Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Stateside With Rosalea: Annapolis Overview

Stateside With Rosalea Barker (At Annapolis)

Annapolis Overview


Click To View Photo Essay - Stateside At Annapolis - Here’s Hoping!

Before the speeches from Bush, Abbas, and Olmert, I took the liberty of asking Tony Walker, International Editor of The Australian Financial Review, and former Middle East correspondent for the Financial Times for his overview of the conference.

::Tony Walker::

"This is largely a ceremonial event. The question, of course, is whether the ceremonial event will lead to something more substantive, such as a proper Middle East peace process negotiation, and I think they’re still quite a long way away from getting to that point. But at least this is a slightly more promising situation than we’ve had for the last seven years since the Camp David II process collapsed in 2001.

So, there’s a glimmer of hope but it’s not much more than a glimmer. The two sides are still very far apart on substantial issues of territory and what to do about Jerusalem and refugees. There’s a lot of work that would need to be done before they actually got to a full-blown peace process—a lot of preparatory work which clearly hasn’t been done.

The other problem is that, if you compare 2000 with now, the circumstances are a lot less propitious. The Clinton Administration had got many more ducks in a row as far as the peace process is concerned than we have now. The Palestinians were more or less unified under a single leadership. The Israeli government was a bit more substantial than it is now—a bit more—and the two sides were in a better position to deliver on any agreements that might have been reached.

Of course, now, we have a Palestinian leadership which is… we have a divided country, effectively, which is sort of involved in a low-level civil war between Hamas and Fatah, the mainstream faction. And on the Israeli side, we have a very weak Prime Minister who’s barely clinging on to power. There’s no real consensus in Israel on the real tricky issues, which of course are to do with trading land for peace.

On the issue of Jerusalem, there is no consensus on shared sovereignty over that issue. And you also have a situation in the Middle East which is much more unstable than was the case in 2000. There was not a war in process. There was not a situation where you had the United States at loggerheads with a major power to the same extent—I’m talking about Iran—that you have now.

If you look across the horizon at where we are now, compared with where we were then, things don’t look very promising at all. Of course, the other important element of this is that you had a President then who was really willing to roll up his sleeves and become involved in pushing this process forward. I don’t think that George Bush is prepared to roll up his sleeves and to push the process forward. "

(Scoop coverage continuing live from Annapolis...)

*************

rosalea.barker@gmail.com

- PEACE —

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Keith Rankin: Basic Universal Income And Economic Rights
"Broad growth is only going to come when you put money in the hands of people, and that's why we talk about a Universal Basic Income". [Ritu Dewan, Indian Society of Labour Economics]. (From How long before India's economy recovers, 'Context India', Al Jazeera, 31 Oct 2021.) India may be to the 'Revolution of the twenty-first century' that Russia was to the 'Revolution of the twentieth century'... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Foreseeable Risk: Omicron Makes Its Viral Debut
It has been written about more times than any care to remember. Pliny the Elder, that old cheek, told us that Africa always tended to bring forth something new: Semper aliquid novi Africam adferre. The suggestion was directed to hybrid animals, but in the weird pandemic wonderland that is COVID-19, all continents now find themselves bringing forth their types, making their contributions. It just so happens that it’s southern Africa’s turn... More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Totalitarian Cyber-Creep: Mark Zuckerberg In The Metaverse

Never leave matters of maturity to the Peter Panners of Silicon Valley. At their most benign, they are easily dismissed as potty and keyboard mad. At their worst, their fantasies assume the noxious, demonic forms that reduce all users of their technology to units of information and flashes of data... More>>




Gasbagging In Glasgow: COP26 And Phasing Down Coal

Words can provide sharp traps, fettering language and caging definitions. They can also speak to freedom of action and permissiveness. At COP26, that permissiveness was all the more present in the haggling ahead of what would become the Glasgow Climate Pact... More>>

Globetrotter: Why Julian Assange’s Inhumane Prosecution Imperils Justice For Us All

When I first saw Julian Assange in Belmarsh prison, in 2019, shortly after he had been dragged from his refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy, he said, “I think I am losing my mind.”
He was gaunt and emaciated, his eyes hollow and the thinness of his arms was emphasized by a yellow identifying cloth tied around his left arm... More>>

Dunne Speaks: Labour's High Water Mark
If I were still a member of the Labour Party I would be feeling a little concerned after this week’s Colmar Brunton public opinion poll. Not because the poll suggested Labour is going to lose office any time soon – it did not – nor because it showed other parties doing better – they are not... More>>