Af­ter An­napo­lis

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMENT&ANALYSIS -

Fo­rallthe­do­omand­gloomwhich­pre­cededit,theAn­napo­lis sum­mit ap­pears to have un­folded rather suc­cess­fully. De­spite Is­raeli and Amer­i­can in­sis­tence that this was to be a mere “meet­ing” rather than a “con­fer­ence”, the turn-out was im­pres­sive. No less than the Saudi For­eign Min­is­ter made an ap­pear­ance; the Syr­ian deputy For­eign Min­is­ter too. Donor coun­tries will meet in Paris in a cou­ple of weeks and Rus­sia has mus­cled in to of­fer a fol­low-up sum­mit in Moscow next spring. So the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity is en­gaged, the Road Map re­vived and Pres­i­dent Bush has made a be­lated vow to have the con­flict done and dusted by the end of 2008. So far, so good. But what hap­pens when the self-con­grat­u­la­tory glow fades? One thing is for sure: Is­rael is not go­ing to have an easy ride. A flavour of what may be to come can be found in the joint state­ment, the prod­uct of much fever­ish ne­go­ti­a­tion ap­par­ently fi­nalised only min­utes be­fore the sum­mit be­gan. Both sides pledged to “con­front ter­ror­ism and in­cite­ment, whether com­mit­ted by Pales­tini­ans or Is­raelis” — an un­prece­dented se­man­tic con­ces­sion from the Is­raeli side. And there will be more to come, this time in deeds rather than words. Mr Olmert is ex­pected to halt set­tle­ment con­struc­tion, dis­man­tle out­posts and pro­gres­sively with­draw from the ter­ri­to­ries — all firm Road Map re­quire­ments — in a mat­ter of months, be­fore press­ing on to the fi­nal-sta­tus is­sues. The much-vaunted “painful con­ces­sions for peace” may fi­nally be on the ta­ble. This time the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity are un­likely to al­low Is­rael much lee­way.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.