The miracle has been achieved… Abbas and Netanyahu agreed!

That is it…  The Palestinian-Israeli conflict has finally been placed on the right path towards resolution…  The promise of peace will at long last overshadow everything else in the Middle East …  Palestinian and Israeli hopes and aspirations for peaceful lives are one step closer to becoming a reality…  The miracle has finally happened…  Abbas and Netanyahu agreed…

The Washington negotiations – that were direct and without preconditions –have produced the miracle that every concerned human being on the planet Earth was hoping would be accomplished…  Finally, and after decades of suffering on both sides – equally or otherwise – the miracle has been achieved…  President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed…

To meet again in two weeks…  [Do not dare say oops]

WOW…  What an accomplishment…  Halleluiah…  Praise the lord…  Allahu Akbar…  Now we know that bringing all those people all the way from the Middle East to Washington to witness the miracle in person was worth it…

Not only that; but they have given the undisputable sign of their will to solve the conflict by agreeing to meet every two weeks thereafter.

Finding nothing on which the two leaders could agree, they agreed to meet again in two weeks.  Now, officials and representatives from both sides will be busy discussing the details of the next meeting, and possibly the other meetings that would follow.

All media outlets are reporting the great news.  Aljazeera, Fox News, CNN, TV5, RT, ABC, BBC, CBC, MSNBC, CTV, NBC, CBS, and all combinations of the alphabet are reporting the miracle… Abbas and Netanyahu agreed…  WOW…  People are supposed to be speechless!

To all the sceptics out there, I say…  someone told you so…  you should fold your tent, and join the tent of believers; for the great leaders of Palestinians and Israeli-Jews have agreed.  In spite of your doom and gloom predictions of failure, they agreed.  You were wrong, and you will always be proven wrong; as the great leaders will always meet and agree to meet again and again and again until the whole world knows that you are wrong.  What happens in the meantime is irrelevant; the important thing is that the great leaders – with the grace of God Almighty – continue to agree to meet again, and again, and again, and again, and again.

In spite of sceptics’ doubts, many details must be addressed and dealt with; one detail at a time.   If it takes a million years, it is not important; what is significant is that the great leaders continue to meet and hold meetings to discuss agreeing to meet again.  Continuing and increasing the dispossession of Palestinians is of less concern; continuing occupation is a necessity for security; expanding settlements is just a natural growth; and oppressing Palestinians is essential for long-term peace.

In order to have reliable, solid foundation for resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict “once and for all”, many questions need to be honestly, directly, and without preconditions, dealt with and resolved to the mutual satisfaction of all parties involved.  Those questions, among many others, include:  Will those meetings be organized precisely every two weeks?  Or they might sometimes be rescheduled to accommodate a birthday celebration for one of the great leaders’ grandchildren?  Then, would the United Nations Security Council determine the new time and place for the meeting to follow?  What are the concessions that Europe and North America must give to China to help secure that it would not veto such a resolution?  More importantly, what will happen to subsequent meetings?  Will they be reverting back to their original scheduled times or follow the changed timing?  Furthermore, are there limitations that must be observed in celebrating the repeated achievements of the miracle?  What if one of the great leaders has a headache and could not attend?  Will the other great leader accept to postpone the meeting?  And for every meeting that is postponed, how many people will be killed?  What if the killing ratio changes from 100:001 (in favour of you know who)?  Would the Americans supply less intelligent weaponry to the state of Israel to kill more Palestinians in order to bring the ratio back to its norm?

Other important questions must address things like:  Will participants eat?  What will they eat?  Will the food be Halal or Kosher?  Is there a way to find a scientist – who claims to be Muslim but known to be Christian while he is really Jewish – to invent a new food that is both Halal and Kosher?  What if a member in either of the negotiating teams does not like the new food?  Can the Americans just kill him/her?  Can Israeli-Jews eat Halal?  Can Palestinian-Muslims eat Kosher?  What happens if the caterer makes a mistake and delivers Kosher to Palestinians and Halal to Israelis?  Who would be taking on the duty of killing the caterer?  If the Palestinian negotiating team includes a Christian member, would s/he be allowed to eat bacon and ham?  If the caterer refuses to serve bacon or ham, whose job it would be to kill the caterer?  Furthermore, who will pay for the food?  If the Americans pay, will they deduct the cost from their assistance to PA or IDF?  Will Egyptian and Jordanian observers be allowed to eat?  What if the Egyptians wish to eat Koshary and the Jordanians insist on Falafel?  Who would flip a coin to resolve such dispute?  What coin would be used; Shekel or Euro?  Would Canada be willing to offer a loonie or a toonie to be flipped to resolve the Egyptian-Jordanian dispute?  If the Egyptians win, will they be allowed to visit Jordan?  If they lose, will they be allowed to call it Tta’ameyyeh instead of Falafel?

Lots of details to be ironed out in this complex conflict…

But the good news is that the great leaders agreed to meet again…

Abbas and Netanyahu agreed to meet in two weeks…  In two weeks, they will agree again to meet again.  Give me a break… What a travesty…  If it was not so tragic, it would have been really funny.  Benjamin Netanyahu might not feel the pressure, but Mahmoud Abbas would be better advised to consider something other than agreeing to meet again; before he becomes the joke of the twenty-first century!

Monzer Zimmo
Ottawa, Canada

Hope is the stuff from which life is made!

About Alcanaanite

Monzer Zimmo, a Palestinian-Canadian living and working in Ottawa, Canada. Monzer is an advocate of resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict through the peaceful creation of a bi-national-democratic state on all the territory of historic Palestine, where Christians, Jews, Muslims, and others live together as equal citizens; be and feel safe, secure, and at home.
This entry was posted in America, Palestinian State, Palestinian-Israeli negotiations, Right of return, Two-state solution. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to The miracle has been achieved… Abbas and Netanyahu agreed!

  1. Chris says:

    The message of this post is heard loud and clear. Actually, it sounds like an echo from times past…yes an echo, because a real peace agreement is a mirage, but a real subjugation agreement is nearly a reality.

  2. Corey Gil-Shuster says:

    Or if Abbas leaves the talks, you can see it as the Palestinians missing (yet again) another opportunity for peace. The West agrees with the two-state solution formula, most Israeli Jews grudgingly agree with this forumula as well (as long as their security is ensured), about half of WB Palestinians agree with this formula. If you believe that waiting for Israeli Jews to wake up in the next while and desire a one-state for all solution and will offer it with a smile, your great great grandchildren will still be waiting. All Israelis know of Palesitnians is violence. All Palestinians know of Israelis is violence. Why would any form of negotiations or imposed solution be an easy sell for either side under these conditions? I say we find ways to compromise that works as well as possible for both people. And that means dealing directly with each other regardless how long it takes or who is at the table.

    That means that both sides are going to make painful choices and give up some of their dreams and positions in return for the interests that will best serve their people in the long term. Anyone leaving that table only prolongs the suffering of both peoples needlessly.

  3. Arwah wafa says:

    Mahmoud Abbas is used to the idea of being the joke of the century. I’m sure of this. Because in the other hand he got the millions. So why should he care!!!! Who said that Abbas cares about finding a solution? Who still believes he is trying hard to make the palestinian dream come true!!!!, Who????. Here in my beloved Gaza NO ONE.. NO ONE. The man is stupid more than we thought. I like your detailes of the negotiations.
    إنها مثل حدوثة الطرشان والعميان أيضا

  4. themadjewess says:

    “Peace, Peace when there is no peace”

    Unfortunately, if you read Zechariah, there will never be peace achieved in Israel. The world hates Israel, because the world hates God. The Gazans will continue to murder, and Israel will cont’ to retaliate.
    Damascus, which is Gaza will be destroyed because they are fighting against God.
    Its all in the bible.

    • Alcanaanite says:

      You might have read the bible, but obviously you did not comprehend its wisdom. You are wrong; there will be peace. The only prerequisite for peace is justice, and justice has a way of finding its path to prevail; sooner or later.

  5. Nasr says:

    It’s a feat worth rewarding Israel for by accepting its condition to “completely obliterate” Iran in return for agreeing to meet with the Palestinians. What a reasonable bunch!

  6. Chris says:

    I would like to post this article (in Arabic) because it clearly demonstrates that Abbas, Netanyahu and the rest of the clique are about to “liquidate” any possibility for a Palestinian State:

    اشتراطات نتنياهو لسلام أوباما!
    عبد اللطيف مهنا

    ليقبل التفاوض المباشر، الذي لطالما رفع شعاره، اشترط نتنياهو مفاوضات مع سلطة رام الله بدون شروط مسبقة، بمعنى قوله سلفاً، أن لا لكل ما كان من تحفظاتها أو مطالباتها، التي ظلت تتواضع لتستقر على مجرد ما قد يتيسر من مجرد تطمينات من قبل رعاة هذا التفاوض، وأكد ذهابه إليها دونما التخلي قيد أنملة عن سياساته التهويدية، أو الالتزام بما قد يقيدها. تراجع الجميع، الراعي الأمريكي، والمتعهد العربي، والمتحفظ الفلسطيني… وأطلقت الرباعية الدولية، دخان بيانها الملتبس لتستر عورة هذا التراجع… كان المنتصر الوحيد في هذه المعمعة التصفوية هو نتنياهو، وهذا ما حدا بالداهية بيريز لأن يعقب منوّهاً: إن “إسرائيل تقف على عتبة عهد جديد”، ولم يكتم حبوره فأضاف “الكثيرون لم يكونوا يصدقون أننا سنصل إلى هذه اللحظة”!

    تقرر موعد الكرنفال التسووي المرغوب في واشنطن. وجهت الدعوات، فقبلت الأطراف المعنية والمدعوة مرحبة، واستعدت إدارة أوباما للإفادة ما استطاعت من عروضه المنتظرة لمداواة تراجع شعبيته، وبعض العدة لقريب ملاقاة الجمهوريين في ساح المعارك الانتخابية التي تطرق الأبواب منذرة الديموقراطيين بما يقلقهم. وتوخت بعض التغطية على فشله في تضميد الجروح الإمبراطورية الغائرة وهو يتابع تنفيذ جوهر سياسات سلفه بوش، في العراق وأفغانستان، وسائر ساحات مطاردة العدو اللامرئي المسمى ب”الإرهاب”، تلك الكائنة والمرشحة مستقبلاً… لم يفوت نتنياهو الفرصة، استل شروطاً من جعبته التي لا تنضب، وشهرها سلفاً، وليسمع القاصي والداني أن لا تنتظروا تسوية بدون:

    “أولاً، ترتيبات أمنية حقيقية على الأرض”، بمعنى تثبيت الاحتلال في الأجزاء المطلوبة من الضفة… وجاءت التفسيرات الإسرائيلية اللاحقة لهذا الشرط لتتحدث عن البقاء الدائم في غور الأردن، أي على امتداد الحدود مع المملكة الأردنية، وكذا قمم الجبال المشرفة على هذا الغور. وزيادة في التوضيح يضيف، “نحن نناقش اتفاق سلام بين إسرائيل ودولة فلسطينية منزوعة السلاح”. وتضيف إلى ما أضافه هذا المصادر الإسرائيلية مفسرة فتقول: “ولا يجوز لها عقد اتفاقيات أمنية مع أي طرف دون موافقة إسرائيل”… هذا حول هذه “الترتيبات الأمنية الحقيقية”، وتلك الدولة المفترضة التي بلا سيادة، فماذا عن باقي الشروط؟!

    يقول نتنياهو: “وثانياً الاعتراف بإسرائيل كدولة قومية للشعب اليهودي، ما يعني، أن مطلب حق العودة للاجئين سينفذ ضمن إطار الدولة الفلسطينية”… أو بالأحرى، شطب حق العودة نهائياً، والتبرير المسبق لتنفيذ مخططات تليدة لطرد فلسطيني المحتل عام 1948 من فلسطين لاحقاً، أو ما يعرف بمخطط الترانسفير للتخلص من الخطر الديموغرافي الفلسطيني في داخل دولته اليهودية.

    … ويضيف “وثالثاً، انهاء الصراع”… بمعنى تصفية القضية الفلسطينية نهائياً والتسليم بانتصار المشروع الصهيوني، فلسطينياً وعربياً وبضمانة دولية.

    مالم يذكره نتنياهو في شروطه، وهو يذهب، كما يقول، للتفاوض على الحل النهائي، هو القدس التي هي عنده قد غدت يهودية وأمسى موضوعها خارج البحث تماماً… ثم ما قاله لاحقاً وهو أنه يرفض تمديد ماعرف بقرار “تجميد الاستيطان” الذي لم يجمد يوماً…

    وكالعادة، عندما يصمت نتنياهو يتكفل ليبرمان فيكمل ما بدأه… ماذا عن تتمات ليبرمان:

    أولاً، ورغم كل تراجعات السلطة، يشكك سلفاً في وجود “شريك فلسطيني”، ويستبعد التوصل إلى اتفاقات تسووية خلال العام المرصود رباعياً، ويدعو مجي السلام الإسرائيلي الذاهبون للكرنفال الأوبامي لأن لا يبالغوا في أحلامهم فيقول لهم: ” اعتقد أن هناك مجالاً لخفض سقف التوقعات والتحلي بالواقعية”.

    وثانياً، فيما يتعلق بالاستيطان، يحذر ليبرمان سلفاً: “لا يمكن لإسرائيل أن تستجيب لطلب أمريكي آخر بتجميد أعمال البناء في الضفة الغربية، بعد أن قدمت هذه اللفتة في الماضي”… ويعيد التأكيد، وهو يمنن الأمريكيين على “لفتة التجميد” تلك، على مالا يختلف عليه في الوسط السياسي الإسرائيلي: “وأعمال البناء في الكتل الاستيطانية الكبرى يجب أن تستمر كالمعتاد”.

    وهنا لابد من الإشارة إلى مصطلح إسرائيلي تهويدي جديد، أطلقه دان ميريدور، يتحدث عن “استيطان مقلص”، إن لزم الأمر تفاوضياً… لعل ميرادور هذا يبيع الأمريكان المخرج المطلوب من بعض حرج لابد آت نهاية فترة التجميد المزعوم الذي هو قاب قوسين أو أدنى…كما لابد من الإشارة أيضاً إلى أن قادة “المستوطنين” قد أعلنوا أنهم يستعدون لشن “حملة شديدة الشراسة على المستوى السياسي” استعداداً لتهويد بلا حدود أو تقليص…

    هذا إسرائيلياً، فما هو موقف الأطراف الأخرى التي سوف تسهم في كرنفال أوباما التسووي المنتظر؟!

    أولاً، أمريكياً لم يعد هناك ما يزعم الواهمون بوجوده قد يدل على أن ثمة من فارق ما بين المواقف الأمريكية والإسرائيلية، بل لا يعدم الأميركان أنفسهم وجود من يدهشه مدى التماهي بين الموقفين.

    وثانياً، دولياً، وحيث لايمكن فصل الدولي عن الأمريكي، بيان الرباعية، وتاريخها، وبليرها، اثبت أنها منذ أن كانت وستظل شاهد زور وطرفاً متواطئاً، أو أقله لا يخرج عن السياق المراد أمريكياً.

    وثالثاً، عربياً، الجامعة التي غطت ذهاب رام الله إلى مجمل هذه العبثية التصفوية، عبرت عن “قلقها”، واستراحت… أما الوسيطين المصري والأردني، أو ضيفا الشرف في احتفالية أوباما السلمية، فلهما الباع الطويل دفعاً وتحضيراً لهذا اليوم الموعود!!!

    ورابعاً، أما السلطة، التي منعت مؤتمراً يعارض التفاوض في رام الله، فيؤكد رئيسها أبو مازن بأنه ذاهب للمفاوضات حتى ولو كان نصيبها 1% من النجاح!!!

    … وبانتظار الكرنفال التصفوي هذا الأسبوع، حيث سيتفاوض المتفاوضون فيه على ما تبقى مما تسمح لهم به شروط نتنياهو، فإن هذه المفاوضات المفترضة سوف تفضي نظرياً إلى واحدٍ من أمرين: إما الفشل، وهنا لابد من الإشارة، أنه لم يجرؤ أحد بعد على التفاؤل بنجاحها، وفي هذه الحالة يكسب الإسرائيليون الوقت الإضافي لإكمال مسلسل التهويد لما تبقى من فلسطين… وإما النجاح، والذي لن يكون إلا بمعنى تحقيق نتنياهو ل99% من اشتراطاته، وتحقيق أبو مازن للواحد في المائة، من تلك النسبة من النجاح التي قال أنه سيذهب ولو من أجلها… في كلا الحالتين الفائز الوحيد هو نتنياهو، أو ما يعني أن الخاسر هو الشعب الفلسطيني ومعه الأمة العربية…

    • Alcanaanite says:

      العرض المقدّم من الأستاذ عبد اللطيف مهنّا يصبّ جلّه في خانة الدفاع عن محمود عبّاس وليس في إثبات اتّهامه بالتقصير أو التواطؤ. استعراض مطالب نتنياهو تفصيليًّا كما ورد أعلاه لا يعني موافقة عبّاس عليها. على العكس تمامًا، فإنّ فشل المتفاوضين إعلان اتّفاق غير الاتّفاق على الاجتماع مجدّدًا يعنى رفض عبّاس كلّ هذه الشروط التي استعرضها الأستاذ عبد اللطيف مهنّا بدقّة. لو لم يرفض عبَاس تلك الشروط، لخرج المجتمعون علينا باتّفاق عليها أو بعضها

      المسألة التي يجب على عبّاس أخذها في الاعتبار أنّه بصبره غير المسبوق فلسطينيًّا، وربّما عربيًّا، يعرّض تاريخه السياسي للخطر. أمّا القضيّة الفلسطينيّة فلا محمود عبّاس ولا غيره يستطيع تصفيتها، حتى لو افترض الأستاذ مهنّا جدلاً أنّ عبّاس يريد ذلك – رغم أنّ مثل ذلك الافتراض ليس سوى ضرب من ضروب الخيال الغاضب المعتمد على استنتاجات بُنيت على افتراضات لا تدعمها حجج قاطعة أو دلائل دامغة. القضيّة الفلسطينيّة يملكها الشعب الفلسطيني بكامله عبر التاريخ، فلا يمكن لشخص أو لمجموعة أشخاص أو لحزب سياسي أو حتّى لجيل فلسطيني كامل أن يصفّي القضيّة الفلسطينيّة. نعم، ربّما استطاعوا الإضرار بها أو تعطيلها أو تأخير نجاحها، أمّا تصفيتها فغير وارد. وكما علّمنا التاريخ: مَا ضَاعَ حَقٌّ وَرَاءَهُ مُطَالِب

      نحن لا نوجّه اتّهامًا لمحمود عبّاس بالتقصير أو التواطؤ، بل ندعوه إلى الحذر من مغبّة الاستمرار في ما لا فائدة منه أكثر ممّا يلزم لإقناع المجتمع الدولي بعدوانيّة المؤسّسة التي يمثّلها أشباه نتنياهو على الشعب الفلسطيني وعلى القيم الإنسانيّة

  7. Chris says:

    And this in English:

    Just how ‘direct’ are the talks?
    With key absentees, just how productive are the Palestinian and Israeli ‘direct’ talks?
    Larbi Sadiki Last Modified: 02 Sep 2010 17:56

    Caption’s comment:
    Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah Party may be the sole Palestinian representation at the talks, but it is heavily contested whether he has sufficient levels of credibility amongst all Palestinians [Getty]

    Dr. Sadiki’s article:

    “One fallacy about the US-sponsored Palestinian-Israeli direct talks scheduled for September 2 seems to escape attention: There is nothing ‘direct’ about the talks. The timing of the meeting undoubtedly favours the Israelis. The summit will be at a juncture when the Palestinian community is polarized, weak and besieged by waning Arab support and enthusiasm. The Israelis are going to Washington with a self-serving agenda and not simply turning up for a photo opportunity.

    Even if involuntary participants, the ‘peace-troika’ – Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia – provide the required Arab cover in order to give the talks an added air of seriousness and weight, they don’t provide the legitimacy the talks desperately require. The first two are the only signatories of peace treaties with Israel. The third is a key US ally and whose blessing of the talks is needed to garner morale for the Arab parties.

    The talks are being packaged in international diplomatic rhetoric as the beginning of a process for a congenial forum towards a ‘taswiyah’ (as the cliché phrase goes: final, durable and peaceful settlement fulfilling Israeli and Palestinian nationalist aspirations).

    At the core of the somewhat inflated optimism about the talks is the ‘crafting’ of a diplomatic solution within a 12 to 24 months time span.

    The figures of the peace game – no matter how emotionally powerful and morally desirable – somehow do not add up. Neither the triumvirate nor the Arab ‘peace-troika’ seem to possess the keys to guarantee a peace breakthrough, much less ‘know’ or ‘agree’ on what ‘peace’ actually means as a mid-term or endgame.

    Particularly, moral courage has thus far eluded the US, the main peace-broker (and concomitantly the key backer of Israel at all levels), to provide the leadership necessary for Israel, the occupying force, to invest good will – and inevitably painful substantive land concessions – into the peace process.

    The semantics of peace remain a contested issue: direct peace talks. But to what end? Peace for peace, security for peace, or land for peace. Equally, ‘security’ or ‘land’ is no longer clear under the realities created on the ground by Israel. How much land for how much security is perennially the unknown factor in peace talks from Oslo via Bush’s ‘road map’ and Annapolis up to the upcoming talks, the Obama Administration’s first peace talks.

    Indirectness is the name of the game in next week’s round of direct peace talks. Not even Obama’s political inventory of ‘can-do’ and ‘audacity of hope’ can disentangle the ins and outs of the inherent indirectness in these ‘direct’ talks.

    Talks to which Egyptians and Jordanians are invited and Ismail Haniyya and his democratically elected Hamas MPs are not. Unless the Obama Administration is considering a second peace talks track to include all absentees, including Syria, and Lebanon!

    Obama, democratically elected and with unparalleled executive might anywhere on the planet, cannot give concrete affirmation to an Islamic cultural centre. It is then a matter of credulity to expect even the enfeebled and embattled Mahmoud Abbas — whose legitimacy is dubious and contested — to sign away in Washington whatever left-over land considered sacred by at least half of all Palestinians. Equally, it would take Herculean mental muscle to imagine how the Israelis can themselves magically drop claims to what they view as a ‘biblical’ or sacred space.

    In theory, the talks are supposedly without prior conditions. This has been an Israeli demand favoured by both the US and the Arab ‘peace-troika’. In practice, the talks pander to Israel’s conditions: no frame of reference of any kind (including all UN resolutions, especially 194 on the Palestinians’ right of return) is to guide the direct talks.

    Plus, Netanyahu’s government wants to squeeze from Abbas recognition of Israel as a ‘Jewish State’. His government does not refer to the Palestinians on the fate of thousands of prisoners, the status of Jerusalem or the lifting of the inhumane Gaza blockade. It is therefore baffling why he seeks ‘permission’ from the Palestinians for his ‘Jewish state’.

    Such recognition would be the last nail in the coffin of any notion of Palestinian rights. Note how Israeli occupation is not referred to as colonialism. Nor the conflict is called by its name: ‘occupied’ not ‘disputed’ territory. So instead of the Palestinians demanding rights enshrined in UN resolutions, the Israelis have turned the tables against Abbas and his Palestinian co-negotiators.

    It is Israel that is demanding ‘rights’ to a ‘Jewish state’ to undisputed claim to Jerusalem, to partial freeze on settlements, to no claims on behalf of Palestinian refugees, and to no reference to a conceivable ‘map’ or ‘geography’ of what a future and viable Palestinian state would look like. Moreover, Arafat’s Fatah heirs have themselves stopped believing in their own revolutionary slogans about Palestinian rights.

    Instead of ‘taswiyah’ it is perhaps ‘tasfiyah’ (liquidation of the Palestinian cause) that seem to feed Arab public opinion’s cynicism about Obama’s direct peace talks. The sham of direct and condition-less talks neither sufficiently conceals the iniquity between the Israeli and Palestinian interlocutors nor favour a breakthrough.

    Israel might squeeze more concessions; Obama might gain votes needed by his party in the upcoming midterm elections; but the Palestinians might further lose grasp of the dream of viable statehood.”

    Dr Larbi Sadiki is a Senior Lecturer in Middle East Politics at the University of Exeter, and author of Arab Democratization: Elections without Democracy (Oxford University Press, 2009) and The Search for Arab Democracy: Discourses and Counter-Discourses (Columbia University Press, 2004).

    The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.

  8. Chris says:

    And another one…

    Much ado to talk about nothing
    Published at Aljazeera
    By Jamal Elshayyal

    So, the curtain is raised once again, the actors emerge, and the crowd applauds – it’s the latest scene in the tragic comedy of the Israeli-Arab conflict.

    As Barack Obama, the US president, welcomed his guests at the White House to unveil the resumption of direct “negotiations” between the Israelis and Palestinians, it was almost difficult not to feel a sense of déjà vu.

    President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, King Abdullah of Jordan, Benyamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas all took it in turns to impress upon us the importance of “seizing this moment” to achieve peace. Each leader emphasised just how critical it was that this latest round of negotiations succeed; for, after all they “are all fathers, blessed with sons and daughters whose generation will judge them” – as President Obama so eloquently put it.

    But then again so were Bill Clinton, Ehud Barak and Yasser Arafat, as were Bashar Al-Assad and Yitzhak Shamir. Yet peace remains as far fetched today as it was in Madrid and Camp David.

    The question is why?

    Is this conflict so complex and complicated that it is unsolvable?

    Many people are inclined to believe it is. However there are millions who remain optimistic that a solution can and must be reached, and my view as that so long as there is a determination to achieve freedom then there is a possibility to secure peace in the region. Unfortunately (for the political establishments) it requires a total change in approach, rhetoric and above all – action.

    Obama noted the scepticism clouding this latest endeavour in his opening remarks. Many will note this as a sign of maturity and realism, however for millions in the Arab and Muslim world it is the opposite. It is a symbol of the lack of understanding the US has of the core issues that fundamentally shape and affect the conflict.

    Some 1.5 million Palestinians living under a three-year siege are not sceptical; a family torn apart by a concrete wall in the occupied West Bank is not sceptical; hundreds of millions of Muslims and Christians who see the continuous attacks on their holiest of sites are not sceptical. Decades of illegal occupation does not breed scepticism – distrust maybe, disillusionment possibly, resentment probably, resistance most definitely.

    And it is in this word – “resistance” – that the answer to a solution can be found.

    There is a famous Arab proverb that says: “There is no war with Israel without Egypt, no peace without Syria and no recognition without Saudi Arabia”. It was probably this that convinced Bush to hold the miserable failure that was Annapolis, and it is this formula that probably still dictates the policy makers and thinkers at the state department. However, as true as this statement was during the first three decades of the conflict, it is just as untrue today.

    The real players today are not the ailing, corrupt and out-of-touch regimes of the Arab world. Millions will not flock to demonstrate in support of Mubarak, Abbas or either of the two King Abdullahs. Resistance fighters will not give a second thought to the words coming out of Cairo, Riyadh or Amman.

    It is not coincidental that the only two wars Israel has failed to win (2006 against Hezbollah and 2008 against Hamas) were not against nation states. It is not by chance that despite years of siege, bombardment and deprivation of the most basic human necessities – Hamas is still more popular in Gaza than any Arab regime in its own land.

    What is needed for a solution is not more summits of “leaders”, or talk of “an economically viable Palestinian state” (yes that’s directed at you Mr Blair). What is needed is tangible changes on the ground coupled with brave political decisions to speak and listen to the real players and stakeholders in this conflict.

    Whether it is Ireland, South Africa or even Soviet Russia, Western countries would never have come near a solution had they not begun talking to those whom they did not agree with. For after all, it is easy getting someone who agrees with you to say that they agree with you.

    When I reported from the “Freedom Flotilla” as it tried to break the siege on Gaza, I remember the words of an Arab woman who was crying over the lifeless body of one of the aid workers killed. I asked her if he was related to her.

    She said “No, I’m crying because none of our governments or Arab leaders will raise a finger to help us, they left it to us to save the people of Gaza and now they’ve left us to be killed! Do they not have children of their own?”

    Well we now know that they do, however, many “sceptics” will say that the words of these leaders carry little weight with anyone, bar their children.

    It will be somewhat interesting to see how this latest phase in the “peace process” pans out. Somehow I’m certain that we’ll be having a similar discussion, with the backdrop of a similar summit, possibly after another Israeli-waged war in the not-so-distant future. Please excuse my scepticism.

  9. Abbas is such an apology for a Palestinian. I prefer Gassan Kanfani, even ‘though he’s dead. Et El Hamas montre la voie en ce moment sur la Rive Ouest. Il faut contrer les colons avec des mitraillettes!

    • Alcanaanite says:

      Peaceful transformation is more sustainable than change “avec des mitraillettes”. A much superior military power has not been able to stop Palestinians from resisting; what makes you think that Israeli Jews (settlers or otherwise) would be different? Think about it; we demand justice-based peace for all – not just for us. Non-violent resistance allows the Palestinian people to firmly occupy the high moral ground and to be far more effective in delivering their message of justice-based peace for all to the entire world, including Israeli Jews.

  10. themadjewess says:

    You are wrong; there will be peace.

    No, I read quite right.
    Gazans are supposed to have Gaza, they want too much, so, they will never have peace.
    Israel will not have peace b/c all of the nations of the world will seek to destroy it, and then God will show up to destroy the enemies of little, tiny Israel.
    Thats the facts.

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