Palestinian 'peace' ads greet Israeli drivers

Tuesday, December 16, 2008 |  Ryan Jones

The Palestinian Authority has ramped up an advertising campaign to convince Israelis to back a Saudi-authored Arab peace initiative by purchasing billboard space along Israel's coastal highway.

The billboard informs Israelis that if they will surrender all of the land up to the Jewish state's pre-1967 borders, then in line with a 2002 peace proposal by Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, the whole of the Muslim world, minus Iran, will promise to recognize Israel.

A full page ad going into further detail about the Saudi plan was placed in all of Israel's major newspapers last month.

In addition to its stated purpose, the campaign also appears to be directed at convincing Israelis and the world that the sole obstacle to peace is Israel's unwillingness to part with Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights and the eastern half of Jerusalem.

The campaign, and indeed the Saudi plan itself, make no mention of Arab terrorism against Israel's Jews, which predates Israel's seizing control of the disputed territories.

Israeli leaders have previously responded to the Saudi plan with guarded enthusiasm, acknowledging what they call a step in the right direction, but insisting that they cannot agree to a full withdrawal unless terrorism has first come to a complete halt.

There is also the concern that once surrendered, Judea and Samaria (the so-called "West Bank") would be taken over by Hamas, just as Gaza was following Israel's withdrawal from there, and that the Golan Heights would become a base of operations for Hizballah.

Israeli officials have also noted that the Saudi plan offers no solution to the issue of "Palestinian refugees," giving Arab terror groups the justification they would need to continue attacking Israelis even after a deal was signed.

And then there is the issue of the Jews' connection to the areas the Arabs demand. Judea and Samaria are the biblical and historical heartland of the Jewish people, and Jerusalem their holiest city. Most Israelis, while they do support a compromise peace deal with the Arabs, reject the notion of completely surrendering the lands that their people have dreamt of regaining for millennia.

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