The red carpet treatment was meted out to the main players and the overflow went to the other delegates as well. The main players were President Mahmoud Abbas, P.M. Ehud Olmert, Dr. Condoleezza Rice and President George Bush who was trying to emulate ex-President Bill Clinton. All the speeches that were made were very diplomatic - almost mesmerizing. So many hopeful statements were made giving an air of optimism that in reality is an illusion. How can one not feel a sense of cynicism and skepticism after hearing the speeches of all these players?
What was interesting to note was the body language of the participants in their interaction with one another. So much warmth was exhibited between Bush, Olmert and Abbas. These three gentlemen have one big thing in common – their common weakness! This weakness will illustrate their inability to make any decisions in the near future. It showed up so blatantly during the summit proceedings. There was no joint declaration between
The end of the summit did not give the successful photo scoop that we all wanted to see. There was a fizzling out of proceedings as the
It is almost certain that
It will become clear that Abbas’s power base, or what is left of it, will be further weakened. A huge question remains to be answered. Where does Hamas fit in the negotiating patterns? Hamas is so opposed to any form of rapprochement with
It is very unlikely that
It is doubtful if President Mahmoud Abbas will use his security police to fight terror against
Maybe it would be a good idea for Olmert to fire his right wing coalition partners and replace them with Meretz and the Arab parties. It could strengthen Olmert’s negotiating stance with the Palestinians as he would gain support from the Israeli Arab community. It could also neutralize Hamas by either pushing them further into the sidelines or making them more pragmatic in their attitude towards