The Middle East talks look like an act of grand displacement unless Obama stops giving Israel an unequal say
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 27 August 2009
"It may be early days in the hammering out of the details of a new US-sponsored plan to broker a resumption of Middle East peace talks, but what are clearly visible are the operating assumptions. At their very heart, the reporting in this paper suggests, is what the government of Binyamin Netanyahu has always wanted: a link between Iran's nuclear programme and a very partial freeze on settlement building, offered in exchange for opening up an even more partial track of a peace process whose focus would be on the West Bank.
A step forward? Hardly.......
A truly honest and equitable approach – as suggested by Obama in Cairo – requires the abandonment of an unequal approach that for too long has allowed Israel a unique say in defining and redefining the contingent conditions for each step of progress. Depressingly the indications are that there is very little chance of that. And if that is true, Obama will have failed in the "responsibility" he set for himself."