BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Persian Pashto Turkish French
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Middle East  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Thursday, 15 November, 2001, 22:53 GMT
Peres faces the Palestine question
Right wing Israelis stage a mock wedding between Mr Peres and Yasser Arafat protesting any talks between the two men
Israelis insist their security must be prioritised
By the BBC's Kylie Morris

Shimon Peres' speech to the United Nations General Assembly was not a groundbreaker.

However had Mr Peres stuck to his original script, it might have been.

His earlier drafts referred to "two states, two nations", and spoke of the need for a Palestinian state to take control of its own security.

Why Mr Peres changed his mind is unclear. Nonetheless what the international audience ultimately heard was a version of the Peres vision watered down by political realities.

The gap between what the Israeli foreign minister might have wanted to say, and what he was able to say with his prime minister's blessing is a stark illustration of different Israeli views of a Palestinian future.

'No formal policy'

In his UN speech, Mr Peres said many Israelis back a Palestinian state.

Palestinians attack an effigy of Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres at a protest in Hebron on Wednesday
Palestinians say they will not accept another interim agreement
"Although this is not yet a formal policy of the government of Israel, there is support for a Palestinian independence, support for a Palestinian state," he said.

But this speech was not about Israel's official policy.

It was about what Israel might countenance in the future.

US Secretary of State Colin Powell is expected to outline a new American initiative in a matter of days.

How far he goes is now being decided in a game of bluff and counter-bluff among all the players.

The Palestinians say they will not accept another interim agreement.

The Israelis, meanwhile, are on the point of imagining a Palestine, but insist their security must be a precursor to its creation.

The Americans want calm as soon as possible, the Europeans a sustainable and workable peace.

Daily reality

And the United Nations is reminding everyone of its prescriptions for a just peace, based on resolutions 242 and 338 - those that call for Israeli withdrawal from occupied territories.

However the diplomatic machinations of the international community seem a world away from the daily realities facing Israelis and Palestinians.

Incursions, assassinations, drive-by shootings and heightened security remain the only reality for the two sides.

Indeed it seems that any optimism that the events of 11 September would spin off into a speedy resolution of the Middle East conflict has all but faded.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres
"It may not happen at once but it will happen"

Key stories

Profiles

FACTFILE

TALKING POINT

AUDIO VIDEO
See also:

15 Nov 01 | Middle East
15 Nov 01 | Middle East
13 Nov 01 | Middle East
12 Nov 01 | Middle East
04 Nov 01 | Middle East
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Middle East stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Middle East stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes