Monday, March 26, 2007

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My gloomy prediction of the day

The Associated Press has some good news to report in the Middle East:

An international diplomatic drive for Mideast peace gained momentum Monday, with Israel welcoming the idea of a regional peace summit and Saudi Arabia suggesting it would consider changes in a dormant peace initiative to make it more acceptable to Israel.

Senior U.S. and U.N. officials confirmed they were trying to bring Israelis and Arabs together in a wide push for peace, but acknowledged the idea is still at an early stage.

The new developments came at a time of high-profile diplomacy, with the U.N. chief Ban Ki-Moon and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice both in the region for talks with Israeli and Arab leaders.

The international officials are trying to break an impasse following formation of a Palestinian unity government that includes the Hamas militant group.

Immediately after the government was formed, Israel ruled out peace talks with the Palestinians until Hamas explicitly recognizes the Jewish state.

But on Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said he "wouldn't hesitate" to take part in a regional summit. Palestinian officials cautiously endorsed the idea.

Any such meeting especially if Saudi and Israeli officials were to publicly meet would be a huge symbolic breakthrough. Saudis and Israelis are believed to have held private meetings in the last year.

If this gains any momentum at all, I predict there will be an attack in Israel or the occupied territories. The attack will be designed to inflame the Israeli political establishment or wreck the Palestinian coalition govenment. There are simply too many armed groups in the region with a vested interest in maintaining the festering status quo.

UPDATE: Kevin Drum is unimpressed with my bold prognostication: "It looks to me like Dan is trying to get some bonus oracle points for predicting that the sun will rise in the east tomorrow." Hey, I also scored a perfect 4-for-4 in my NCAA bracket! [Yeah, that's not so impressive either--ed.]

posted by Dan on 03.26.07 at 09:29 AM




Comments:

Spot on!

posted by: Useless Sam Grant on 03.26.07 at 09:29 AM [permalink]



I am quite unimpressed by your "bold" prognostication as well. But not because it is pretty easy to assume there will be war during a war, but because you seem to think that a "regional peace summit" is "good news" in and of itself. What this article misses, and what you ignore, is that there is absolutely no reason to believe that anything positive would come out of a "regional peace summit" even if it were not disrupted by "an attack" of some kind. In fact, I see absolutely no reason to have a peace conference right now.

A perfect example of how a "peace" plan can be useless was the idiotic "road map". That plan, for example, did not take into any consideration the issue of justice, but only tried to deal with what Bush considered to be practical issues. But obviously, the practical things (like Palestinian attacks against the occupiers, or the israeli settlement policy) are the manifestations of deeper issues and not just blind hate. Any "regional peace summit" now would obviously not deal with the issues of justice, but would just be an Arab (government, not the people) attempt to placate the USA and express an image of doing something while actually just selling the Palestinian people out for their own stability and fear of becoming the next Iraq. The Arab governemnts have nothing to offer in terms of peace, and Israel has no reason to try to do justice to the Palestinians.

Regardless of a conference, obviously, for example, even if BOTH Israel and the Palestinians gave up all their weapons, it would not make peace. The fundamental issue are the reasons that there is not peace, it is not just a matter of weapons. and th efundamental issue is the fact that Zionism itself (because the Jewish immigrants have refused to share the land with the inhabitants of the land) has been a huge crime against the Palestinian people (ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity...). Until that is addressed honestly and fairly by the Jews (and the related issues like right of return, stealing 78% of historic Palestine, Jewish racism against Arabs, status of Jerusalem, the apartheid wall, settlements...), they can have as many peace conferences as they want and it will not help at all (well, maybe it will help Israel, because they have all the power and don't care to actually make peace, they are not the ones under occupation).

posted by: Joe M. on 03.26.07 at 09:29 AM [permalink]



Calling Philip Tetlock?

How about some other predictions here:

* likelihood of renewed violence in Northern Ireland?
* likelihood of EU surviving another 50 years?

More seriously, at what point in the evolution of the Northern Ireland situation did it move beyond being vulnerable to a renewal of the violence? Was the Omagh bombing a turning point?

posted by: Bill Harshaw on 03.26.07 at 09:29 AM [permalink]






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