A leak is not an actual proposal. But if Aluf Benn, the stellar diplomatic correspondent of Ha'aretz, takes the disclosure seriously believe me it is serious.
Nay sayers may object that the Israeli offer to the Palestinian Authority is clouded by the fact that it originates in the besieged head of Ehud Olmert. So be it. I have my own qualms about it. Some of them could be clarified when the plan is made public in detail.
I, for one, think the security of Israel to require a strip running along the border between the West Bank and Jordan, and that strip to be under Israeli control. Not, by the way and on the basis of previous history, a U.N. detachment, of which we have many in the world (including the disastrous UNIFIL along Israel's frontier with Lebanon) almost all of them utter failures.
And since ultimate Palestine would be free of all Jews I see every reason why there should be other border modifications, including the attachment of densely populated Arab towns that now cleave on the Israeli side to what would be the territory of the new Palestinian state. Although the Israelis would be transferred out of Palestine, the Israeli Arabs would not leave their homes and land at all, but carry it with them to their new homeland. And, please, no nonsense about how these Palestinians are "loyal Israelis." Any plan leaves many Arabs in Israel to test, let us say, hat dubious proposition.
Please read Aluf Benn's article carefully. It proves that Israel does not want to rule over an alien population and over land on which other people labor. The ball is now in the hands of President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad. It is also a challenge to the established Western opinion-making industries (The New York Times, The Economist, the Financial Times, Le Monde, et al) and the leftist press who have made it analytic dogma that Israel wants to govern the West Bank forever. The fact is that the proposal as reported in Ha'aretz, even without my caveats, has been absolute consensus politics in Israel for as long as fifteen years.
I am eager to read and hear what the whiners will say now.