by Barry Rubin
While explaining how the
Sure enough, even before the official PA acceptance of the
--Hamas announces that since it totally rejects direct talks (much less any peace with
--Far from welcoming talks and expressing his eagerness to make peace and live alongside
--Some Fatah leaders are claiming that even this one-month permission isn't valid since there wasn't a quorum at the relevant meeting. In some cases, leaders stayed away on purpose so they could block direct negotiations.
--Other PA and Fatah leaders are unhappy that the U.S. officials claimed there were no preconditions for direct talks since the Palestinians wanted to be given everything (especially the 1967 borders and a state whether or not negotiations succeeded) in advance. Basically, they only want to accept a state from Western hands without any real compromises with
--It is also being pointed out in Palestinian circles that Mahmoud Abbas has been an unelected leader of the PA for two years, since elections were cancelled by him. The current government thus lacks legitimacy and a mandate to make any deal.
This is only the beginning! Ask me some time about how the PLO handled
None of this makes sense unless the observer comprehends that
A case can be made for current Western policies in terms of government self-interest (to look as if the leaders are making real accomplishments) and national self-interest (keep the issue quiet and be able to claim they are doing something to Arabs and Muslims in order to keep things quiet and get on with other priorities). It is doubtful, though, whether many anti-Western, pro-Islamist Arabs or Muslims are impressed into changing their views. If these governments consciously know they are acting cynically this limits the damage.
But meanwhile, a lot of the study or analysis of the
For example, here's how The Economist puts it:
"Mr Abbas came close to agreement with Ehud Olmert, a former Israeli leader, at least on borders. He wants to pick up where he left off. But having pinned his political career on these talks, his credibility, and that of the Palestinian Authority he leads, may be weakened further if they seem a farce. Mr Netanyahu's intentions are still opaque."
Let's analyze this. The pattern in talks is that
The above paragraph may sound like a satire but it is precisely how things have worked repeatedly, without anyone in the Western media catching on.
The second part of The Economist quote is equally ludicrous.
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