Saturday, November 24, 2007

Yaacov Hopes for the Best with No Expectations

So what is my take on the Annapolis Summit? I'm posting this for future reference, since making predictions is so tough, especially about the future (and thanx, Allan, for pointing out it was Yogi Berra who crafted that great sentence).

I'd love for the negotiations to succeed. Like everyone else, I fully realize this will necessitate dismantling most of the settlements and some sort of land swaps for the rest. Much as I think it will be a bad idea, I know that reaching a deal will include changing the status of Jerusalem. Most Israelis knew this before the previous round, in 2000, but I think more accept it now than then, as indicated by the results of the previous elections. So does that mean peace is in the offings? Of course not. Because there are absolutely no indications that I've seen or heard of that the Palestinians have changed since 2000, unless perhaps for the worse - as indicated by the results of their previous elections. The only potentially significant change on the Arab side since 2000 is that this time much of the Arab world, lead by the Suadis, seems willing to back the Palestinians should they decide to make peace with Israel. Nice, that, but not enough if the Palestinians themselves aren't changing.

If I'm proved wrong, feel free to link to this post as much as you wan't to rub my face in it. It will be a pleasure.


Lydia McGrew said...

I'm glad you still think "changing the status of Jerusalem" (is that a mild-mannered term for dividing Jerusalem with a terrorist state?) is a bad idea. In RtE, you said you'd use your vote to oppose it, which was pretty strong language, all things considered. It's a dreadful idea. That would be the end of the synagogue described at the beginning of the book. Let's hope and pray it doesn't come to that.

Lydia McGrew said...

I apologize for the unpleasant tone of the previous comment. If I were an inhabitant of Jerusalem, I'd probably be running about yelling, "The sky is falling!" It does seem to me that Annapolis has no probability of doing good but a lot of potential for doing harm.

So by way of making up for being cynical and unpleasant, a factual question: I keep hearing that if Olmert does this or that, elections may be called early, or his government may "fall," and such-like. We don't have a system like that in the U.S., and I'm always trying to understand it. Doesn't the Prime Minister come up for reelection at a set time? Do election times always have to be ad libbed, or what? And can the Israeli people actually demand an election if they are sufficiently dissatisfied with a politician? How do they do that?