CMEP Bulletin: Stalled Diplomacy, Settler Politics, CMEP Conference and more

CMEP Bulletin: Stalled Diplomacy, Settler Politics, CMEP Conference and more

weekly CMEP news update

Stalled Diplomacy

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addressed the Arab League on February 11, and made it clear he is not going to return to the configuration of negotiations used for meetings in Amman last month. He told the gathered leaders in Cairo that without a settlement freeze and an agreement to use the 1967 lines as a starting point for a permanent border future negotiations wouldn’t take place. 

However, the Arab League and Palestinian leadership did not rule out continuing the peace process entirely. The committee’s foreign ministers and the Palestinian delegation supported an international peace conference aiming to, “an end to the occupation of Palestinian territories and to reach a comprehensive solution to the issues of borders, security, Jerusalem and refugees based on the Arab peace initiative,” according to a statement released after the Arab League meeting. 

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is not pleased with the developments and his office released a statement saying, “Instead of entering into negotiations that will lead to an end to the conflict, Abu Mazen [Abbas] prefers to join up with the Hamas terrorist organization, the same Hamas that is hugging Iran.” He did not comment on the international peace conference proposal. 

With Israeli, Palestinian and American elections coming up this year, the parties are carefully calculating every move they make.  Ha’aretz writer Akiva Eldar surmises that Netanyahu is the, “only one who can boost the electoral chances of both Barack Obama and Mahmoud Abbas,” but says, “don’t hold your breath” for that to happen. 

Netanyahu is likely considering that there is a chance that U.S. President Barack Obama could exit the White House and an even more Israel-friendly president could take his place.  The Israeli prime minister also has not implemented agreements with the Palestinians that would boost Abbas’ popularity.  Eldar writes, “Netanyahu appears unconcerned that his intransigence may enable Hamas to portray Abbas’ Fatah camp as an empty vessel in campaign ads.” A Hamas win in upcoming elections likely means Israel will no longer face international pressure to negotiate, since the world labels Hamas as a terrorist group.

Click here to continue reading this CMEP Bulletin, including the following items:

  • “Hijacked” by the settler movement
  • Looking forward–US aid in 2013
  • Doctors scarce in East Jerusalem
  • Lights out in the Gaza Strip
  • CMEP 2012 Advocacy Conference–Registration is open