Saturday, December 01, 2007

A note of optimism on Annapolis

Annapolis meeting has created a real opportunity for Middle East peace - The Boston Globe

1 comment:

William deB. Mills said...

The Globe’s report is indeed “optimistic”…very optimistic…in asserting that “all parties” saw Annapolis as the right venue for making progress.

Palestine is divided, the legally elected government overthrown and marginalized in Gaza – undercut from the moment it won the election and forced out, castigated for a virtual civil war outsiders worked very hard to foment, and alienated from the very political process it had formerly been criticized for rejecting.

Now, with the Palestine government and people utterly humiliated, Israeli guns and helicopters killing Palestinians before and after the conference, and the sight of Fatah police beating up Palestinians exercising their democratic right to protest, exactly what are the Palestinian people to make of the party in Annapolis?

The “right time” for a settlement was that instant in January 2006 when Hamas bought in—ever so tenuously, it is true, but nevertheless bought in—to the “system.” Reinforcing that fleeting inclination to compromise might have started some historic balls rolling; instead, a very different lesson was rammed down the throats of the hardliners, and the huge anti-Annapolis demonstration in Gaza on the 27th was the direct result.

The Globe seems to be straining very hard to be optimistic about a conference that is likely to go nowhere – precisely because the fact is that “all parties” have NOT agreed that Annapolis is the venue for moving forward. A meeting actually based on consensus would indeed have been a great step forward, but that is not what we saw in Annapolis.