Now that the opening ceremony of the direct talk games in Washington has passed, it is time to move on to the talks themselves. Who are the favorites in the events. Will it be the veteran terrorist , Holocaust denier, not fully the legitimate leader of the Palestinian people, or will it be the sometimes right wing sometimes centrist leader of the state of Israel .
Mr. Abbas is already is preparing to forfeit the games before they even get started just like an Iranian Wrestler or Taikwando specialist.If all of his pre-conditions are not meet,he intends on taking his ball and going home to brute like a child. Prime minister Netanyahu on the other hand is trying to find a way to coax Abbas to stay and play because he doesn't want Principal Obama to scold him for not playing well with others.
What is the point in holding these games if the tip-off is in jeopardy and the flame that is supposed to last a year is already starting to flicker and one strong wind will surely blow it out before it has a chance to fully illuminate. We the fans sitting in the stands and watching from home are wondering why these games are being played at all.
The sole reason for these games it seems , is that Mr. Obama needs some kind of diplomatic accomplishment in the foreign area to compensate for all his domestic failures and his sagging ratings.Is there rally anyone out there even the most optimistic handicappers and fans of such games that believe they will lead to a miraculous conclusion? The midterm elections are quickly approaching and it doesn't look very promising for Obama's party. Healthcare reform, high unemployment, housing woes and illegal immigration. these issues are very problematic for Obama and his party .Shifting the playing field to the most exciting stadium in the world to the middle east may be just the venue that can uplift him.
The problem for Obama is that the players aren't ready to play. If Israel has to spot the Palestinians twenty points in a twenty one point game in order to get the games started, what kind of legitimate results can the rest of us expect. Negotiations just like games has to have to teams and an umpire or referee to control the flow. One side is usually the favorite and the other the underdog but the game has to begin at 0-0, as in no preconditions. When preconditions are constantly being required then one side is looking for an advantage and chances for success are minimal.The fans aren't going to show up to the games and interest will be lost by all.
Mr. Abbas has to realize that he is not negotiating from a position of strength and has many obstacles in delivering his own Palestinian people. They are not unified as a people and many still wish for the destruction of Israel, including Hamas in Gaza and terrorist groups within the Palestinian Authority.He is unable to field a full team of willing players. Netanyahu on the other hand has support from the majority if not all of the citizens of Israel who truly want a peace agreement but not at any cost.They are not willing to spot the Palestinians twenty points with the hopes that they can catch up to 20 -20 before an agreement can be reached.
Israelis realize that they are not the underdog. They have more to lose than to gain. The Palestinians on the other hand have so much to gain from peace with Israel, that they need to realize that they are not going to receive all the preconditions they demand and will not be spotted 20 points in a 21 point game.
A view from Jon's Place
Jon #4 09/14/10