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Sunday, May 16, 2010

'Proximity talks' may lead to another war

The JPost's Khaled Abu Toameh was in Australia this past week, where he told a group of journalists that the 'proximity talks' could well lead to war (Hat Tip: Andrew Bolt via Twitter).
Hamas, on the other hand, is popular in mosques and kindergartens, in the fabric of Palestinian society. "Sadly, I see young Palestinians becoming more radical than previous generations", under the influence of Hamas and global jihad. Yet a truce of sorts exists between Israel and Hamas, with ''secret understandings'' and ''signs of pragmatism''.

This stable status quo is the result of relentless Israeli pressure on Hamas and what he calls a "balance of terror . . . You strike me, I strike back. I deter you. You are weak for a year or two. You recollect your forces". And the cycle starts again. "Today there is relative calm. There is a ceasefire in Gaza and the economy is improving on the West Bank . . . life is beginning to return to normal."

Young people in Israel today are more pragmatic than their elders, prepared to give territory for peace. ''Just leave us Tel Aviv, the airport and the beach,'' he jokes, is their attitude. "There are people in Israel saying we can't make peace but . . . we are prepared to talk to the devil. You can't make peace with Hamas but you can do arrangements. I'd rather deal with an enemy who is strong and can deliver.''

But the proximity talks now threaten this state of relative calm. They are "forcing talk on explosive issues, forcing them to sit and talk about these issues . . . When [the talks fail] we might have a third intifada . . . Peace should be from the bottom up.''

It is a key US foreign policy goal to achieve a "two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict", as the US Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, said on Sunday. The goal is "a comprehensive peace in the Middle East".

For the next four months, Mitchell will shuttle backward and forward between Ramallah and West Jerusalem, but Toameh says Abbas cannot deliver peace. He is afraid of his own people. The Palestinian internal conflict needs resolving first.

Until then, leaving well enough alone is a diplomatic maxim that might save more pain.
Read it all (especially those of you who are not familiar with Abu Toameh - he is an amazing story himself). What could go wrong?


At 4:30 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

You strike me, I strike back. I deter you. You are weak for a year or two. You recollect your forces". And the cycle starts again.

And that is the problem. And the solution is quite easy: First, Israel needs to severely ratchet up the screaming when missile are fired from Gaza. Who knows about these missiles? I don't read them in any source (just about). Israel should be screaming about each and every one in every world forum it can; in front of the US Admin, EU, etc. Silence in this is useless.

Second, after each attack Israel should scream louder than the previous one. All this sets the stage for explaining its frustration and its need to turn to other "non-violent" measures: Turning off water and power to Gaza. Warn them first; warn the world, scream loudly and often, and then do it. One day of no water or power for each missile. And then wait.

At 9:50 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The Americans and the Quartet cannot leave well enough alone. No one has convincingly explained what exactly is so terrible about the status quo that it needs to be radically changed.

The irony of relentless American pressure on Israel will probably be to make peace further off than it otherwise would be.

But don't tell it to Obumbler and company who have no idea what they're messing around with in the Middle East.

What could go wrong indeed


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