Thursday in Washington, Israelis and Palestinians will begin direct peace talks under the auspices and impulsion of United States President Barack Obama. After nearly 60 years of fighting, any and all given chance of peace should be vigorously encouraged. But do we really need to get all excited over this American initiative? Could success really be found at this meeting?|
Doubt seems more than allowed, for the base equation really has too much bias. To begin with, the “sincerity” attached to the Israeli side: yesterday, in deciding upon the principles of an agreement, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu placed to the fore the respect of Israel’s security, and the recognition of the Jewish character of the state, and by doing so he completely excluded the return of the Palestinian refugees.
On the other hand, there wasn’t so much as one word mentioned yesterday about the end of colonization, an incontrovertible prerequisite. Whereas the current government is one of the most right-wing in the history of Israel, the Prime Minister will do all he can to beat about the bush on this very sensitive question. And despite Obama’s speeches, the latter has not proven as of yet that he intends to impose this condition on his ally.
More generally, detractors of President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas think that he’ll be eaten alive at the negotiation table. When he wants to open heavy discussions (borders, Jerusalem, water sharing), can we really expect major concessions from the Israelis?
Abbas is looking to reassure the disillusioned Palestinians, and assure us that we must seize any opportunity for peace. It resembles more an anticipated admission of failure than a strong faith in his abilities to reach a fair agreement.
It must be said that the legitimacy of the leader of the West Bank to negotiate lends itself to caution. How could the interlocutor of the Israelis be able to give pledges of peace in the name of a torn-apart Palestine, both physically and politically?
Do we really think that Hamas is going to accept the terms of an agreement from which it has been excluded when Muslims already refuse to recognize the Hebrew State? Already in Gaza the refrain, which says Abbas is the toy of the United States, has started.
These people, with the support of Egypt and Jordan, give themselves a year to find a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. We’d love to believe it…