Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Peace Process

Al-JazeeraNet has an item Thursday September 7 on the discouraging aftermath of the Arab League decision to ask the Security Council to authorize later this month startup of a "new mechanism" for the peace process. The decision was taken at a ministerial-level meeting in Cairo yesterday, based on prior discussions that had started last month. The first ill omen is that the Palestinian delegation at the meeting yesterday wasn't authorized by the Hamas-led Palestinian government, and in fact the foreign minister Mahmoud Al-Zahar (the same individual whose narrow escape from an attempt on his life was reported by Al-Quds al-Arabi earlier this week) said the people purporting to represent the government hadn't even consulted him. The government added that it isn't responible for any undertakings the bogus delegation might have purported to make in the government's name. There aren't any other details, only a reference to Al-Zahar's "regret" that certain Palestinian elements were trying to "go around the government".

Then the reporter notes that Israeli foreign minister Livni said Olmert is ready for a direct meeting, not with any Hamas officials, but with president Abbas, provided of course he gets the kidnapped Israeli soldier back first. Next up is the Finnish foreign minister, that country being current leader of the EU. He said Israel should immediately release all of the Palestinian parliamentarians it is holding in jail; and that Israel should discontinue the plan to build 690 new dwelling units in the occupied West Bank. Best of all, the reporter says Tony Blair will be visiting Palestine next week, hoping for a revival of the peace process.

On overall prospects for the Arab League proposal, Joseph Samaha, writing in the new Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar yesterday September 6, said the whole idea is going to prove to be another huge embarassment to the official Arab establishment, first of all because they haven't got support from any of the parties whose support they need for this: For instance the US hasn't even bothered to comment; Kofi Annan wasn't sure he will be in New York for the proposed meeting; the EU said yes we think the Roadmap is a good idea (not having noticed that this proposal is the opposite of the Roadmap in its underlying approach, being a proposal for direct talks aimed at a comprehensive solution).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

And what do you think of Obadiah Shoher's arguments against the peace process ( )?

8:56 AM  

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