Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dancing the Palestinian Two-Step

The peace process seemed to be moving in the direction of renewed, direct talks between Israel and the Fatah wing of the Palestinians. Benjamin Netanyahu completed a much-needed photo op with Barrack Obama, then eased restrictions for goods flowing into the Gaza Strip. He even continued the moratorium on Jerusalem settlements.
Then, suddenly, and without fanfar, Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas visited the White House. Trouble! With a nod from Obama, Abbas adds to the demands he wants met before he will sit and talk with Netanyahu. The new demand?

'US Commitment Before Direct Talks'
Abbas won't talk until Palestinian state's borders are guaranteed.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has told his Fatah movement he wants a more specific US commitment on the borders of a future Palestinian state before agreeing to direct talks with Israel.Abbas says he received assurances from US President Barack Obama, but that they weren't clear enough. He says he expects enormous pressure, but that he will not go "blindly" into negotiations.
This is the Palestinian two-step...a dance that is designed around piling one concession on top of another. It is a dance that never ends. The problem is that Barrack Obama seems to be dancing the two-step with the Palestinians.
A recent Frank Luntz poll in Israel revealed that 83% of Israelis believe that Obama is decidedly pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel. Of the remain 17%, only a small percentage actually believe Obama has Israel's best interest at heart.
In the meantime, Israel successfully completed its test of the "Iron Dome" early warning system. The high-tech radar will alert Israel to any missile launch in the region (particularly Iran) and provide precise telemetry as to the missile's target. There is one catch, the Iron Dome system is on loan from the USA and will not be operationally installed until November or December. Then, it is only a temporary loan.
It appears this high-stakes game of Middle-East poker is as complicated as ever.
Jimmy Root Jr
Author: DISTANT THUNDER Book One of the Lightning Chronicles
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I must clear out my stock in order to make room for "A Gathering Storm"

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