Thursday, October 11, 2007

Mideast Conference and the Illusive Peace

The Palestinian people are desperate for having peace with justice, but they are afraid the conference will lead only to protracted negotiations rather than the end of occupation.

A Very Good Piece
By Dr. Hasan Afif El-Hasan
Special to

"Until recently, Palestinian Authority (PA) officials including Abbas had been expressing reservations about the US sponsored November peace conference. Despite the repeated warnings that Abbas may not attend the conference unless certain conditions are met, he and the so called Arab moderates will not turn the invitation down. They are desperate for any action on the Palestinian issue and they have no control over events on the ground. Abbas government which is wholly dependent on the Americans, politically and financially, is not in a position to rebuff its main supporter, the US. And besides, the conference will be the only game in town.....

Abbas turns to consultation from Israeli and American officials not on how to end the Israeli occupation, but on how to defeat the Palestinian resistance. On August 19, 2007, Ha’aretz newspaper revealed a secret only the Israelis know. Ranny Lovenstein, an Israeli government official doubles as a consultant for Prime Minister Fayyad. Among his latest contributions to Abbas and Fayyad government was a plan on how to defeat Hamas in the next Palestinian elections, according to Ha’aretz....

The Palestinians will be served better if they assemble a new negotiating team that does not include any of those who negotiated and defended the Oslo accords. The Palestinians should not expand the concept of having “leaders for life” to include having “negotiators for life” despite their incompetence.....

If Arafat who was supported by all Palestinians in the occupied lands failed to produce an acceptable peace with justice agreement because he was restrained by Oslo agreements, Abbas failure today is certain because he is not only restrained by Oslo agreements. He is also restrained by his alliance with Israel against a large segment of his own constituency. The Palestinians should ask if Abbas has plan B in case of failure. If he does not have such a plan, I propose one. Abbas should admit that he failed, apologize to the Palestinians for putting all his eggs in the US-Israeli basket and ask the Palestinians to replace him and his team."

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