With the comments made by Mahmoud Abbas recently, one has to wonder if there is any way he can take part in the November “Peace Conference”. As a negotiator between employers and trade unions in a former life, the success of any negotiation involves give and take. From all the comments by Abbas in the media there seems to be no way that he is able to negotiate anything with the agreement of all the Palestinian factions.
As Khaled Abu Tomeh of the Jerusalem Post reports this week “The shift in the PA's position toward the conference is largely attributed to Abbas's failure to persuade the majority of the Arab countries to take part. The Saudis, Egyptians, Jordanians and Qataris are said to have informed Abbas that they see no point in attending under the current circumstances, especially in light of the ongoing power struggle between Hamas and Fatah”
So where do we go from here? It seems to me that neither Olmert nor Abbas has the backing of their electorate but neither wants to be the one to call the conference off. Each seems to be playing “chicken”, leaving the decision to the very last minute.
Abu Tomeh goes on to say that “Abbas is also reluctant to participate in a highly controversial conference held under the auspices of the US at a time when the Palestinians are more divided than ever. He knows that any deal he brings back will be severely criticized by Hamas and many other Palestinians, who will accuse him of succumbing to American and Israeli pressure.“
Meanwhile the Palestinian population is still being bombarded with jihad messages on their TV’s and in the sermons in their mosques. The last film to be seen from Palestinian TV shows a 2 year old planning for his personal jihad, yes a two year old!!
And from this we must go to peace? It seems to me it will take more than a generation to switch the present mindset, or am I being pessimistic?