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Thursday, November 05, 2009

A 'process' for the sake of a 'process'

The Obama administration has apparently given up on a 'breakthrough' in the Middle East anytime soon, and is now aiming for a 'peace process' for the sake of having a 'peace process.' Because otherwise, the 'Palestinians' are likely to turn violent. This is from the Wall Street Journal.
Mrs. Clinton subsequently pressed Arab leaders to agree to support talks with just a partial Israeli freeze. But barring that, U.S. officials said all sides might be forced to accept a lower level of engagement in the talks to guard against a new round of violence in the Palestinian territories.

There is a fear that militant groups, such as Hamas in the Palestinian territories and Hezbollah in Lebanon, could use a political vacuum to spark renewed violence.

"There's value in having the process" in itself, said State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley on Tuesday. In a sign of the administration's changing focus, Mr. Crowley added: "If this particular path, we think, can't get us there, we'll look for others."
And this is from the New York Times:
Now, in the latest acknowledgment that its policy has failed, at least for the moment, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has begun setting the stage for a new phase of Middle East diplomacy, with a more modest goal. She is trying to get the parties talking at any level to avoid a dangerous vacuum until a Plan B emerges.

Mrs. Clinton began sketching out this approach Tuesday in a speech and in meetings with Arab foreign ministers during a conference of Arab and Western nations in this city of pink sandstone buildings. She flew to Cairo later to hold talks with the Egyptian leader, Hosni Mubarak.

Making it clear that the Israeli government would not agree to President Obama’s call for a complete halt to settlement construction, Mrs. Clinton promoted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s offer as a reasonable compromise that could still form the basis for progress. Mr. Netanyahu has proposed a moratorium on new housing units in the West Bank, but would allow building or finishing about 3,000 more units and would exclude East Jerusalem from any building limits.

“It is not what we want; it is nowhere near enough,” Mrs. Clinton told Al Jazeera. “But I think when you keep your eye on what we want to achieve, it is a better place to be than the alternative. And therefore, I think we should be trying to keep moving the parties.”

It is not clear what contacts between Israelis and Palestinians the administration has in mind, though they would be at a lower level than Mr. Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority president. Nor has the shape of an alternative strategy to rekindle peace talks emerged, according to senior officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deliberations were confidential.

In a meeting with Mrs. Clinton in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, Mr. Abbas rejected Mr. Netanyahu’s proposal as a “nonstarter,” in the language of his chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat.
Sounds a lot like the last sixteen years, doesn't it?

Hope and change same!


At 1:56 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

"Process?" There is not even a process because the Palestinians are not talking to Israel. And its not like the last 16 years because there will be no peace agreement in the near to medium future. The Obama Administration is now admitting a Palestinian state is not achievable at all in this generation. And it yet has to come to grips with the reality of the Middle East.


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