The Indomitable Illusion of a Peace Process

[Daily Star-Lebanon] Michael Young - For the foreseeable future, Israeli-Palestinian peace is a mirage sustained by diplomats enamored of process. Somehow, these professionals believe, the problem is one of finding the right dose of concessions, triggering the right mutually reinforcing perceptions of security, so that everything can smoothly fit into place. With each new failure, the calculations start anew, amid an enduring conviction that the lead of Israeli-Palestinian relations can yet be transformed into the gold of permanent amity. Yet on a daily basis it's being made plain that the minimal Palestinian conditions for an acceptable settlement are miles away from the minimal Israeli ones. Much will be made of the fact that Palestinians are preparing to establish a government of national unity, in which Hamas would accept a vague formulation suggesting the movement recognizes Israel. The new government should mean that the spigots of foreign aid are reopened for the Palestinians. It may even bring Hamas closer to accepting a state in the West Bank and Gaza, though just how close remains a big question. But one thing it will not do is make peace talks any easier, because the rubric "national unity" is likely to hand Hamas veto power over conditions that Fatah would be more amenable to accepting.

2006-09-28 01:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive