Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Photo Before the Storm: Peace Talks Already Failed

by Ramzy Baroud, CommonDreams.org, September 11,2010

A picture is not always worth a thousand words. The recently released photographs of Palestinian and Israeli leaders in Washington during their first direct talks in many months certainly don’t say anything new.It was the status quo at its best, a mere procession of regional and US leaders before hungry cameramen. The leaders promised “not to spare any effort” and praised the undeniable altruism embedded in the very concept of “peace”. Israeli Prime Minister repeated the martyr-like emphasis of past Israeli leaders regarding the “painful” compromises and sacrifices required to defeat the many obstacles standing before them. Mahmoud Abbas – with his expired presidency over a corrupt Palestinian Authority – smiled, shook hands and spoke unconvincingly about his hopes and expectations.

Jordanian and Egyptian leaders also attended. Their presence was purely an endeavor to mark a difference between this event and the last failed attempt at reaching a peace agreement. When late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israel’s Ehud Barak were herded into Camp David under the auspices of then President Bill Clinton, Arafat was left to fend for himself without any Arab backing. This left Barak, fully backed by the US, with all the cards. The process was a mockery then, as it is now.

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