by Daoud Kuttab
"For all the theatrics and histrionics within the Arab League's Cairo headquarters, Arab governments are unlikely to have any influence on Palestinian-Israeli negotiations.
Like all regional organizations, the League of Arab States is inefficient as a collective body, and individual countries such as Saudi Arabia or Egypt wield more power than the 22-member league. In spite of this, or perhaps because of it, the Palestinian cause remains the most discussed topic in the League.
So inefficient is the Arab League that American and Israeli officials were taken aback months ago when Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas insisted on getting the green light from his fellow Arab leaders before risking yet another round of talks, this time with a far right-wing Israeli government. Abbas knows, as does almost everyone, that such a green light means very little in practical terms."