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Rice and Bush Photo: AP
Rice and Bush Photo: AP
 
Gaddafi. Obsessive Photo: AFP
Gaddafi. Obsessive Photo: AFP
 
Sudanese President, Omar Hassan al-Bashir. "Looked like he was on drugs" Photo: AFP
Sudanese President, Omar Hassan al-Bashir. "Looked like he was on drugs" Photo: AFP
 
 

Rice: I thought peace was within reach

In new memoir former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice recounts visits to Israel including peace talks with Olmert, Abbas

Ynet
Published: 10.23.11, 22:30 / Israel News

The year was 2008. Israel was in the midst of peace talks with the Palestinian Authority and US officials were convinced that an agreement would soon be reached.

 

Condoleezza Rice, the former US Secretary of State, recounts her visits to Israel in the days of the Bush administration in a new memoir coming out in November. In it she expresses her surprise from former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, as he allegedly made an extraordinary offer in an attempt to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

 

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According to The Daily Beast, in her new biography "No Higher Honor" Rice recalls a meeting she held with Olmert in 2008 where he informed her of his proposal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

 

Olmert and Rice (Photo: Moshe Milner, GPO)
Olmert and Rice (Photo: Moshe Milner, GPO)
 

"I'll give him enough land, maybe something like 94 percent with swaps...There will be two capitals, one for us in West Jerusalem and one for the Palestinians in East Jerusalem. The mayor of the joint city council will be selected by population percentage,” Rice recalls his offer.

 

She noted that she then believed the peace accord based on a two-state solution for two peoples was within reach, but her fears were realized during a meeting with Olmert and Abbas – when the PM refused to hand over a map he had drawn to the Palestinian president, demanding Abbas sign the agreement immediately. When Abbas refused, the pending deal imploded.

 

Months later, Rice remembers US President George W. Bush requested Abbas accept Olmert's offer, but “the Palestinian stood firm, and the idea died."

 

“Now, as I write in 2011, the process seems to have gone backward,” she concludes.

 

Rice's 734-page book not only discusses the Mideast peace process but also takes a jab at former US Vice-President Dick Chaney. In the book she describes him as a very extreme politician who did not properly serve the president during his term.

 

Rice also talks of her own heated arguments with Bush, recounting a harsh conversation she had with him in December 2006. According to her, Bush wanted to send more troops to Iraq, while she opposed the idea and suggested to pull the troops out of the cities instead.

 

''So what's your plan, Condi?'' the president asked sardonically. ''We'll just let them kill each other, and we'll stand by and try to pick up the pieces?''

 

Rice also criticized a number of foreign leaders she met with over the years. The Sudanese President, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, ''looked as though he was on drugs',' while Lebanese President Emile Lahoud made her feel she needed a shower after meeting with him.

 

As for Libya's longtime dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, who found his gruesome death on Thursday, Rice tells of his "eerie fascination" with her. She says that Gaddafi played a song written especially for her called ''Black Flower in the White House.''

 

 

 

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