02/01/2008

Annapolis paradoxes

Edito 21/12/2007

Donors for the Palestinian state met Monday in Paris. The result is unexpected: 7.4 billion dollars will be allocated for the construction of the future Palestinian state during the next three years. The effort of Annapolis continues and the international community seems to believe that, rather than let first hear the media.

Yet one might say to the optimists to open their eyes on the situation in Israel and the Palestinian Territories. It seems indeed to move in the opposite direction of the peace process and under the influence of extremist elements on both sides.

On the one hand, the government of Ehud Olmert is unable, or unwilling, to manage new Israeli constructions in East Jerusalem. And one of the first measures planned by Annapolis is the total freezing of settlements as being reminded by the Palestinian authorities.

On the other hand, violence on the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip are continuing. Israel accuses Mahmoud Abbas of a lack of effort to ensure Israel security, but the latter does not seem to have a grip on the situation. Concerning attitudes towardHamas, they are equivocal on both sides. The President of the Palestinian Authority think to attract the Islamic party with the aid promised Monday in Paris, while Israel said this week he wouldn’t exclude a direct dialogue with Hamas. But how is a dialogue possible with a movement that again reiterated its categorical refusal to recognize the State of Israel during its 20th anniversary – celebrated Saturday, December 15 in Gaza ?

Two forthcoming deadlines are planned as part of Annapolis: Middle Eastern tour of GW Bush from 8 to 15 January during which he will visit Israel and the Palestinian territories, as well as a meeting of the Presidency and co-Presidency donor to the Palestinian state on January 22. Let’s hope that the diagnosis in these occasions will be better because the currently schizophrenia affecting the peace process does not bode well.

Nathalie Janne d’Othée