Israel

Israeli-Palestinian Peace Either Imminent or Far Away. Maybe.

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Covering a speech to the Knesset by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Reuters has some bad news about the prospects for a peace agreement with the Palestinians: "Olmert Says Palestinian Accord 'Far Away.'" Based on the same speech, the International Herald Tribune is more hopeful: "Olmert Says Palestinians Serious About Peace." Take your pick.

CBS News reports that Deputy Prime Minister Haim Ramon has indicated the Israeli government would be willing to cede Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem to a Palestinian state, while agreeing to "special administration" of the "holy basin" that includes the Temple Mount and the Al Aqsa mosque compound. (These are harder to divide, since they occupy the same physical space.) It has long been clear that something along these lines, together with withdrawals from Gaza and the West Bank, would be necessary for a final settlement. While Ramon's comments may be an important indicator of Israeli seriousness, they do not address the real question: whether the widely disliked Olmert, whose approval ratings make George W. Bush look like Ronald Reagan, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who does not even control the part of the future Palestinian state he is supposedly in charge of, are strong enough to make a deal that will stick. Both men seem to hope that reaching an agreement will make them popular enough to implement it. I hope they're right, but the history of Middle East peacemaking makes me think Reuters' take is more accurate.

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  1. Far, far away. I don’t even know why Israel attempts to talk to people that are sworn to destroy them.

    Get attacked, win, give land back, get attacked, win, make concessions, blah blah blah. Oh well, they’ll get pushed too far again and clean up.

  2. Dust Temple Mount with Cobalt-60.

    After that, anyone who wants to live there can have it.

    /snark

  3. I was told at the Party meeting that Perfect Communism is just on the horizon. Since I didn’t know that word, I looked it up in the dictionary when I got home and learned it’s an invisible line that perpetually recedes as you approach it.

  4. I don’t even know why Israel attempts to talk to people that are sworn to destroy them.

    That’s one way to boil a complex issue down into one statement. At least you referred to the Palestinians as “people.”

  5. Why don’t they just arrange a big round of Ookie Cookie on the Temple Mount/Al Aqsa mosque?

    Winner gets Jerusalem…

  6. How about we offer Alaska to whichever side backs down first?

    Yeah, it’s kind of desolate, but there’s oil. And they do have some nice bridges…

  7. Morgan:

    I don’t even know why Israel attempts to talk to people that are sworn to destroy them.

    A better question is why the Palestinians attempt to negotiate with a government that maintains a murderous and thieving (increasingly so with the wall) occupation.

  8. An even better question is why do two people fight so hard over a shitty piece of dirt like the Jordan River Valley?

  9. Cesar | October 8, 2007, 2:58pm | #
    An even better question is why do two people fight so hard over a shitty piece of dirt like the Jordan River Valley?

    I would guess that the people are blinded by two different interpretations of the same boring fairy tale…

  10. Let’s just boil the argument down to its basics.

    It’s the Jews fault! ? ? ?

    It’s the Muslims fault! ?? ?

    There, all done.

  11. Only 10 posts over a few hours. Tells how excited people are over the prospect of the new peace “initiative”.

  12. I love those negotiations. Israel releases Palestinian terrorists from prison and hands over territory, and in return the Palestinians promise to keep their promises of keeping their promises of non-violence from the previous round.

  13. I love those negotiations. Israel releases Palestinian terrorists from prison and hands over territory, and in return the Palestinians promise to keep their promises of keeping their promises of non-violence from the previous round.

    meh, someone has to make the first move, really no reason it shouldnt be Israel, otherwise you are left with status quo. And besides right now with Abas in some sort of control/power, its the best chance that region has had in a while. So it goes pretty much like Jacob said, neither leader is enormously popular and this will make them or break them, but for now its the best shot we got.

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