Tuesday, July 12, 2011
A Call to "Park the Peace Process"
It's Time to Park the Peace Process -Gideon Rachman
•A meeting of the Quartet saw yet another effort to drag the unwilling parties back to the negotiating table. Yet with the Middle East in turmoil, starting a new round of Israeli-Palestinian talks is completely pointless.
•Some European diplomats cling to the idea that the Palestinian issue remains at the heart of the instability in the Middle East. But that is a theological position that can only be upheld by resolutely ignoring actual events. If there is one thing that the uprisings across the Middle East have in common, it is that they have very little to do with the Palestinians.
•The main bearing that the Arab spring has had on the Palestinian issue is to change the calculations of both sides to the conflict, in ways that make them even less likely to risk negotiating a peace settlement.
•It is simply too risky for the leadership of Fatah, the Palestinian faction in control of the West Bank, to enter into tortuous negotiations with the Israelis that will inevitably lead to accusations that they are selling out their own people.
•Israel's regional policy was built around a peace treaty with Egypt, cordial relations with Turkey, a cold peace with Syria and a shared interest with Saudi Arabia in the containment of Iran. The upheavals across the Middle East raise questions about the durability of all of these arrangements.