My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The challenge of Annapolis...

Are the Palestinians in any state to really move forward on a compromise for peace??? This excerpt if from a good editorial by David Horovitz, editor of the Jerusalem Post.

Dig a little deeper on the Palestinian side and you discern two distinct lines of thinking, neither of them yielding much hope for Annapolis - and this among the non-Islamists. Those around Fayad believe the summit is premature. Fatah is not reformed. The PA cannot provide effective security in the West Bank. The Palestinian public is in no mood for concessions, and even raising final-status issues is playing with fire. These voices are not talking about the need for a postponement of a few months, it should be stressed. They are talking about years - about the need to supplant whole generations raised on a diet of hatred and martyrdom.

Which takes us to the second line of thinking - among Palestinians who discern a pattern of unilateral concession from Israel and see no incentive or imperative to compromise at all. Israel has left Gaza. It is talking about leaving all of the West Bank, albeit with settlement bloc adjustments. It is talking about unprecedented concessions in east Jerusalem. It is finding no answer to rocket attacks from Gaza and proved vulnerable to attack from south Lebanon. So why hurry, they ask, to compromise on the refugee issue and other maximalist demands? Why hurry when a two-state solution is so obviously an Israeli interest, and when the single, binational state which inertia might bring spells suicide for Israel?

What would overcome both those mind-sets would be the development on the Palestinian side of a burning sense that they too have an imperative for reconciliation, that time is working against them, that they have much to lose by avoiding compromise and accommodation with Israel. And central to bolstering that way of thinking is the perception of Israel as confident and indestructible - willing to compromise for the cause of peace, but well able to hold firm if there is no genuine opportunity.

Since a genuine accommodation is a prime Israeli goal, Israel, it need hardly be stated, has a vital interest in the creation of precisely this perception. Demographics are not working in our favor; the need for a blueprint of settlements deemed essential and the galvanizing of a consensus around what should and should not be retained has never been greater; the danger of the Islamists, and thus Iran, taking full of control of the West Bank is real and potentially imminent.

It may be that, among some Palestinians, an imperative for reconciliation is indeed being felt, or even long existed.

But the concern as the parties make their way to Annapolis is that even the dismal legacy of Arafat's rejectionism seven years ago - the bloodshed it unleashed; the day-to-day economic and other consequences as Israel sought to protect itself against the onslaught of terrorism - has not seen a consequent determination to shape a better reality rise to the fore among the Palestinian public.

Put simply, the Abbas Palestinian leadership, whether or not it is truly moderate and ready to compromise, is not empowered by its public to work strenuously and wholeheartedly for reconciliation, and has not dared to confront this negativity. That is why the run-up to Annapolis has been so fraught and unproductive. And that is why the challenge, at Annapolis and beyond, is immense.


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