Rice Sticks It To Abbas: "Please, Missus, May I Have Another?"
H/w, a short excerpt from a much longer piece on why the proposed/planned/probable "Palestinian peace" conference is already a non-starter.
United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was busy “lowering expectations” after her five-day tour of the Middle East. In truth, Israel had its expectations fully realised, and, amongst the Palestinians, only the Abbas regime would have entertained any other outcome.
Last week’s tour was to promote and prepare for President Bush’s planned Middle East summit in Maryland late November. By the end of the week, Rice was denying that the summit had been postponed until December, because no invitations had been sent yet.
Even before negotiations began, Haaretz reported sources “in the [Israeli] Prime Minister’s Bureau” stating that Rice had no intention of imposing on Israel “anything that will not be acceptable to it.” She gave virtually every assurance demanded by the coalition government of Ehud Olmert, including the Likud-led opposition’s insistence that there would be no talk of “dividing Jerusalem.”
Rice made clear that Palestinian demands for a document addressing future borders, Israel’s West Bank wall, Palestinian prisoners, refugees and Jerusalem on a set timeline would be denied in favour of the general statement insisted on by Israel. “We’re at the beginning of a process,” she told reporters in Jerusalem. Following talks with Olmert on October 14, she said that it was very unlikely that there will be any “breakthroughs” on Jerusalem.
In contrast, she virtually instructed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to sign up to whatever was on offer and “to make every possible effort to ensure the success” of the Maryland conference. “We frankly have better things to do than invite people to Annapolis for a photo op,” she told reporters.
Abbas was left floundering, having been exposed once more as a Western dupe. He was forced to warn that the Palestinians would not attend the conference without there being a “clear document and deadline to reach a definitive result.”
Condi's perfected the Kissingerian 'peace process' logic: As long as there's a process, you never really have to have peace.