jordan and Egypt, as the bombings in Amman and Sharm El Sheikh last year have shown.