Friday, December 5, 2008

Telling it as it is

Unless the Palestinians can speak effectively with one voice, the world won't listen, though Palestine is the core problem

By Mustafa Barghouti
Al-Ahram Weekly

"As many speculate about Obama's future policies in the Middle East, the general Arab reaction is wait-and-see. The new president will likely face a barrage of problems, the economy and Iraq for starters, enough to keep him busy for a whole term. But there is no indication that the "change" Obama likes so much to talk about applies to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The appointments he made so far are not that encouraging either.

The Israelis, and Tzipi Livni has said as much, want the Americans to stay out of it. They want to keep the Palestinians divided, hold out the carrot of possible negotiations, while expanding settlements and changing the status quo all the time. The Palestinians, meanwhile, seem hapless. Pursuing negotiations that have no chance of success, the Palestinians are holding on to Annapolis like a drowning man clutches at a straw. What are they doing about the Israeli settlements that grew exponentially during the Annapolis talks? Nothing. What are they doing about the Israeli roadblocks that increased from 521 to 630 during the same period? Nothing. What are they doing about the system of apartheid that subsequent Israeli governments appear to reinforce? Nothing......."

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