Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Diana Buttu: direct talks bound to fail

(Cartoon by Khalil Bendib)

Nora Barrows-Friedman, The Electronic Intifada, 30 August 2010

"As US officials arrived in Jerusalem last week to meet with Palestinian Authority and Israeli government officials, Nora Barrows-Friedman interviewed Ramallah-based lawyer and former PLO advisor Diana Buttu about this week's US-brokered direct talks between the two parties for The Electronic Intifada....

NBF: What are your major concerns about the Palestinian political atmosphere right now?

DB: The major concern is that we all know that this is going to fail. It doesn't require anyone with any particular knowledge or foresight to realize that these talks are going to fail. The real question is what is going to come afterwards, and here is where I'm most concerned. For the past 17 years, the PLO, and in particular, Fatah, has had one strategy and only one strategy: negotiations, negotiations, negotiations.

And they have had only one strategy as regards to themselves, and that is survival. We are now at a stage where we are seeing that this is going to be -- and I really hope that it is -- the final blow to the logic and the ideology of negotiations, that people somehow have to negotiate their freedom.

The real question is, what is this leadership going to do? Is this leadership going to continue to hold us hostage to this tired, visionless lack of strategy? Or is something different going to come?
I'm not concerned with the talks, we know they are going to fail. My bigger concern is about what is going to happen once the talks fail, and is there going to be anybody who is going to come forward with a different plan, a different strategy, a different vision? And that is my fear. You can't teach an old dog new tricks."

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