At the White House, the zombies talk on

I discussed the other day how the Israel-Palestinian peace talks currently being conducted at the White House are beyond farcical and not worth paying the slightest attention to. However, here is an aspect of the farce, explained by the Christian Science Monitor, that few of us are even aware of. The term of office of the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, which began in January 2005, expired in January 2009. It was then extended by members of the non-functioning Palestinian Legislative Council. The illegitimate extension is due to expire next January. But since the PA feels that if Abbas leaves office, the PA could collapse, it has once again extended his term of office beyond next January. One reason the PA doesn’t want new elections is that it is afraid it would lose them to Hamas. Hamas of course defeated Fatah, the party of Abbas, in legislative elections several years ago and then violently seized control of Gaza. Hamas does not recognize Israel’s existence and is formally committed to Israel’s destruction. Yet Gaza is part of the Palestinian Authority which is supposedly negotiating with Israel. So we have “peace talks” between, on one side, Israel, and, on the other side, an entity, the PA, the president of which is illegitimately in office, and a major section of the territory of which is under the power of a different entity that opposes the very idea of peace with Israel.

CORRECTION: the pantomime of the handshaking smiling zombies is not taking place at the White House with Obama as the mediator, as I had thought, but at the State Department with Hillary Clinton as the mediator. Nor is it an ongoing meeting until they reach an agreement, but rather a one-time meeting. Here’s what they agreed on today: that they will meet again in two weeks (in Sharm el-Sheikh), and then once every two weeks after that, until they reach an agreement, with the aim of reaching a peace treaty within one year. So this is not like Camp David in summer 2000, when the parties met together until they either produced an agreement or didn’t; it’s not like the White House in January 2001, when the parties met together until they produced an agreement or didn’t. Rather it’s an agreement to engage in a series of meaningless one-day meetings once every two weeks.

Hillary reproducing role of her husband in ‘93—
First time tragedy, second time farce

If you want to waste 90 seconds of your life, you could read the New York Post’s article on the momentous event:

Summit of smiles
By CHARLES HURT Bureau Chief
September 3, 2010

WASHINGTON—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas held “long and productive” meetings at the State Department yesterday and agreed to sit down together again later this month and then every two weeks until they reach a concrete peace agreement.

Face-to-face sessions yesterday were held at the State Department between the two leaders and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and other US officials.

The initial discussions—the first during the Obama administration—have been held in “good faith and with seriousness of purpose,” said former Sen. George Mitchell, US envoy to the Middle East.

Netanyahu and Abbas agreed to continue talks and meet again Sept. 14 at the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

They also agreed to meet again every two weeks until an agreement is reached.

“I know the decision to sit at this table was not easy,” said Clinton, who with Mitchell has been working to relaunch talks after a stall of 20 months. “We understand the suspicion and skepticism that so many feel, borne out of years of conflict and frustrated hopes.

“But, by being here today, you each have taken an important step toward freeing your peoples from the shackles of a history we cannot change and moving toward a future of peace and dignity that only you can create.”

The compromises will involve the thorniest issues that have dogged the parties for decades: the borders of an eventual Palestinian state, the political status of Jerusalem, the fate of Palestinian refugees and Israel’s security.

Mitchell refused to discuss specifics of what the framework agreement would entail, but said it would lay out the “fundamental compromises” needed for a final settlement.

He was unclear about whether the one-year deadline applied to the framework agreement or a final peace treaty, saying only that the goal was to “resolve all of the core issues within one year.

With cautious optimism, Netanyahu and Abbas promised to work together.

“I see in you a partner for peace,” Netanyahu told Abbas.

Abbas said, “We do know how hard are the hurdles and obstacles we face.”

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 03, 2010 10:43 AM | Send

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