Text of report by Iranian newspaper Bonyan web site on 2 March
The older generation in the Arab world still remembers that it was shedding tears when Israel carried out one of the shortest military operations in the history of warfare and captured territories from Jordan, Egypt and Syria.
Back then, newspaper headlines reminded people that a new Middle East was created over a period of 60 hours.
In an operation that was carried out with the speed of lightning, Israel destroyed the Arab world' war machine and really humiliated it. When the commander of the military operations, Yitzhaq Rabin, explained to the correspondents the strategy of the operations which had gained them victory, [Egyptian President] Jamal Abd al-Nasir, who had vowed to drive the Israelis into the sea, resigned because he was a big loser. People were crying in the streets of Islamic countries. That is because the first Qiblah of Muslims, Bayt al-Maqdis [Jerusalem] was under total Israeli control. Orthodox Jews felt that they had achieved their utopia, which was the establishment of the Jewish homeland, mentioned in the Torah. From then on, Israel remained a thorn in the side of Muslims. The Palestinians remained homeless and they were massacred either by Arab government, such as the Jordanian government, or by rival factions, such as those in Lebanon.
The Palestinians, who were under Israeli sovereignty faced a terrible situation. However, the Palestinian people continued their constant struggle and innumerable Palestinians were prepared to shed their blood. The intifadah, which was a humanitarian movement based on all-out, but unarmed, resistance to Israel, compelled Israel - under American pressure - to come to the negotiating table. The same Yitzhaq Rabin, who was the commander of the operations, signed a peace agreement with Arafat. However, the agreement could not achieve its objectives and 18 months ago, after Ariel Sharon's visit to Bayt al-Maqdis, there was another outbreak of violence. This horrendous trend continues.
In any case, this upheaval was caused by Sharon's stubbornness and his violent and ruthless tactics. As a result, the Europeans, and even the Americans, are facing a major challenge. Moreover, inside Israel itself, peace movements have rebelled.
Amidst all this, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Prince Abdallah, took part in an interview with a senior correspondent of New York Times, Thomas Friedman. Two years ago, Friedman had written an article proposing that instead of trying to form a bond between Islam and democracy, Iran had better seek to emulate the Chinese model of development and try to gain its objectives by limiting political freedoms, while increasing social freedoms. He put a stamp of approval on the rumours circulated by diplomatic circles in the Arab world, which had raised the issue of a new peace plan.
At the same time, he said that he intended to put forward his proposal at a meeting of the Arab League which is due to be held on 27-28 March. However, after witnessing the Sharon government's increasing resort to violence, he decided not to put forward his proposal …