Road Map to Nowhere

[International Herald Tribune] Daniel Levy - This is one of those times of maximum mismatch between the optimistic rhetoric of peace process declarations and the gloomy reality of daily experience. The Annapolis architect, President Bush, is back in the Middle East, still declaring the worthy goal of peace in '08. But the fundamentally flawed logic of the process initiated last year is increasingly transparent. The logic of Annapolis - that an agreement on paper creates the conditions for its own implementation - is flawed. Palestinian analyst Hussein Agha commented to me recently that "Israel cannot make peace with Abbas for one simple reason - Israel is not at war with Abbas." The PA security forces under Abbas' authority present no military threat to Israel; the Fatah-affiliated militias that do continue to target Israelis do so against the instructions of Abbas - a fact recognized by Israel. Abbas can vanquish neither these forces nor Hamas. The Israeli army operating in the West Bank provides security to Israelis and also to the PA regime, thereby sustaining it in power. Israel can no more end the violence by making a deal with Abbas than the U.S. can end the hostilities in Afghanistan by reaching an agreement with President Hamid Karzai. And that is why what we have now is a make-believe process. The writer is director of the Prospects for Peace Initiative at The Century Foundation and director of the Middle East Initiative at the New America Foundation.

2008-05-16 01:00:00

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