Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Daniel Levy at TPM Cafe serves up a good summary of the latest small steps toward renewed negotiation in the Israel-Palestinian-Arab conflict. These include the agreement of Hamas and Fatah to form a unity PA government, an IDF tribunal ordering the release of 21 imprisoned Hamas parliamentarians and US Secretary of State Rice's praise of Syria for foiling an attack on the US embassy in Damascus. Secretary Rice's remarks indicate the continuing American interest of wooing Syria away from its alliance with Iran. As this blog noted before, Syria is warming to the idea and has signaled interest in moving toward negotiations with Israel.

There are two general points worth making about these developments. First, wars between Israel and its neighbors that end inconclusively are followed by brief flurries of peace-making talk and efforts. This is because the war proved the situation before the wasr was very explosive but did little to change it. The participants or bystanders therefore need to seek some diplomatic means to prevent or mitigate another imminent war. Second, any initiatives for peace by Palestinans or Arabs would be very inopportune for Israel at this time. Such moves could require Israel's government to express what territories it would give and what risks it would take for peace. With the recent war having shaken Israel's self-confidence and created an ongoing political crisis, it is impossible for the government or public to reach an agreement on these points.


Post a Comment

<< Home