Condoleeza Rice will be visiting the Mideast on a monthly basis, the US State Department says:
Israelis and Palestinians could start to explore fundamental peace issues this summer, US officials said, in a sign they believe some progress is possible despite myriad obstacles.
In interviews this week, senior US officials acknowledged the challenge of getting two politically weak leaders – Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas – to engage seriously on peace.
The problem is not in getting them to talk. The problem is in anything either of them says mattering.
They also stressed their desire to see Arab states like Saudi Arabia begin to engage with Israel, possibly providing political cover for Palestinians to make compromises should any genuine peace negotiation begin.
The Saudi position is as hard-line as any Arab position has been since the “three no’s”. They will not negotiate, they demand acceptance of their surrender document. What on earth can they do to facilitate compromise?
“Our main concern at the moment is supporting Abu Mazen (Abbas), making sure that Hamas is not in a position to take over — militarily, economically, politically,” said one official.
The official said Washington hopes the roughly $60 million it plans to spend to bolster Abbas’ presidential guard and for other security expenses will be multiplied by Arab funds.
The only hope for Abbas is that Hamas may self-destruct. It still won’t make the Palestinians like Abbas and his corrupt entourage, but he may end up dictator of Palestine by default. Of course, if that happens, there will immediately be a civil war between his forces and whatever Islamic faction is left from Hamas. And you can bet that “Arab funds” from Iran will flow to whoever opposes the US proxy.
Whatever the State Department hopes to achieve, this process will not bring security for Israel or a decent life for the Palestinians.