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Most Israelis Back Arab Peace Initiative

A new poll indicates that if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu adopts the principles of the Arab Peace Initiative, 69% of the Israeli public would support him.
Egypt's Foreign Minister Nabil Elaraby (R) attends a meeting with former chief of Israel's Shin Bet intelligence agency Jacob Perry and the delegation from "Israeli Peace Initiative" group, lobbying its government to concede land to Palestinians for peace, in Cairo May 19, 2011. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El-Ghany  (EGYPT - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) - RTR2MMIG
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On Saturday, May 25, at the annual conference of the World Economic Forum in Jordan, I had the chance to exchange a few words with Amr Moussa, who was secretary-general of the Arab League when it adopted the historic Arab Peace Initiative in 2002. Moussa, who had previously served as Egypt’s foreign minister for many years, knows Israel well, but doesn’t understand it.

Today, too, as he sits on the porch of the convention center on the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea, Moussa wonders why not a single Israeli leader has picked up the gauntlet that has been lying at Israel’s feet for over a decade. I told him that a new opinion poll being published this week shows, categorically, that if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to do so, instead of giving in to his party and his government coalition, then most of the public, including those who just recently voted for right-wing parties, would back him up.

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