Regarding Annapolis, I’ve had little to say. I feel as if I’m watching a car accident in slow motion, horrified by the spectacle, but helpless to do anything. I do have one hope, though, and one comment. My hope is that the Arab nations attending get into “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” mode and recognize that they may need to form an alliance with Israel against the greater threat that is Iran.
The comment is that I know the outcome is going to be the same old, same old: Palestinians are going to emerge with tangible benefits based on their promise never to be bad again. This will happen regardless of a long history showing that this is one promise they can’t keep.
How about this instead: If Palestinians promise to go 40 years without attacking Israelis, and do in fact keep that promise, then they will get X, Y & Z.
By the way, that 40 years is a deliberate number that you may recognize from the Bible: God determined that 40 years in the desert was a sufficient time for the old, slave generation to die out and a new nation to be born, deserving of its own land. Maybe 40 years of self-imposed peace amongst the Palestinians will be enough to see the fading away of the hatred that currently animates them so that a new people can be born.
Of course, my wish will never see the light of day. As always, Israel will make concessions and get nothing in return but bombs dropped on her citizens. As many have said, until the Arabs take the first step of recognizing the Jewish state’s right to exist, everything else is meaningless, pointless window dressing. As Bernard Lewis said in a WSJ article (which, unfortunately, is behind the subscription barrier as of this writing):
If the issue is about the size of Israel, then we have a straightforward border problem, like Alsace-Lorraine or Texas. That is to say, not easy, but possible to solve in the long run, and to live with in the meantime.
If, on the other hand, the issue is the existence of Israel, then clearly it is insoluble by negotiation. There is no compromise position between existing and not existing, and no conceivable government of Israel is going to negotiate on whether that country should or should not exist.
UPDATE: A little boost for my theory that the Arab leaders showed up because their fear of Iran outweighs their hatred for Israel.