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Well, he'll need to get better on Palestine: he still hasn't contacted Hamas, as far as we know. Assuming there's anything left of them to contact of course.

You can't find a solution unless you have all the parties at the table.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 22nd, 2009 at 09:08:56 AM EST
Depending on what his ultimate agenda is, he may have difficulty getting Israel to the table, never mind Hamas.

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jan 22nd, 2009 at 09:35:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sure. Hamas might be easier; I think they're resigned to a two-state solution. I'm not sure the people with the power in Israel (or their supporters in the US) are.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 22nd, 2009 at 09:37:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Right now its looking more like a multi-state solution- with Hamas running Gaza, Fatah in the unoccupied parts of the West Bank, and who knows what's going to happen to all the refugees in the refugee camps.  Zionists like to suggest they could be shipped off to Sudan or some Islamic state. Bantustanisation might be the most appropriate vterm.

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jan 22nd, 2009 at 10:03:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How much support do Fatah actually have? Negotiations could easily lead to a situation where they were eclipsed in the same way that Sinn Fein eclipsed the SDLP (not to draw any other parallels between Fatah and the SDLP!!).
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 22nd, 2009 at 10:07:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One parallel is inescapable.  George Mitchell is the US Special Envoy.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jan 23rd, 2009 at 02:04:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And he has some experience of pulling in terrorists from the cold.  The problem is that in Israel/Palestine you are dealing with terrorists on both sides

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 23rd, 2009 at 03:03:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I wonder if he knows how to arm the Shekel Bomb?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jan 23rd, 2009 at 03:14:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wouldn't it be terrible if budgetary cutbacks forced Obama to cut all aid to Israel?

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 23rd, 2009 at 03:28:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But that, of course, is point of strategic leverage, and always has been.  

Israel's militarist policies (including the latest slaughter in Gaza) have always been dependent, not merely on American acquiescence, but on active American funding and support.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Sun Jan 25th, 2009 at 09:50:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I suspect there's going to be a fair amount of diplomatic dancing between both Obama and Hamas before they sit down.  If you'll check page 247 of the Village Rulebook....

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Jan 22nd, 2009 at 10:05:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sure: he may have initiated back channel contacts already. That's how it worked in NI.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 22nd, 2009 at 10:09:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Probably.  Mubarek was his first phone call, not Olmert or Abbas, and isn't Mubarek in contact with them?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Jan 22nd, 2009 at 10:10:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Was it? The news article I saw listed the phone calls in this order, without actually saying this was the order the calls were made. According to The Times, Abbas's spokesman said that Obama told Abbas he was the first foreign stateman he was calling.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Jan 22nd, 2009 at 11:14:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's what the story quoted in the diary above also says.  I think there is extraordinary symbolism in the fact that Obama spoke to Abbas before all other world leaders - he's not even a head of state or Government.  Has Obama even spoken to Brown/Sarkozy/Merkel yet?

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jan 22nd, 2009 at 11:50:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That must have been where I read it. I couldn't remember, so I searched on the web - I don't usually read The Times. I guess I should check on ET first....
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Jan 22nd, 2009 at 11:52:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Abbas claimed that, but immediately after the White House issued a press release stating Obama had called Mubarek, Olmert, Abbas, and the Jordanian King, and they (TPM) stated that the ordering was meant as a mild rebuke to Abbas after he'd bragged about being called first.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Jan 22nd, 2009 at 02:48:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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