Friday, January 28, 2011

More To Come On The Olmert-Abbas Talks

I'll be going silent for a few days, to finish the piece flagged here by Ethan Bronner in today's Times on the Olmert-Abbas talks. Events in Egypt make one wish they had succeeded all the more.


Potter said...

Ethan Bronner's article is very good. I have to say that because there are those who still can't stop bashing him.

So basically the story seems to be that both sides were coming very close and conceding a lot but there were still some things to be ironed out, some deal breakers. I am surprised that Abbas agreed to a de-militarised state. After all a sovereign state needs to protect itself- at the very least with treaties or trustworthy guarantees. Also I don't think it was very fair for Olmert to push Abbas to sign on the dotted line because of his own timetable ( as Barak tried with Arafat a few years ago) without giving him the time he said he needed. Olmert was in a rush because he was apparently beleaguered. At the time I remember talk about him needing a "legacy" ( real quick). I am not that cynical but why do israeli leaders see the light when they are on their way out only.. when they have nothing left to lose? And what about the people? Don't the people have to be with them? Look at who replaced Olmert... And where did Netanyahu demand to start, destroying all that preceded in negotiations? Who was getting punished because Abbas needed more time and Olmert was leaving office? Why do these great offers expire so quickly?? Could it be that the people are too divided as well?

Events in Egypt may indeed change everything, but it really should not change the basics. What may happen is that this contagion will try the patience of Palestinians, give them an idea that they too can uprise and throw off the occupation for once and for all. But they tried that twice only to get beaten down badly.

For Israel, what with events happening all around, it seems as though the noose is tightening... north south east west. Be prepared for another round of existential threat talk.

BA your NYTimes article could not come soon enough... I hope it makes a difference.

Anonymous said...

"What may happen is that this contagion will try the patience of Palestinians, give them an idea that they too can uprise and throw off the occupation for once and for all. But they tried that twice only to get beaten down badly."

To compare the 2 intifadas to what is happening in Egypt is preposterous. Both were stage managed and hardly 'popular' in the same sense that the Egyptian demonstrations are. More analogous would be popular uprisings against Hamas in Gaza or the PA in the West Bank.

Potter said...

Anonymous- The uprisings you cite are people against their own leaders.. and you can include the Hamas win in Gaza ( against Fatah corruption) but to talk about uprising against occupation, the intafadas, including the suicide bombing campaign I disagree about not popular!). Don't forget the megaphone of the media ( social and mainstream) these days. But there is this quieter revolution in the West Bank which would be destroyed by violence, the Fayyad Abbas experiment which is headed towards requesting recognition at the UN.

But if that fails ( goes nowhere in terms of statehood)) we are left with one-state and then the uprising would be about civil rights and representation and (still) justice.

Stan Racansky said...

You are right Porter the Palestinians should fight about civil rights, justice and job opportunities, inside of the Israel, not some nonsense as a indepedent Palestinian state on piece of real estate smaller then some of the medium cities, here in North America. The Tunisia, Egypt clearly show that people in Middle East are post-nationalistic and interested in dignity, jobs and personal freedoms, way past of small minded tribal nationalism exposed by their corrupted leaders

Anonymous said...

Finish that piece and jump back in; Jordan...Egypt. Events demand as much.

Potter said...

Yes I keep checking here for some evaluation, but BA is a thinker and needs time.......Who knows what this is going to do or bring anyway but I have to say I am quite disappointed in the Israeli government's reaction to all of this-- fear fear fear. They don't give a damn about the Arab people, liberation, democracy - just the worst that it may bring. (What else is new?) And why? Because the idea of actually ending the conflict to short circuit such dire existential outcomes does not enter their small minds. Which is why their hardline policies, right wing ideology, is so flawed from the get-go...pretenses about making peace in order to mark time, preserve the status quo, afraid, unwilling to risk anything. So much for the status quo. So much for avoiding risk. So much either (attention racists!) for the notion that Arabs have no dignity, no sense of self-worth that they will fight for. The only way Israel is going to have a chance at any secure future is to quit the occupation ASAP settling the conflict justly.... just look whats on the the shelf already for the particulars. Start dancing. Time has run out.

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