Friday, August 20, 2010

What Kind Of Direct Talks Can These Be?

The Palestinian Authority doesn't speak for all of the Palestinians, and Hamas still seeks nothing less than Israel's destruction all while being in control of Gaza, but yet media reports will breathlessly state that talks between Israel and the Palestinians will resume in September. MSNBC is headlining that this is a breakthrough.
The United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations formally invited them to talks that are to begin Sept. 2 in Washington, NBC News reported.

The breakthrough marks a small but important step toward easing tensions in the Middle East. The goal is to agree on arrangements for two sovereign states, Israel and an independent Palestine.

"As we move forward, it is important that actions by all sides help to advance our effort, not hinder it," Clinton said. "There have been difficulties in the past; there will be difficulties ahead. Without a doubt, we will hit more obstacles. The enemies of peace will keep trying to defeat us and to derail these talks. But I ask the parties to persevere."

Clinton said the face-to-face talks are to begin Sept. 2. She said the hope is that a comprehensive peace agreement can be reached within one year.
I have no expectations for these talks. Israel cannot and will not make an agreement with the Palestinian Authority because Mahmoud Abbas cannot speak for all of the territories, and Hamas will not let Abbas do so for Gaza. What authority does Abbas have to speak for the Palestinians when the Palestinian Authority can't operate in Gaza? Hamas controls Gaza and but for Israel's assistance, Abbas and Fatah would have been tossed from the West Bank as well.

Abbas needs some kind of diplomatic breakthrough in order to maintain support among those living in the West Bank, but if that comes, it will be yet another sign that a 2-state solution is dead and that we're looking towards a 3-state solution, with Gaza and West Bank having separate futures.

This is yet another sign that the diplomats are living in their own fantasy world where they think that they can impose and substitute their own reality for the world around them. The reality is that Hamas and Fatah have no interest in ceding power to the other, and Hamas retains full control in Gaza despite the Israeli blockade and Fatah's own efforts to undermine Hamas. Hamas will not accept any deal that recognizes Israel's rights to any land - whether it is in the West Bank, Jerusalem, or Israel proper. It simply doesn't accept Israel's right to exist.

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