Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Incoming Israeli/Palestinian Talks--Derailed?

There was a sliver--however slight--of a good set of talks coming up in the Middle East.

An assailant attack that killed 4 Israelis near Hebron has probably undermined that entirely. The trick here is not that it will necessarily outrage the Israelis into quitting the talks, but that it will call into serious question Abbas' credibility in promising to handle his own security situation--this happened even with Israeli troops nearby.

Security, obviously, it Israel's biggest concern in the talks, and a number of more extreme-leaning groups (including Hamas) want to make that a tougher point during the talks. The emergence of a weak Palestinian state with Israel in a comparatively strong position would be a failure to the real revolutionaries.

In short: don't get your hopes up for these talks. Frankly, they were probably mostly a political maneuver anyway.
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