Confirmation that peace is not around the corner here. And confirmation of the error in thinking — as Obama insists — that failure to achieve this peace is what holds up action on Iran.
Jonathan Spyer, a senior researcher at the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center in Herzliya, has written a piece about the fact that it is quite unlikely that there will be reconciliation between the PA and Hamas:
“The split in the Palestinian national movement is ultimately a function of the broader strategic situation of regional cold war. It is thus likely to continue for as long as this regional reality persists.”
Spyer quotes Hamas leaders in Gaza who make it clear that “there is now no process under way toward ending the Palestinian political divide.. On the ground, meanwhile, the rival Ramallah and Gaza Palestinian authorities are entrenching themselves.”
What is more:
“…Fatah is currently in a process of severe decline. The movement failed to embark on a major project of reform following its election defeat in 2008. As a result, it remains riven by factionalism, and corruption. It is also, increasingly, irrelevant.”
As Spyer describes the situation, there are those states loosely allied with the West and the US, and an Iran-led “resistance bloc” of states and movements.
“Hamas is able to maintain its sovereign enclave in Gaza as a result of the willingness of Iran to arm and finance it. The Gaza enclave serves Iran’s purposes well.”
At the same time, “The West…has itself in turn been prepared to create, finance and underwrite a version of Palestinian politics and governance — that of Fayyad — which is to its liking, once it became clear that the Palestinians themselves were not going to do this.”
Spyer calls Fayyad “in effect an appointee of the West.” He represents no political bloc within the PA.
Spyer sums up:
The proudest achievement of PLO and Fatah leader Yasser Arafat was the establishment of a single, authoritative Palestinian national movement not beholden to or dependent on any outside power. Such a movement no longer exists. The split represents a profound change in Palestinian politics, which calls into question many of the most basic assumptions regarding the conflict which have become received wisdom, in Israel and the West over the last couple of decades.” (emphasis added)
We can hardly be surprised, then, that PA president Mahmoud Abbas, after meeting with US envoy George Mitchell, declared in Ramallah that he strongly opposes a Palestinian state with temporary borders.
There will be a stumbling block for Abbas every time. As is apparent, he is simply without the strength to enter negotiations.
Mitchell came here with expectations of starting those “proximity talks.” Expectation in this regard has now been considerable diminished.
How long will it take before we are told that it’s our fault, and if only we had frozen construction in Jerusalem the prospect of talks would be much brighter?