Sunday, July 18, 2010

Can Mubarak Do A Better Job Than Mitchell?

From the LA Times Blog, Babylon and Beyond:
WEST BANK: Mitchell fails to get Palestinian approval for direct talks with Israel

Special Middle East peace envoy George Mitchell, on a new round of his proximity talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, seems to have failed Saturday in getting a Palestinian agreement to resume direct negotiations with Israel, suspended since December 2008.
As a result, Mitchell said he will tour several countries in the region in an effort to get their support for President Obama’s vision of peace in the Middle East, but most importantly to get them to pressure the Palestinians to accept direct talks.
Mitchell said that he will be touring countries in the region, yet according to Arutz Sheva:
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas are scheduled to visit Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak Sunday in what may be a scenario to avoid a disaster for the American-sponsored indirect ”proximity talks.”
The headline suggests that the fact that Mitchell is not there, but both Netanyahu and Abbas are there at the same time might indicate new tactics:
Mubarak Replacing Mitchell? Bibi, Abbas Visiting Egypt Sunday
Could Mubarak do any worse? What can he do that Mitchell can't?
Egypt has billed itself as the representative of the Arab world that can guide—if not actually order—Abbas what to do.
If that is what the US is actually aiming for--and for that reason--it should remember that is the role that Obama was supposed to have with Israel.

And we all saw how that turned out.
Then again, as a dictator, Mubarak is not afraid of midterm elections--or any elections for that matter.

Hat tip: Israel Matzav

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1 comment:

NormanF said...

It will be interesting to see whether Mubarak can force Abu Bluff to negotiate. If the Palestinian leader needs Arab cover, he could presumably get it. I doubt any thing will happen. There's the little matter of Hamas and Abu Bluff is not the kind of man to shut the door on reconciliation with them. And self preservation is more important to him than ending the conflict with Israel. It would take I suspect, a lot more than Mubarak's persuasive powers to convince the Palestinians to finally play ball with Israel.