The chances of anything positive emerging from the upcoming peace summit on Palestine grow daily less
By Khaled Amayreh from Ramallah
".....Palestinian political commentator Hani Al-Masri explains the differences. "A declaration of intent is non-binding, general and vague. Olmert doesn't want to commit himself to anything concrete with regard to ending the occupation. This is why I believe that the Palestinians should stay away from the conference."
Concern is growing, Al-Masri continued, that Israel, in league with the Bush administration, is trying to change the legal references upon which the entire peace process has been based.
"Until recently everyone was talking about UN resolutions 242 and 338 as the basis for the peace process. Now, it seems that President Bush's vision of two states living together has become the main reference.
"This would be a disaster for the Palestinian cause. It means that Israel would be able to retain large parts of the occupied West Bank, including the bulk of East Jerusalem," he told Al-Ahram Weekly.....
For their parts, Israeli officials have been urging Arab states not to be more Palestinian than the Palestinians. Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, on a visit to New York this week, complained that the position of certain Arab states was emboldening the Palestinians and consequently impeding peace. Livni urged the PA leadership to be "realistic", suggesting that Palestinian demands for a total Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories pursuant to the pertinent UN resolutions was a non-starter......"