What’s Next in Palestine/Israel?

Javier Mendez of El Mercurio (Santiago, Chile) has posed some questions about the current situation in Palestine/Israel. Here they are, with our answers.
1) What are the expectations for the meeting between Olmert and Bush?

Our expectations for the meeting between Olmert and Bush are very low.      HAMAS is nowin a situation similar to that of the PLO (and therefore Fatah) in the 1970’s. Bush and Olmert do not understand, or do not wish to admit, that bringing Hamas to where Fatah is now would require a similar expenditure of effort and good will. Instead they follow the policies that delayed détente between Israel and the PLO for so many years.

2) Do you think that they will try to analyse or talk about security issues in Gaza, West Bank or will they try to drive forward the peace iniciative called Road Map?

We see no signs that Mr. Bush will push for the pursuit of the road map.

3) Do you believe that recent violence beetween Hamas and Al Fatah could make situation in Middle East get worse? How could violence be stopped in Gaza and West Bank?

Hamas has offered a general amnesty in order to try to halt the cycle of internal violence among the Palestinians. Fatah is unlikely to respond in kind as long as Bush and Olmert continue to press them to disenfranchise Hamas.

4) What are the Israeli conditions for continuing the peace procese?

Israel has consistently rejected Hamas’ offer of a long-term cease fire so one must conclude that it is less interested in ending the rocket attacks from Gaza than in forcing Hamas to pretend to recoginize its legitimacy.

5) In your opinion, what are the chances today for peace in the Middle East between Israel and Palestine?

At this moment the prospects for peace seem the worst they have been in a very long time.

Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, Ph.D.

Minaret of Freedom Institute

Leave a Reply