I'll be posting on the prospects of the Annapolis jamboree which already has 49 invitees, perhaps three or four of which can be counted as friends of Israel. Among those governments asked are Sudan (seasoned expert at peacemaking), South Africa, the Vatican, Malaysia. The entire list is in Wednesday's Globe. Please take a look. Some of those coming will have had to be bribed. Others pushed to be asked as a reminder of empire, like Spain. So there is no real logic to who was invited (Slovenia not Hungary, Norway not the Netherlands). Iraq was invited to demonstrate that it exists. And why Senegal? The agenda will be pot luck. Will everybody be given three and a half minutes to speak?
Since almost everybody else seems to think that this is an important event and I don't (except in the prospect for the negative) I will share with you articles from elsewhere that argue roughly my perspective.
There are two I want to recommend now.
The first is by Bret Stephens in yesterday's Wall Street Journal. Even Israel's peace camp is more concerned with the Iranian threat -- it should tell it's American "Friends" to lay off:
Yossi Beilin, architect of the 1993 Oslo Accords and a political dove, predicts not only that Annapolis will fail, but that its failure will "weaken the Palestinian camp, strengthen Hamas and cause violence." His political opposite, Likud Party leader Benjamin Netanyahu, calls Annapolis "dangerous" and warns that Israel risks giving away everything for nothing in return. Few Israelis take seriously the view that the creation of a Palestinian state offers a solution to their concerns about Iran. On the contrary, they fear that such a state would become yet another finger of the Islamic Revolution, just as Hezbollahstan is to their north in Lebanon, and Hamastan is to their south in Gaza.
The second in by Noah Pollak in today's Contentions. He makes the point that the "engagers" are almost has-beens. They are also hortatory rather than analytic.
Anyway, they want Israel and the U.S. to engage with Hamas. But, as Pollak points out, Hamas is not really for Palestine. It's for the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate.
So what, pray tell, do people like Daniel Levy and Robert Malley propose is up for negotiation with Hamas? In the face of both Hamas’s plainly stated antipathy to diplomacy, in addition to decades of concrete experience of the same, would it not behoove Levy and Malley to pay special attention to this particular aspect of engaging Hamas? Shouldn’t an explanation about the contours of, and prospects for, a successful pursuit of diplomacy with Hamas indeed be the very first thing to which Levy and Malley set themselves?
Blessed are the peacemakers, indeed, especially when they can't find peace to make.