ZioNation - Progressive Zionism and Israel Web Log

ZioNation home Archives Site map Policy Definitions FAQ timeline history documents Links Photos Contact

Articles and Reference

History of Zionism and Israel
Middle East Encyclopedia
History of Anti-Semitism
History of Anti-Zionism
Encylopedic Dictionary of Zionism and Israel
Zionism and its Impact
Zionism - Issues & answers
Maps of Israel
Six Day War
War of Independence
Bible  Quotes
1948 Israel War of Independence Timeline Christian Zionism
Christian Zionism History
Gaza & the Qassam Victims of Sderot
Zionist Quotes
Learn Hebrew
Israel Boycott?
Boycott Israel?
Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Jew Hate
International Zionism
Commentary in Russian
Middle East
The Grand Mufti Hajj Amin Al Husseini
Albert Einstein
Palestine: Ethnic Cleansing
History Arab-Israeli Conflict
Boycott Israel?
Amnesty International Report on Gaza War

Subscribe to
email newsletter for this site and others

Powered by groups.yahoo.com

What will be the long lasting impact of the Annapolis meeting? Surely it was a tale full of sound and fury, and we know who tells such tales. But it is too early to tell what, if anything, it might mean in terms of immediate and practical results.

It is dangerous to make predictions, but I will venture to say that there will be no Palestinian state by the end of 2008. Equally, however, I would be very surprised if the current status of Israeli settlements in the West Bank can be continued indefinitely, with or without the Annapolis meeting. I would also be very surprised if Israel actually implements a real freeze on settlement growth in the West Bank. We would all, surely, be very surprised if the Palestinian Authority suppresses terror and sets up an orderly administration in the West Bank, and we would all be flabbergasted if they could extend their control to Gaza.

It is impossible to know what the Annapolis meeting means, because the sides themselves do not know exactly what they wanted to achieve there and do not know what they are going to do next. The United States has several conflicting goals. These reflect the respective viewpoints of the Bush administration itself, which is basically pro-Israel, the State Department people who are anti-Israel, and Ms Rice, who is apparently not sure what Israel is and thinks that Palestinian terrorists are like Martin Luther King. When Americans disagree, they do not reach consensus before presenting their viewpoint. The disagreement is evident in conflicting actions that they take. The US introduced a Security Council resolution supporting the Annapolis meeting. That was the State Department people speaking. They did this without consulting Israel, because they knew what Israel would say about the Security Council. Putting the UN in charge of the peace process is like making Torquemada a Kashruth inspector. The UN, after all, has just celebrated its annual Palestine Solidarity Day.

Then the US retracted the resolution, because Israel objected. That was the Bush administration people at work. The gap between the State Department and presidency over Hamas. Surely, the Fatah leaders don't want that!

The Israelis don't know what they want either, and neither does the Zionist movement as a whole. On the one hand, Olmert hinted at great concessions. On the other hand, the government is considering different ways to get out of the settlement freeze obligation, and is thinking of making a procedure that will allow "illegal outposts" to be legal. Olmert announced that there would be no concessions regarding the old city of Jerusalem or the temple mount, but the Palestinians claimed that he had already traded away sovereignty over the temple mount.

The Arabs don't know what they want either. It is hard to know if the Syrian attendance at Annapolis signified anything or what it signified. As soon as the meeting was over, the government controlled Syrian press began delegitimizing it. If they were going to do that, why did they attend? They got one thing out of it: in Lebanon, the March 14 movement, the anti-Syrians, suddenly removed their opposition to election of Suleiman as a "compromise" presidential candidate. Syria is now hurrying to explain to Iran why they attended the conference. Perhaps they were simply invited to drive a rift between them and Iran. They were invited, but they didn't get anything. They didn't get discussion of the Golan heights or any open concessions regarding Lebanon, which is the issue that really concerns them. As for the rest of the Arab states, they came, they snubbed the Israelis and they went home. Their attendance supposedly signified legitimation of the Palestinian Authority and the Fatah. But no sooner had the conference ended, then the Egyptians and the Saudis once again called for Hamas-Fatah rapprochement, which would mean, essentially, liquidation of the Fatah and the peace process.

For the Israelis and the Palestinians, the Annapolis conference, and the whole peace process, is a show for the foreign Khawajas. It is a necessary evil that must be endured for the sake of US backing. Along with going through the motions of peace, and perhaps genuine attempts at making peace, leaders of both sides must play a dual or triple role, which explains why they cannot really make up their minds about what they want. As peace makers, they must endure the sniping of extremists who can make a "national issue" out of every point. The Palestinian extremists insist that Mahmoud Abbas is a traitor because he is willing to give up Tel Aviv and Haifa, and insist that he is giving up right of return and Jerusalem as well. The Jewish extremists insist that Ehud Olmert is a traitor because he is alluding to removing any settlements at all. On the other hand, as representatives of their own sides in the peace negotiations, the leaders have to present themselves as tough bargainers, and to insist on the very points that the extremists want.

What the Israelis and Palestinians gained from the conference, clearly, is that they placated the Americans, and that is important. That clearly was the main goal of both sides. What the Bush administration gained is that it can now say to the State Department people and the Arab states is that it has "made progress" on the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Mission accomplished.

It is unlikely that any of this show will have an immediate practical effect. At this stage however, any peace meeting whatever is of some significance, and a peace meeting that is attended by Saudi Arabia is of historic significance. Progress and change in the Middle East is usually measured in a time frame of hundreds of years or at least decades. Saudi attendance shows that the Arabs are starting to change the way that they look at the conflict and are changing their image of their own role in that conflict. It took sixty years to get the Saudis and the Israelis in the same room. Perhaps in another sixty years they will shake hands with the Israelis too.

Ami Isseroff

Original content is Copyright by the author 2007. Posted at ZioNation-Zionism and Israel Web Log, http://www.zionism-israel.com/log/archives/00000456.html where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Disributed by ZNN list. Subscribe by sending a message to ZNN-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please forward by e-mail with this notice, cite this article and link to it. Other uses by permission only.

Click to Reddit! Facebook Share

add to del.icio.us

Add to digg - digg it

Replies: 1 Comment

It saddens me to think that Israel's survival depends on America's cowardly and appeasing aproach to their own and Israel's enemies. This policy can only bring disaster to both countries. The fundamental cause is their philosophy of Pragmatism: this perverted view holds that there's no objective reality; that consciousness creates it's own reality, that the're no absolutes:no right or wrong, only that which works today , but not necessarily tomorrow, and a heap of othe irrational ideas , by which the American intellectuals lead their nation, but particularly Isral to the brink of catastrophie.

Henry Davis, Wednesday, December 5th

Constructive comments, including corrections, are welcome. Do not use this space for spam, publishing articles, self promotion, racism, anti-Zionist propaganda or character defamation. Inappropriate comments will be deleted. See our Comment policy for details. By posting here, you agree to the Comment policy.


Please take our reader survey!

Our Sites

Zionism News Net
Zionism-Israel Pages
Brave Zionism
IsraŽl-Palestina.Info (Dutch & English)
Our Blogs
Israel News
IMO Blog - IsraŽl & Midden-Oosten (NL)
Israel Like this, as if
Zionism News Net
Israel & Palestijnen Nieuws Blog
IsraŽl in de Media

Blog Roll:
Adam Holland
Blue Truth
CIF Watch
Contentious Centrist
Dutchblog Israel (NL/EN)
Harry's Place
Ignoble Experiment
Irene Lancaster's Diary
Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Jeff Weintraub Commentaries and controversies
Jewish Issues Watchdog Meretz USA Weblog
Meryl Yourish
Middle East Analysis
MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log
Modernity Blog
Pro Israel Bay Bloggers
Point of no return
Simply Jews
Something Something
Tempting Topical Topics
The Augean Stables
Unplugged Mike
Oy Bay! San Francisco Bay Area Jews
Vital Perspective
Israel Mon Amour
Liberty & Justice
On the Contrary
Magdeburger Chossid
Tulip - Israeli-Palestinian Trade Union Assoc.
Southern Wolf
Sharona's Week
Sanda & Israel
Fresno Zionism
Anti-Racist Blog
ZOTW's Zionism and Israel News
Zionism On The Web News
ZOTW's Blogs
Christian Attitudes
Dr Ginosar Recalls
Questions: Zionism anti-Zionism Israel & Palestine
Liberal for Israel

A Jew with a view
Realistic Dove
Christians Standing With Israel - Blog
SEO for Everyone
Vision to Reality: The Reut Blog
Calev's Blog
Candidly speaking from Jerusalem
Dvar Dea
Ray Cook
Shimshon 9

Mark Halawa

This link space is 4 your blog - contact us!

Other Web sites and pages:

PeaceWatch Middle East Commentary Christians Standing With Israel
Zionism On the Web
Guide to Middle East, Zionism
Z-Word blog
Labor Zionism
Le Grand Mufti Husseini
The Grand Mufti Hajj Amin El Husseini
ZNN - Zionism News Network Middle East
Euston Manifesto
Jewish Blogging
Peace With Realism
Israel Facts (NL)
Space Shuttle Blog
Love Poems
At Zionism On the Web
Articles on Zionism
Anti-Zionism Information Center
Academic boycott of Israel Resource Center
The anti-Israel Hackers
Antisemitism Information Center
Zionism Israel and Apartheid
Middle East, Peace and War
The Palestine state
ZOTW Expert Search
ZOTW Forum


Judaica: Jewish Gifts:

RSS V 1.0

RSS V 2.0

Help us improve - Please click here to take our reader survey

All entries copyright by the authors and or Zionism-Israel Information Center. Please forward materials by e-mail with URLS. Other uses by permission only.