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Real Politik in ...Annapolis!
by Thanos Kalamidas
2007-11-22 09:58:49
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This is it! It is just a week before the meeting for the Palestinians in Annapolis, USA; the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert met with reporters and tried to give them his optimism for a final result till the end of 2008 despite the last minute problems he had to face while meeting the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas over an agreed blueprint for future talks.

Most likely the wish of a blueprint was coming from the Palestinian side, while the Israelis prefer to go to Annapolis without carrying any serious commitments and obligations in their lugagge. However, the most important news in this meeting came from the Israeli part and Olmert’s commitment not to build any more settlements in the West Bank and, at the same time, free nearly 450 Palestinians imprisoned in Israel.

Of course, the Palestinians would love the number of the freed prisoners to be 11,000 and a final stop to any kinds of works in the Israeli settlements, and finally to activate again the Road Map for the Peace in the Middle East, but this is a bargain and the Palestinian should somehow keep low after the events of the last four years and the danger of a civil war inside the Palestinian territories.

Be careful, I’m not saying that the Palestinians have no right to ask or better demand all the above, what happens with the settlements in the West Bank is a straight evaluation to anything that has been agreed till now and the Israelis have often crossed any line arresting anybody that …looks suspicious where suspicious often translates anybody Palestinian. What I’m trying to say that perhaps it is the time for the Palestinians to practice what Yasser Arafat practiced over the last decade of his ruling, real politics or better Real Politik!

Real Politik in Annapolis, do the Palestinians think that George W. Bush suddenly saw the real light and he’s going to help them? It is a wonder after 9-11 how he didn’t treat all the Palestinians in public as terrorist because in private there are a lot of rumours, the man is just hosting the event. Somehow it looks like the person that has done a lot of work is Tony Blair; here I have to admit that he really surprised me. As a representative and leading the efforts for the Palestinians for the quartet he has already announced four programs that will help the improvement of the Palestinian economy while the EU promised to help from her side financially and in security issues.

Real Politik because the Israelis are not going to Annapolis willing to lose anything or withdraw from anything they have managed to build over the last decades, including the wall of embarrassment, but at the same time the invasion of Lebanon showed them that it is about time to think seriously about peace.

The Israelis are equally tired of the war with the Palestinians and it is just that the Palestinians have to understand that, there are all these hawks in the Israeli army and all these nationalists in the Israeli political life but the Israeli people have had enough, they need to live in peace, they know that their prosperity stands in peace with their neighbours, including the Palestinians, and the best prove is Ehud Olmert himself.

The first move the Palestinians have to do is agree with the Israelis in a simple and primitive form of this blueprint without forcing them into feeling cornered. The tension for the success of this summit, or better the need for success, is so high that even the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is willing to travel to Israel and help the negotiations between the two sides. Ehud Olmert said, “The negotiations will not be simple, there will be differences, crises and arguments; but if we act with caution there is a chance to reach a real deal!” It is amazing, especially when these words come from the mouth of an Israeli Prime Minister.

The last thing is that other Middle East states, such as Syria, that have often used the Palestinians for their own agendas will keep away and let the Palestinians themselves reach an end in these negotiations.

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Emanuel Paparella2007-11-22 11:56:15
"Realpolitik" was of course practiced to the hilt by Henry Kissinger as well as Arafat. Undoubtedly they both had read Machiavelli carefully. Kissinger had another interesting slogan: "constructive ambiguity." It too is Machiavellian in its contempt for clear unanbigous ideals of peace and justice and respect for international law. Ruminations.

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