Skip to main content

View Diary: The Bluff Obama Can't Call (27 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  A couple of points here. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    isabelle hayes

    First, what Obama seems to have managed to do is get the Europeans interested enough in the issue to get that French meeting set, to adopt the Obama points, to get the Quartet warmed up, and to create a bit of a trap for the reluctant, namely   that he who does not negotiate is now faced with a larger group of countries who are balancing negotiations vs. UN, which is not helpful for negotiations only types who will not in fact come and negotiate.

    The Europeans are pushing their preference for negotiation but may reconsider if after a summer of pushing that, one of the parties may still refuse to show up.  And who are more likely as a group to take some UN action if the UN date arrives before the red carpet into the negotiations is used by the reluctant, without Obama himself having to push the position alone. Having Gates yelling about the disparate support for NATO at this point, when their lead in Libya is not going so well, and there may not be further US funds to supply whatever, will probably have some effect of its own, suggesting that EU needs to push harder on its share of the work, whatever that work is. And this is the next subject up.

    Second, and not necessarily on a perfect timetable, the Palestinians are trying to get their government together as a unity government with the provisional being a neutral ministerial bureaucratic thing rather than a set of cookie cutter guys from one side or the other. It will be a noisy fight for awhile as the two sides on that learn to talk to one another rather than trying to eliminate one another, and learn how to get past past issues and jailings, to get this done.  Today's news burp was that the composition of said neutral government will be announced next Tuesday in Cairo. Fayyad was quoted in a Ma'an article today saying he would not permit himself to be the roadblock  to a unity government.  

    If it's neutral between the two Palestinian sides, and can actually be stood up and work, the interim government may be neither Abbas/Fatah nor Hamas exactly, and may be found acceptable to those objecting to Hamas, without being set up for someone, Abbas, whom the reluctant think they can manipulate any way they want as long as the other one is not at the table. The reluctant will probably  say that they aren't safe if Hamas can be elected at the first free elections or the referendum on a deal which all sides have at one point or another insisted upon, but at some point one must give choices to the voters, a principle most countries in fact understand, as that is part of what the Arab Spring is about. Setting up the unity government is a work in process, but at least it is in process and chugging along. Having one in place will change a lot. Soon. And it will insist on the other side working through both WB and Gaza issues, a first here. I can see the September date sliding a bit if the setup is going well but not quite ready on September 15.

    The reluctant are also running out of time for internal reasons. For example, a proposal from one of the conservative parties in Tel Aviv has been floated to eliminate NGOs from certain benefits otherwise available to them if their democratic issues are OK, but if the religious issues, the "Jewish" in "Jewish State" are not up to their liking. And there is a recent fight about whether the IDF prayer for those dead in service calls on G-d or the people of Israel to remember them. And then there is the galaxy of problems covered under a reference to 'the drought' and where the water is, with gray water mandatory use proposals being discussed as soon as they can agree what gray water is. And the IDF touting their defense of the homeland against the folk in Golan, touting their preparations for riots expected in "September' and their need for more mone for more preparedness against whatever they say may happen then. Time for bluffing is running out.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site