January 28, 2005

More Bad News From the Middle East

...well, not really. Prediction: Condi Rice will announce resumption of bona fide "road map" discussions when she gets to Israel and Palestine in early Feb (assuming no terror attacks occur before her visit).

Posted by Gregory at January 28, 2005 06:37 AM | TrackBack (41)

I predict that Ms. Rice's visit to the Middle East will be another useless trip by an American secretary of state. I'm convinced that until the U.S. is willing to threaten the Israelis into doing its wishes the way it threatens Arab and Muslim nations, there will be no lasting peace between Palestinians and Israelis. And anyone that understands U.S. politics knows that is not going to happen. Consequently, the Palestinians may get a Indian-style reservation from the Israelis, with U.S. blessing, but no viable, independent homeland anytime soon. At least not while Ariel Sharon is still around.

Posted by: Munir Umrani at January 28, 2005 07:07 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Ms. Rice's trip to the Middle East will most likely be pointless, but not for those reasons. Pressuring Israel is exactly the wrong thing to do. In fact pressuring Israel into concessions will not lead to peace, but to a greater war. The US pressured Israel all through the 90s, and the only thing it brought was Arafat's war, not peace. Why would anyone think that more pressure on Israel would lead to a different outcome?

No, the reason that all those trips by Sec. States and Special Envoys have been useless is because by refusing to say certain things to the Arabs, the US perpetuates their belief that they still may have a chance to destroy Israel. The US stating unequivocally that Palestinian "refugees" will not be resettled in Israel, or moving the US embassy to Jerusalem would do more for peace in the Middle East than a dozen Road Maps and Special Envoys.

The problem has not been a lack of Israeli concessions. The problem has been the lack of one Palestinian concession - accepting the State of Israel.

Posted by: Nudnik at January 28, 2005 01:54 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

One key ingredient is new: Arafat, that master rug-merchant, has passed into history. However, while Fatah owns the West Bank, Hamas owns Gaza. The IDF is pulling it and the settlers out of Gaza, leaving the onus of hostile action on the Hamas politicos.

Nudnik is correct that the whole right of return thing is a scam that needs to be killed off at the beginning of the process. The Israelis shouldn't have to buy into national suicide as a price for peace. Rice needs to make this point firmly and in private. Rice needs to tell the Israelis that they need to pull more settlements back from exposed positions in the West Bank, however, and closer to the Green Line. Having little Kralls near the Jordan River is idiotic and requires an armored column going on patrol now and again. So, one is inflicting pain on both sides.

Another thing will happen. Hamas and Fatah reflect the internal fissures of the Palestinian nationalist movement in general and ME fascism in particular. Are the Palestinians willing to give up the wish-dream of exterminating the Jews of Israel, or not? Israel must always act as if they are not. But now that Arafat the coalition builder is gone, it may be possible for true politics to begin among the Palestinians.

BTW, it does look as if Rice has convinced Bush that Tony Blair is owed a London Peace conference. That is all to the good if something can come of it. I remember what happened at Madrid: jaw-jaw is not necessarily a good thing.

Perhaps GW, Tony, Condi and Jack Straw out to ring up Gregory and have him preside?

No, I wouldn't wish that on you, Greg.

Posted by: Section9 at January 28, 2005 05:19 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I think there was a survey a while back to the effect that only 10% of the Palestinians who once owned property in ye olde Israel would be interested in going back. So it's something of a fake issue for both sides. Still, I suppose it has a lot of symbolic power.

Posted by: praktike at January 29, 2005 07:36 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

"Prediction: Condi Rice will announce resumption of bona fide "road map" discussions when she gets to Israel and Palestine in early Feb (assuming no terror attacks occur before her visit)."

That is, no terror attacks by palestinians, right?

Israelis can make as many terror attacks as they like and it won't deger Rice at all.

Posted by: J Thomas at January 30, 2005 05:21 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

5954 right spot ruffus

Posted by: hoodia at February 4, 2005 02:05 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink
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