P.A. advertises Arab League initative in Israel

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Palestinian Authority placed advertisements in four major Israeli newspapers endorsing the 2002 Arab League peace initiative.

The advertisement translates the entire peace initiative into Hebrew and is headlined "57 Arab and Muslim States Will Establish Normal and Diplomatic Relations with Israel in Exchange for a Full Peace Agreement and an End to the Occupation." It is surrounded by the flags of those countries. The ad was placed in Ha’aretz, Ma’ariv, Yediot Achronot and Israel Hayom, and also appeared in Arabic in three Palestinian papers.

The Arab League intiative offers Israel normalization of relations with the Arab world in exchange for return to the 1967 borders and a "just solution" to the Palestinian refugee issue that would be "agreed upon" by the parties. Israel has in the past complained that the refugee language is vague and leaves open the possiblity of a mass return.

Asked about the advertisement, Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni said the peace plan was a "postiive" but needed revisions.

"The Arab world has to understand what I am saying now: You don’t put a peace plan on the table and say ‘Take it or leave it,’" Livni told reporters, according to Reuters.

In response to the P.A. ad, Peace Now bought an advertisement in al-Quds, the largest circulation Palestinian newspaper, endorsing the Arab League initiative. It is headlined, in Arabic, "Yes, We Israelis Support the Arab Peace Initiative."

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