The Peace Process Has Become Irrelevant

( Amnon Lord - If you travel to the depths of the West Bank, around Nablus or Ariel, you'll observe a routine of civilian and economic life moving along busy roads. From Hizmeh checkpoint all the way to the heartland of the Palestinian villages surrounding Nablus, you can hardly notice an Israeli soldier. By my estimate, at least two-thirds of the traffic volume is Palestinian. Both sides seem to make the best of co-existence inside a strange bubble that hovers in the midst of regional turmoil and international economic distress where stability and growth are a rarity. The main reason for the feeling that the Palestinian front is a non-issue right now stems from the fact that it has become a sideshow. Some suggest that the huge Islamic takeover of Egypt is tipping the balance in favor of Hamas. Hamas is after all a Palestinian offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. Israel's dilemma remains: should it negotiate with the PA leadership in the West Bank that may not be able to follow through on an agreement? At the Saban Forum in Washington, when U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta exclaimed, "Just get to the damn table," it was Dan Meridor, the most dovish minister in the Israeli government on the Palestinian issue, who stood up and told Panetta, "On that one, you are simply wrong." Israel has made unprecedented concessions in order to get the Palestinians to "the damn table" but they refuse.

2011-12-14 00:00:00

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