Friday, August 20, 2010

Direct Talks Beginning

It took some severe arm-twisting and more than a few tense moments, but the US has announced that direct talks will commence between Israel and the PA this September. The word out of Washington (and this strikes me as quite optimistic) is that all issues can be resolved within a year.

Well, good luck!


Bhanu Tiwari said...
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Cycle Cyril said...

Unlikely to accomplish anything.

Israel previously stated it is not extending the moratorium on building on the West Bank. Abbas has stated he would end any talks if building resumes, giving himself an out.

America has virtually never pushed the PLO et al to any significant or even symbolic compromise, such as changing their founding documents, and has only pushed Israel. There are limits to what Israel can do and continue to exist.

sonicfrog said...

Given the past failures, I can't be optimistic. That said, unlike the opinions of some of my Right Wing friends (the ones who tow the Rush, Hannity, Levin line), who see even talking to the Palestinians as traitorous, I have no problem with continuing to try. Hell, of Carter can get Egypt and Israel together, then maybe, just maybe...

Dr. Evil said...

Not optimistic due to several reasons. First, it seems that the US and Quartet have allowed both sides to have different ideas on what will be discussed and when going into the talks. In addition, it is clear that both sides do not believe that the talks will succeed. As a result I expect all kind of tactics aimed at blaming the other side for failure, instead of an attempt to find a workable compromise.

All this stems out of a simple fact. Two years ago Olmert gave Abbas an offer going beyond what previous Israeli PM offered. It was not enough. Both sides know that Netanyahu will not match that offer even if he is serious regarding the talks. So whatever he offers will be less than something which was already rejected by Abbas. A recipe for failure. (Don't get me wrong, I would love to be proven wrong on this, but this is the current state of affairs as I see it.)

@ Sonicfrog:
Regarding your comment that there is no problem in continuing to try. Unfortunately that is not true. Failed talks could turn out to be horribly destructive. They will be used by right wingers on both sides as a "proof" that there is no point in negotiations. They may also lead to a new outburst of violence similar to the one following the previous Camp David talks.

sonicfrog said...

Dr Evil:

The Neocon faction in both parties already takes that as a given, so no harm there, Yes, the Palestinian leader that signs any pack with Israel will have a target on his head; that is a given. But if things start to improve for the people after the treaty, then his chances of survival will increase.