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Ear to the Ground

Bush Hopeful for 11th-Hour Mideast Peace Deal

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Posted on Mar 4, 2008
Olmert Bush Abbas
AP photo / Gerald Herbert

Better days: Flanking President Bush, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (right) shakes hands with Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert during last November’s peace talks in Annapolis, Md.

In keeping with the tradition of U.S. presidents attempting to forge peace agreements during their last years in office, President Bush remains optimistic about securing an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal in the final 10 months of his administration despite the recent outbreak of violence in the Middle East.


BBC:

Mr Bush said there was “plenty of time to get a deal done” in the remaining 10 months of his presidency.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas broke off contacts with Israel at the weekend after its recent military offensive in Gaza killed more than 120 Palestinians.

Earlier, Mr Abbas said a ceasefire was needed before the talks could progress.

Speaking after holding talks with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Ramallah, he urged Israel to “halt its aggression so the necessary environment can be created”.

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By Aegrus, March 5, 2008 at 8:11 am Link to this comment

Israeli forces kill children too. Both are guilty, and both should be reprimanded.

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By ekdar, March 4, 2008 at 7:06 pm Link to this comment

“Palestinian forces are firing rounds at women and children in a market place”

You just put your finger on the crux of the issue - the “Palestinian” Arab compulsion to keep trying to kill Israeli civilians. Absent that, there would be no conflict. If you didn’t know, the Israelis have far better things to do with their time and energy than having to serve in the military if they don’t have to.

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By ekdar, March 4, 2008 at 7:05 pm Link to this comment

“Palestinian forces are firing rounds at women and children in a market place”

You just put your finger on the crux of the issue - the “Palestinian” Arab compulsion to keep trying to kill Israeli civilians. Absent that, there would be no conflict. If you didn’t know, the Israelis have far better things to do with their time and energy than having to serve in the military if they don’t have to.

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By Maani, March 4, 2008 at 12:54 pm Link to this comment

“Following the time-honored tradition of U.S. presidents attempting to forge peace agreements (ideally in the Middle East) during their last years in office…”

And there it is in a nutshell: it is simply a face-saving “tradition” rather than anything anyone truly expects to occur.

And the reality is that it cannot and will not occur, for two fairly simple reasons.

First and foremost, the animosity between the Jews and Palestinians is just a subset of the animosity between the Jews and the entire Arab world.  The former may frame the issue vis-a-vis the creation of Israel in 1948.  However, this is a red herring, as the animosity goes back over 4,000 years to Isaac and Ishmael, and the split that created the Jews via Isaac and the Arabs (and, later, the Muslims) via Ishmael.  Who in their right mind thinks that this 4,000-year-old dispute can or will be settled by a piece of paper and some temporary goodwill?

The other factor is that, even were this possible - that somehow the millennia-long enmity could be negated with a piece of paper and goodwill - as long as the extremists on both sides are the ones who frame and control the debate and process (such as it is) - via violence and propaganda) - NOTHING can or will change.

Peace.  (probably not soon…)

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By Aegrus, March 4, 2008 at 12:21 pm Link to this comment

Yeah, the three sit around drinking coffee and make dirty jokes about Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama while Israeli military is bombing Palestinians outside, and Palestinian forces are firing rounds at women and children in a market place a few miles away.

Boy, I do love these peace talks.

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