Monday, November 19, 2007

Is The Annapolis Summit Falling Apart?

It sure seems like it.Or, at the very least, it looks like it's been severely downgraded.

With the Israelis claiming that the Palestinians continue to renege on what they've agreed to, and the Palestinians continuing to up the ante for their demands,there's apparently very little possibilltiy of that joint statement of principles Condi Rice wanted so badly being issued as part of the summit.

According to the Jerusalem Post, senior diplomatic sources told them that the Palestinians had backtracked on all understandings that were reached on the joint statement. According to these sources, the Palestinians have "returned to square one, to [a point that] preceded the beginning of the negotiations."

Yet the Olmert government, instead of simply calling off the whole charade is still planning to attend, but calling the conference a success just because it happened!

"The joint statement is not imperative," one senior official in the Prime Minister's Office said. "Annapolis is about starting the process."

"Annapolis cannot be a failure because its very existence constitutes a success," Olmert said.

But wait a minute. Didn't Saeb Erekat and Mahmoud Abbas say that without a joint resolution calling for a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capitol and a full right of return for the Palestinian `refugees' AND a set time line, that there was no point in attending?

Condi Rice is still trying to figure out how to salvage this mess. She has no idea of how to reconcile the issue of Hamas and Gaza, or Hamas strength in the West Bank with her ideas of a `peaceful two-state solution'.

She reportedly also tried to convince some of the Arab governments to make token gestures towards Israel to prime the pump for Israeli concessions towards the Palestinians and Syria..and was confronted by Mahmoud Abbas lobbying the Arab countries to make sure they did nothing of the sort!

That, of course, left the option I'm sure Rice and her pals in the State Department refer to privately as Old Reliable - pressure on Israel.

Accordingly, the Israelis agreed to release 441 captured Palestinian terrorists without a quid pro quo from the Palestinians, and to freeze all `settlement ' activity in Judea and Samaria.

The Palestinians made another promise to try to do what they've failed to do since Oslo - disband terrorist groups on the West Bank.This just includes Hamas and Islamic Jihad, mind you, which Palestinian interior minister Abd Razzak Yihye called ` a cancer to be rooted out.' It most emphatically does NOT include the Tanzim and the al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade, Abbas' own terrorist militias who are still on his payroll.

Considering how poorly Abbas' US trained `special forces' did against a joint Hamas/Islamic Jihad force last week in Nablus, I have a feeling that working on that Hamas cancer is going to be another one of those messy jobs Abbas will simply put off. If he wants to keep breathing.

There was also no word about the Palestinians halting illegal construction in Jerusalem or elsewhere, of course, or stopping the constant drone of Jew hatred in their state-controlled schools and media.

So again, what we have are concrete concessions from Israel, as opposed to commitments from the Arabs that they have no ability to carry out, even if they wanted to.

Or, as Bart Simpson once famously said " I'm not going to promise to try. But I promise to try to try."

Rice and the State Department, of course, are caught in a trap of their own making. If, after all the expectations, the Annapolis Conference fails to amount to more than a photo op, The Palestinians and the Arab league will be livid. And understandably so...they were effectively promised by Rice that she would deliver Israel to them on a platter.

If Condi throws up her hands and calls off the summit, it reflects badly on her personally, and shows that the US is unable to pull off a conference of this type that involves the Sunni autocrats the Bush Administration is so fond of.

The only other way out for Rice and the State Department is to put massive pressure on Israel to give in to Abbas' and the Syrians' demands.

If Olmert caves in to every one of those demands, his government will fall and Rice can spin the failure of the`peace process' on Israeli intransigence.If he only partially caves in,or doesn't cave in at all, the Arabs can likewise reject it and blame Israel as `not being interested in peace.'

It's a case of heads they win, tails you lose, which is exactly why I said last week that Olmert was a fool for attending in the first place.

As for Condi Rice, her years as the protege of her anti-Israel, pro-Saudi mentors James Baker and Brent Scowcroft are becoming more and more obvious as time goes by.


Anonymous said...

How do you think Condi Rice would answer the following question:

"Given that the Palestinians have NEVER fulfilled even one condition of any 'peace' agreement they've ever signed with Israel, what is the point of this 'peace' conference?"

Freedom Fighter said...

She'd give you a 5-10 minute reply, which boiled down would consist of the following:

1)"there are different interpretations of this issue"

2) "A Palestinian state living in peace next to Israel is vital to Israel's security"

3) "In Mahmoud Abbas, the Israelis have an historic opportunity to deal with a legitimate peace partner"

In other words, she'd lie like a rug!

Ultimately, this is about the Saudis. To understand the thinking of people like Condi Rice, her boss and her fellow `realists' like James Baker, that's the key.