PLO chief: We will recognize Israel in return for 1967 borders
Senior Palestine Liberation Organization official Yasser Abed Rabbo said on Wednesday that the Palestinians will be willing to recognize the State of Israel in any way that it desires, if the Americans would only present a map of the future Palestinian state that includes all of the territories captured in 1967, including East Jerusalem.
Abed Rabbo continued, "It is important for us to know where are the borders of Israel and where are the borders of Palestine. Any formulation the Americans present – even asking us to call Israel the 'Chinese State' – we will agree to it, as long as we receive the 1967 borders. We have recognized Israel in the past, but Israel has not recognized the Palestinian state."
Palestinians demand Israel present map of its borders
"If this map is based on the 1967 borders and provides for the end of the Israeli occupation over all Palestinian lands... then we recognize Israel by whatever name it applies to itself in accordance with international law," Abed Rabbo told the AFP.
Of course, with the 1967 borders, Israel would have to give away the West Bank, the Golan Heights, and East Jerusalem. This would create an almost indefensible state of Israel against enemy attacks in the event of war. It was just a matter of time before this request came out and it came in less than 24 hours.
In other news:
Thousands greet Ahmadinejad on first state visit to Lebanon
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad began his first state visit to Lebanon on Wednesday, giving a strong show of support to the Shi'ite militant group Hizbullah and stirring up the country's tumultuous political divides.
Thousands of Lebanese — mostly Hizbullah backers — lined the main highway into the capital from Beirut's airport, where Ahmadinejad arrived Wednesday. Loudspeakers blasted songs as women sold Hizbullah flags and balloons to onlookers.
Iran is the most powerful ally of Hizbullah which holds widespread support among Lebanon's Shi'ites and boasts the country's strongest military force. But Ahmadinejad's visit has sparked concern among Western-backed factions locked in a political struggle with Hizbullah over the direction of the country.
The Lebanese daily Assafir reported that Ahmadinejad may hold a tripartite meeting with his Turkish Prime Minster Tayyip Erdogan and Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri counterparts on Friday.
The paper reported that the Iranian president extended his trip so the three can meet "amid major headlines."
Hero's Welcome for Ahmadinejad in Lebanon
The visit is timely for Hizbullah, which is the subject of a United Nations investigation into the assassination of former anti-Syrian Prime Minister Rafik Hariri several years ago. Hizbullah is a minority member of the Lebanese coalition government but holds a grip on legislation through its veto power in the national cabinet.
Hizbullah, which is financed by Iran, has gained wide support on southern Lebanon, where it created a state within a state following the hasty departure of Israeli troops in 2000, ordered by then-Prime Minister and current Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
Lebanon crowds cheer Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
It is the Iranian leader's first visit to Lebanon since he took office in 2005, and some members of Lebanon's pro-Western parliamentary majority see it as a provocation.
Before he arrived, Hezbollah's rivals in government issued a statement saying Mr Ahmadinejad was seeking to transform Lebanon into "an Iranian base on the Mediterranean".
This is just the first day of Ahmadinejad's visit. It will be interesting to see exactly what he has up his sleeve. We'll be watching this one closely.