Within the span of three days, I have reviewed two outstanding evaluations regarding the Annapolis “peace conference”, the first was in Helsinki, the second over at Front Page Mag.
A couple of days ago I attended a meeting of pro-Israel groups that assembled in Helsinki to listen to speeches given by Israeli representatives, past and present.
The Israeli embassy’s second secretary, Olga Slov delivered a speech in place of Israel’s Ambassador to Finland, Avi Granot. He was scheduled to speak at the event, but was called away to accompany Finnish Foreign Minister, Ilkka Kanerva to Israel.
The Israeli representative delivered a speech that was full of what you would expect to hear from a diplomat that must present the expressed views and wishes of their government. But what followed afterwards deserves a bit more highlighting, because it dovetails extremely well with the views offered by Dr.Daniel Pipes. Former Ambassador to Finland, Yosef Haseen, delivered a speech last Sunday in Helsinki, which could be described as being one of the more accurate accountings of the Middle East situation, outside of a Daniel Pipes’ analysis.
Haseen said that the ME conference could be reduced to a simple question of, the Arab states do not want under any circumstances, to accept a Jewish state within the Middle East, and that Israel is again, the only place for a Jewish country for the Jewish people. This goes quite nicely with the observations of Daniel Pipes concerning the recent statements by Israeli PM, ehud Olmert.
Breaking with his predecessors, Olmert has boldly demanded that his Palestinian bargaining partners accept Israel’s permanent existence as a Jewish state, thereby evoking a revealing response.”
Yosef Haseen doubted that “the Arabs seated around that table were really sincere of their stated desires to seek peace with Israel, since many of the states represented there have a huge stake in seeing the conflict with the Palestinians continue.”
That the Arabs could care less about their Palestinian brothers, since they hardly could care less for their own people, who for the most part –in spite of the wealth of oil in many of the rich Arab states– are nothing more than third world countries whose populations live in great poverty and ignorance.”
That the issue of Jerusalem, the refugees, Jews in the settlements and in the Golan as well, and the borders of any new Palestinian state, are more than enough to scuttle any “peace talks” for the foreseeable future. It’s not that Israel isn’t willing to discuss these issues, and create conditions for a consensus to be made between all the main Israeli political parties, it’s just that the Arabs have not been willing to give up on their dream of getting rid of the Jewish state.
Like Yosef Haseen, Daniel Pipes closes by stating the obvious:
“Arab recognition of Israel’s Jewish nature must have top diplomatic priority. Until the Palestinians formally accept Zionism, then follow up by ceasing all their various strategies to eliminate Israel, negotiations should be halted and not restarted. Until then, there is nothing to talk about.”
I really don’t have anything else to add to that sentiment. *L* KGS
Special thanks to VP for the transcribed text.
Update: Astute Middle East commentator, David Hornik, offers valuable insight on the international “peace” conference in Annapolis as well. Even Finland obtains an honorable mention in his article. More here.
“And to all this Bush and Olmert and the many other representatives of democracies present, sunk so deep in moral equivalency regarding the “Israeli-Palestinian conflict” that they can no longer use words accurately, think straight, or make the most axiomatic distinctions, could only say amen. Meanwhile violent anti-Annapolis riots broke out not only in Gaza but also in Ramallah, Hebron, Nablus, Qalqilya, and Tulkarm in the putatively Abbas-ruled West Bank, with security forces firing into the crowds and killing at least one rioter and wounding dozens more.
To contrast this with the few entirely peaceful anti-Annapolis demonstrations in Israel; to note that this is the Palestinian Authority whose quick conversion into a democracy President Bush has made an obsessive theme—any such observation would have been seen as an unacceptable insult to the assembled jihadists, dictators, and genocidists. The best hope for the Annapolis conference is that it was a passing, ugly spectacle of democracy dragging itself through the mud of Middle Eastern barbarism.”