New York — Saudi Arabia, which has been called “moderate” for touting its 2002 so-called “peace plan,” has threatened Israel with war if it does not accept the plan in its entirety. Saudi Foreign Minister, Saud al-Faisal, issued an ultimatum to Israel this week, saying that its plan is non-negotiable and suggested that Israel would be to blame if war broke out as a result of its failure to swallow it whole. Faisal told the London Telegraph, “It has never been proven that reaching out to Israel achieves anything … [If Israel does not agree to the offer, it will be placing its future] “in the hands of the lords of war” ( Washington Times, March 29).
The Saudi “peace plan” demands, in return for Arab recognition and “normalized relations,” Israel’s withdrawal to the pre-June 1967 armistice lines; the creation of a Palestinian state with eastern Jerusalem as its capital; and the Israeli acceptance of the morally and legally baseless so-called ‘right of return’ by Palestinian Arab refugees of the 1948-49 war and their millions of descendants to Israel, thereby inundating Israel with hostile Arabs and ending its existence as a Jewish state. Israel would therefore have to surrender not only eastern Jerusalem with its holiest Jewish sites, but also all of Judea and Samaria, where over 400,000 Israeli Jews live, including the strategically vital Jordan Valley and the Golan Heights. Moreover, the Saudi initiative insists on the ‘right of return’ and rejects any substitute for it, assuring “the rejection of all forms of Palestinian partition which conflict with the special circumstances of the Arab host countries,” meaning the rejection of settling of the refugees and their descendants in neighboring Arab countries and the granting of citizenship to them.
The Saudi threat makes it clear that U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni’s intention to promote the plan as a basis for future discussions is not accepted by the Saudis. Also, the Saudi King Abdullah this week opened an Arab summit meeting in Riyadh by calling “illegitimate” the U.S. military presence in Iraq and denouncing as “oppressive” the embargo on the terrorist-dominated Palestinian Authority (PA) government.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “Saud al-Faisal’s words and those of Saudi King Abdullah denouncing American efforts, paid for in American lives and treasure, to bring peace and prosperity to Iraq, as well as the embargo on the Hamas/PA terror regime simply underscore that the Saudi “peace plan” is anything but. It also confirms that Saudi Arabia is not a moderate, but an extremist regime.
“It is simply unacceptable that the Saudis, who bear deep responsibility for the world-wide spread of Islamist fanaticism and hate education through funding extremist mosques and publications around the world, seek to dictate terms to Israel with veiled hints of war if the fails to concede to all its demands. This is the opposite of moderation — it is saber-rattling and war-mongering. Since when is a peace plan a take-it-or-leave it proposition?
“It is clear that when the Saudis propose a plan with impossible demands that Israel could never accept, it is not a peace plan at all, but simply an effort to gain positive press, not a real peace. There is not a shred of seriousness to the Saudi plan. Saudi Arabia should be censured by the U.S. and all its allies for its bellicose posturing which only underscores the unacceptability of the ‘peace plan’ it has promoted.”