Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Rima Merriman, The Electronic Intifada, 30 January 2007
"......It's really hard to understand the source of Abbas's expressed optimism. He has no power whatsoever to achieve anything in his present capacity without, in his words, "a behind-the-scenes international conduit", which is not even on the horizon.
But the most telling factor that evokes skepticism in Abbas's optimism is his implicit acceptance of the spurious Israeli point of view regarding the reasons behind the stalling of progress in the peace process these past many years (Palestinian terrorism). Also appaling is his misreading of Israeli's new administrative procedures as signs of good intentions, when they are clearly and simply meant to entrench and streamline the occupation by providing such mundane things as special privileges to some and special permits to others......
But Israel is neither ready to determine the beginning of the road to peace (it's still busily consolidating its illegal settlements and especially its annexation of Jerusalem) nor where it will end. The occupied territories seem to be the least of Israel's worries right now. The ongoing Palestinian infighting is focusing Palestinian rage away from Israel for the moment. Additionally, given the inequality of power between the Palestinians and Israelis, the exercise of continuing to confine, restrain, oppress and subdue all of the occupied territories is scheduled to take hardly any of incoming Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkanazi's energies or brain power, except perhaps as a convenient training ground to re-instill confidence and pride in the Israeli army, especially in terms of ground fighting.
Israel has now successfully defined the cause of its insecurity generically as Islamist terror in concert with the political mindset of the US and the UK, the zeitgeist if you will, and not as what it really is: the indelible stain on Israel's soul resulting from its un-confessed crimes against Palestinians. Israel is looking ahead to be busily engaged in flexing its muscles against much bigger fish -- Iran, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. The captive ants in Israel's fenced backyard, so easily squished, are nothing compared to the excitement of regional aggression against so-called nuclear threats and evil mullahs that are bound to result in large-scale mayhem......
There is so little past evidence to give confidence to the Palestinians in UN and Security Council resolutions or, God help them, in the vision of George W. Bush or, especially, in "past agreements" with the Israelis or in Arab initiatives, that one wonders why the Palestinian Liberation Organization is so stuck on what has not worked before and is so unwilling to open itself up to radical new directions....."