International media are, of course, reporting on the Middle East Peace Talks held in Annapolis yesterday. Some observers expected little and found it. Others more optimistically saw the conference as marking an important step. Most noted that the presence of Saudi Arabia and the Arab League—’prospective midwives’—as a major change in what had gone before.

My personal views are closest to those expressed by David Ignatius in the first linked article below.

The Washington Post: How Annapolis Helps

Gathering Israelis and Arabs May Have Been the Real Feat

An Opening in Annapolis

Mideast Talks Yield Promises To Press On

The New York Times: Israel and Palestinians Set Goal of a Treaty in 2008

Financial Times: Leaders set target for Mideast peace deal

Economist: Not-so-great expectations

London The Times: Peace talks set one-year deadline for an end to Israel-Palestine conflict

Asharq Alawsat: Annapolis and the Dream of a Palestinian State

The Annapolis Summit Has Already Affected the Arab World

Middle East Times: Israelis, Palestinians to push for peace

Headlines from the Arab press

Qatar’s The Peninsula: Peace hopes rise

United Arab Emirates’ Khaleej Times: Ground realities

Gulf News: Reaction to the Annapolis peace talks announcement

November:28:2007 - 11:49 | Comments & Trackbacks (6) | Permalink
6 Responses to “What Did Annapolis Achieve?”
  1. 1
    AbuSinan Said:
    November:28:2007 - 13:20 

    We have had “important steps” for 20 years. I dont see the significance of Saudi involvement, as their support of the Palestinians has dwindled in the last few years, so has their ability to affect the outcome of any deal. Sad to say, but Iranian influence is more important at the moment.

    The Saudis did what they could when they offered, twice, full and complete political, economic and military peace with the entire Arab world to the Israelis, only to be shot down both times. The Israelis are not interested in going back to the 1967 borders, period, and no negotiations based on anything close to 1967 borders will accomplish anything.

    The Israelis, backed by the USA, have created a set of “facts on the ground” which completely preclude ANY agreement based in International Law, UN Resolutions and 1967 borders.

    If I was an Israeli, or one of their supporters, I probably wouldnt want to move back to 1967 borders or follow UN Resolutions. Why should they? They have been able to flout UN Resolutions, International Law and the will of the internation community for over 40 years and have not had to pay a significant price for it.

    When they have nothing to gain, why give up East Jerusalem and all of the prime land in the West Bank? They wont.

    The Saudis and the Arab League were spurned by the Israelis when they offered a full peace. Nothing negotiated will come close to their agreement.

    The only solution is for the international community DEMAND that Israel give a full and equal vote to everyone under Israel control.

    One person, one vote. It is what democracy is all about!

  2. 2
    John Burgess Said:
    November:28:2007 - 16:17 

    History has created ‘facts on the ground’. No one can reasonably expect Israel to roll back to the 1967 borders–though some would prefer the 1930 border. Accommodations, compromises, trades-off will have t be made.

    Dreaming of some perfect past doesn’t move the process a single step closer to peace. There is no solution that will please everyone, 100%. Stop dreaming. Figure out what’s the largest dose of poison you can swallow without its actually killing you, even if it makes you sick for a while. That’s where you’ll find a solution. That goes equally for Arabs and Israelis.

    No, democracy is not ‘one person, one vote’. That’s the simplistic version of it. Simplistic versions are part of the problem, not the solution.

  3. 3
    Andy Said:
    November:28:2007 - 19:36 

    I don’t see that any progress is possible until the de-facto Palestinian civil war is resolved and that is something the Palestinians are going to have to figure out for themselves.

  4. 4
    John Burgess Said:
    November:28:2007 - 20:28 

    I think a sense of “the train’s leaving the station” may encourage even Gaza Palestinians to stop fooling around.

  5. 5
    AbuSinan Said:
    November:29:2007 - 08:23 


    What the Israelis have offered, to this point, have been completely unacceptable and will continue to be so.

    Are you contending that blatant violation of International Law and UN Resolutions ought to be accepted by the Palestinians and the international community?

    It is a well accepted idea that land taken in conflict cannot be held. If Israel is allowed to keep land that it seized in war it doesnt set a very good precident in the modern age.

    Once again Israel is being held to a different set of rules than any other country in the world.

    The US went to war to evict Iraq from Kuwait, a nation it took and held by force. At the same time, we use every tool we have to allow the Israelis to maintain the same thing. It makes us look like hypocrites John and it is one of the major recruiting tools of AQ. Remove this hypocrisy and injustice and you undercut AQ in a way our military operations will never be able to.

  6. 6
    AbuSinan Said:
    November:29:2007 - 12:11 

    The Israeli PM admits that a democratice, one person one vote system in Israel would be the end of the state. Who would have thought, the leader of the “only democratic state in the Middle East” would openly state that complete equality in the lands that Israel occupies would destroy it. So much for being a democracy.

    “If the day comes when the two-state solution collapses, and we face a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights (also for the Palestinians in the territories), then, as soon as that happens, the State of Israel is finished,” Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told Haaretz Wednesday, the day the Annapolis conference ended in an agreement to try to reach a Mideast peace settlement by the end of 2008.”

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