A putative peace


The chances of anything positive emerging from the upcoming peace summit on Palestine grow daily less, writes Khaled Amayreh from Ramallah

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas has privately threatened to resign if the upcoming American- sponsored international peace conference in Annapolis, Maryland, ends in failure. According to sources within Abbas’s immediate circle, the Palestinian leader is increasingly worried that a fiasco at the much-heralded conference would undermine his credibility among Palestinians, including members of his own Fatah Party.

Abass’s threat to resign has been widely reported, though it is unclear whether it is genuine or a bluff intended to signal to Washington and Tel Aviv that the PA is already fed up with Israel’s stalling tactics as well as with America’s refusal to exert meaningful pressure on Israel to end its 40-year-old occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.

Abbas is also worried that should the putative peace conference fail, as many pundits predict it will, then the Bush administration will no longer be in a position to exert any kind of pressure on Israel. With the 2008-elections just around the corner, Bush would become a lame duck.

Meanwhile, there are unconfirmed reports from Washington that the US administration may postpone the peace conference to late November or even December in an attempt to provide more time for Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to iron out their differences. If true, the delay could lead to the cancellation of the conference altogether if Olmert and Abbas fail to make progress in their talks.

Palestinian and Israeli leaders have so far been unable to reach a common conceptual framework for any prospective peace agreement between the two sides. CONTINUE

October 4, 2007 | Comments Off on A putative peace

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