The recent ‘summit’ meeting of Condoleeza Rice with PM Olmert and PA President Abbas has produced the expected — nothing.
The Palestinians, now represented by a unity government firmly under control of Hamas, have made it clear that the world will have to accept their ‘respect’ for agreements (but not acceptance of them), no recognition of Israel and no renunciation of violence. Israel and the US do not accept these principles. Will the West continue to fund the PA nevertheless? Will the Saudis pick up the slack if they do not? We don’t know, or care at this point.
What is important is that the Palestinians are led by those who reject the existence of Israel and propose its elimination by ‘violent struggle’. Read the Hamas covenant and the PLO charter if you need to see it in black and white.
Meanwhile, elements of the Fatah and Hamas militias continue to plan and attempt to carry out terrorist attacks against Israel. Arms smuggling continues across the Egyptian border into Gaza as Hamas forces there prepare for war. Hezbollah rearms under the noses of the UN and Lebanese army. The Iranian threat hasn’t gone away. Nothing has changed.
I would like to ask one thing of the political and media establishments in the West and in Israel: stop talking about peace plans, negotiated solutions, moderates in the PA, commonality of interests with Saudi Arabia, etc. Stop pretending that there’s anything out there other than a solid rejectionist front.
Understand that this rejectionism — not the occupation, not the treatment of the Palestinians in the territories, not the repairs to a ramp leading to a gate in the Temple Mount — is the cause of the conflict.
Also please give us a break about how this particular conflict somehow causes all the problems in the Middle East. Mostly they are caused by sectarian and tribal struggles, attempts by totalitarian leaders to maintain control, too much oil money (and therefore weapons) in the hands of said totalitarians, and religious demagoguery.
Israel should ignore it all and get ready for the next war, which is coming soon.