Both Palestinians and Israelis have a weak leadership. President Mahmoud Abbas is the president of a divided
Apart from that, the Israeli and Palestinian positions are poles apart about bridging the gap between the two sides with a common declaration of principles. Neither side trusts the other. Trust is a very important ingredient in formulating a common declaration of principles. Those attending, apart from the Israeli and the PLO negotiation teams, are expected to include representatives from
According to a report in the Editorial of Al Ahram Weekly, 18 - 24 October 2007,
The US-sponsored peace conference in
Rice made her statements following talks with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on 14 October. The next day she met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, after which she told a press conference that US president George W Bush is "committed" to "ending" what she called the "Palestinian problem". She then headed to
So what exactly is Rice telling us? She's saying the conference will be held, even though it has no agenda and despite the fact she thinks the Palestinian and Israeli governments are incapable of moving forward towards resolving the decades-old conflict. Indeed, she describes 59 years of Israeli occupation, apartheid, and violation of international law, the demolition of Palestinian homes and five million Palestinian refugees as "the Palestinian problem". Rice is not alone in cautioning against any expectations that the conference will have positive results.
There is no feeling of optimism, in neither the Israeli camp nor the Palestinian camp. The
Both Palestinians and Israelis are fully aware that the chances of this summit succeeding remains very slim indeed. President Mahmoud Abbas favours
a Palestinian State comprising 6205 sq. k. in the West Bank and Gaza and he wishes to discuss key issues of the Permanent Status Agreement such as Jerusalem, refugees, borders, settlements, water and security.
Mahmoud Abbas is trying to maneuver
It is difficult to find any basis for a common declaration of principles between the two sides when both sides have priorities that are so diametrically opposed one from the other. Apart from that, Abbas also has a problem with
The Israelis wish to come out with a general document that is not binding because of the inability to draw up a common declaration of principles.
The idea of coming to the summit with the lowest common denominator between Israelis and Palestinians is an exercise in futility. Even Condoleezza Rice, the
All this hype about the upcoming summit proves that it will be another impotent attempt at peace making between