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Backlash Muslim Brotherhood and Kerry's Role in Peace Talks

by Oui Tue Jul 30th, 2013 at 02:30:44 PM EST

Original post at Booman's Pond.

Recent developments are a major blow to the Muslim Brotherhood in the region. The 2nd revolution and the overthrow of MB in Egypt, the link and support of MB for Hamas leadership in Gaza, emir of Qatar abdicates throne to son Shaikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, Saudi monarch King Abdullah regains upperhand in GCC states and downgrading foreign policy role of Erdogan in Turkey. May John Kerry take advantage of these developments in the difficult task mediating the IP peace talks.

Israeli, Palestinian delegations meet for resumption of talks over Iftar dinner

(JPost) - Israeli and Palestinian officials met on Monday in Washington to restart the peace process after a three year hiatus, with US Secretary of State John Kerry and newly-appointed US envoy to the Middle East process Martin Indyk looking on.

Israel's chief negotiator, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's envoy Yitzhak Molcho met over an Iftar dinner at the US State Department with chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat and Fatah official Muhammad Shtayyeh.

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Israeli, Palestinian delegations meet in Washington for iftar dinner, July 29, 2013. (Photo REUTERS/Yuri Gripas)

As the sides came together in Washington on Monday Kerry met separately with each, starting with the Israelis, before all came together around the dinner table. Kerry and his delegation of four, including new envoy Indyk, were seated on one side of the table and their guests on the other side, with the two main negotiators Livni and Erekat seated side by side.

"We are after about four years of stagnation and in the past we negotiated but we reached a dead end. I hope there is a better understanding now that it is in the interest of both of our people to reach an agreement to end this conflict," Livni said in an interview with Reuters Television in Washington ahead of the dinner.

She expressed gratitude to Kerry for his involvement in the talks, and said his "enthusiasm and determination to help both sides" helps a lot.

Palestinian prisoner release passes cabinet by wide 13-7 margin

Gulf News - Al Qaradawi role in Tamim's Qatar sparks debate.

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All three parties gave a strong message of perseverance and a spark of hope, thanking President Obama and Minister-President Netanyahu for their courageous decisions to make these peace talks possible. Next meeting will be in the Middle-East and expected time to finish negotiations is nine months. A common time frame for creation!

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says Israel and Palestinians agree to remain in substantive negotiations

(Haaretz) 1 hour ago - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry convened a press conference Tuesday following the start of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in Washington. The sides will hold their next round of peace talks within the next two weeks in Israel or the Palestinian territories, he said.

Kerry praised the sides for their engagement, adding that "both Netanyahu and Abbas have both demonstrated courageous leadership."

Kerry said that "the parties have agreed that all of the final status issues, core issues and other issues are on the table for negotiations." He added that the objective is to reach a final status agreement within nine months.

During the press conference, chief Israeli negotiator Tzipi Livni said Kerry has shown that nothing can stop a "true believer." Livni said that despite the hope, Israel cannot afford to be naïve and promised "to do everything for the security of Israel."

"It is not going to be easy. It will be hard with ups and downs. We are not going to argue about the past but talk about the future," she said. "There is a new opportunity, and we can't afford to waste it."

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat spoke briefly at the press conference saying "Palestinians have suffered enough and no one will benefit more from this process than the Palestinians."

Livni: Keeping talks secret essential to creating mutual trust. Watch for new videos at State.gov.

Obama meets Israeli, Palestinian negotiators

(JPost) - US President Barack Obama met privately with lead Israeli and Palestinian negotiators the day after they restarted long-stalled peace negotiations in Washington, a White House official said.

The meeting at the White House came after Israeli and Palestinian negotiators held their first peace talks in nearly three years on Monday in a US-brokered effort that US Secretary of State John Kerry hopes will end their conflict despite deep divisions.

In an interview with Israel Radio on Tuesday morning, Livni said she believes that Israel does not have the option of conceding defeat on a permanent peace agreement with the Palestinians, and that such an agreement is in fact possible. She expressed a hopeful note at the outset of the latest round of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. There was, she said, a positive atmosphere at the US State Department dinner on Monday night that served as the official start of the negotiations, three years after the last talks ended in failure.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Jul 30th, 2013 at 02:37:33 PM EST
The talks are a sideshow. Nothing will come of them. Unless the civil war in Syria shifts Israeli thinking significantly.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Jul 31st, 2013 at 06:14:14 AM EST
is the main event. The political stupidity of the Brotherhood is boundless, but it's not a zero-sum game : everyone loses. The secular left, on the whole, is reduced to backing the army. I agree with this opinion piece from Al Jazeera:

Both the manner of the removal of Morsi and subsequent events raise the question as to whether any political formation in Egypt has the capacity to forge and hold together a broad national coalition. The organised strength of the Muslim Brotherhood was demonstrated over and again in a series of elections and referenda. Unable to match it in the short run, the secular left turned to extra-parliamentary methods, wielding a coalition of the street, the army, and remnants of the Mubarak era (the "folool").

Egypt's political shades of grey

The result is a secular coalition that spans an ideological spectrum so broad that it is even less likely to build a credible national front. For a start, the secular left embraced the deep state created during the Mubarak era to combat the organised strength of the Muslim Brotherhood. If the secular left, and in particular the youthful Tamarrod Movement, has credibility with the street, it is the time-tested leadership and the resources wielded by the army generals and the folool that has a strategic advantage in shaping the path this coalition is likely to take so long as it holds.

If the Muslim Brotherhood were unable to bring the army under civilian control, the secular left has delivered itself and those it leads to the army. If the Muslim Brotherhood were guilty of excluding allies in their preoccupation with power, and its fringe elements involved in killings in Port Said and the lynching of Shia in Cairo, the secular left is complicit in large-scale massacres on a regular basis.

Out of left field

There is a lesson here for the political left, not just in Egypt but in the wider region. Historically, seduced by the possible opportunity to implement its agenda, the left - both political and intellectual - has been attracted to an embrace of power, rather than holding accountable those in power. When faced with popular support for non-secular ideologies, whether religious or ethnic, the left has often and enthusiastically embraced the development of statist nationalism.

In the process, it has legitimised the use of deadly force against different sectors of society. Examples abound in the post-colonial history of the region, from Nasser to Nkrumah. In spite of the move from Nasser-era Arab nationalism to Sisi-era Egyptian nationalism, there is change in the statist character of the new nationalism in Egypt.

Mao once wrote that all past popular uprisings in Chinese history had provided an opportunity to nobles out of power to displace those in power. The challenge for the left is to break out of this see-saw, change of one master for another. The secular left, in Egypt as well as in the rest of Africa, will do well to keep this sensible lesson in mind.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Jul 31st, 2013 at 06:18:14 AM EST

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