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Hopeless or Hopeful?

September 21, 2009


The trilateral summit tomorrow at the United Nations in New York will be the first time the Israeli prime minister and the Palestinian president will be meeting since the suspension of peace talks last December, but nobody’s waiting with bated breath. According to our latest article, the inability to reach an agreement on a settlement freeze and Israelis and Palestinians accusing each other for the lack of efforts to revive peace negotiations, continue to be the bumps in the road to peace. (Read our FACTBOX about Israel’s settlements.)

After the U.S. envoy George Mitchell’s week-long shuttle diplomacy ended last week without obvious result. He had attempted to break the negotiation deadlock between the two sides, any chance of bringing three leaders together for dialogue – albeit “without preconditions” and promise for resumption of negotiations – should seem to be an occasion worth anticipating. (Read more of our coverage here.) Israeli newspapers, however, were not encouraged, calling the summit “the flight to nowhere” and projecting it would be “solely symbolic”.

Prominent Israeli commentator Nahum Barnea called the trilateral summit “not a meeting; not even half a meeting,” and “a joke at the expense of an American president who tried to get involved in Mideast politics and was stung”.

Avi Issacharoff in a news analysis for Israel’s left-leaning Haaretz, called the summit “a much sought-after photo-op” for the Obama administration:

“… Three leaders shaking hands, seemingly getting back to negotiations. This would come against the backdrop of the White House’s resounding failure to force Israel’s agreement to a complete settlement freeze or to persuade Arab states to make even tentative steps toward normalization with Israel, so a picture of the three leaders together will look like an extraordinary achievement,” wrote Issacharoff. “It might even help Obama and his administration to get the stalled peace process moving, however slowly.”

We have listed the factors to watch from Israel and the Palestinians here.

What do you think the expectations are, if any, for the Obama summit?

(PHOTO: U.S. President Barack Obama with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington May 28, 2009. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)


Forcing this trilateral meeting on Abbas makes him look perfectly weak considering the required settlement freeze never happened.

President Obama hardly looks like a pillar of strength considering that Netanyahu, through word and deed, told the Pres to stick the settlement freeze where the sun doesn’t shine.

But we do have a winner: Bibi and corrupt, little Israel. Big surprise for a US brokered Middle East peace initiative, huh?

The administration’s rope-a-dope tactic making it look like we’re taking Israel severely to task but in reality it’s business as usual towards a greater Israel seems to be working perfectly – for the corrupt, little Zionist regime. A change perhaps in rhetoric but hardly in substance. Telling a billion plus Muslims how wonderful we think they are is hardly going to overcome what they see here.

Posted by marcopolo511 | Report as abusive

First rule of peace.

If people will not negotiate, then simply decide terms for them. Then tell them if they do not comply, you will make them comply.

This is what Israel is doing now. It will finish the fences and settlements, and tell the West Bank to be happy with what they have left.

Posted by Anon | Report as abusive

this is whole “summit” is a joke. just another gathering for pictures and the press. how long has this so called “peace process” been going on now? like 50 years? everyone knows that peace is not in the interest of israel or the U.S. it gives the israelis and U.S to keep themselves armed to the teeth and launch attacks on an already helpless population.the israelis don’t need a real threat, they just need to claim there is one.

Posted by sidney | Report as abusive

Did they hoard? Yes. Are they evil? No. It is our responsability to know this difference.

Posted by oscar canosa | Report as abusive

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