It looks though I was correct in my pessimism over the possibility of an imminent Palestinian reconciliation. Today, Azzam al-Ahmad, the speaker of Fatah, said that Khalid Meshaal was lying about being in the ‘final stages of reconciliation.’ al-Ahmad went on to say that if Hamas was actually serious about reconciliation, then Meshaal must go to Egypt and accept the plan set forth by Cairo. Remember that Meshaal’s announcement came among accusations of massive politically motivated arrests, alleged Hamas-led violence in the West Bank and Abbas chastising Meshaal for not signing the Egyptian accord. The timing of this reconciliation plan reminds me of the timing of the peace process with Israel in that both supposed deals seems to completely disregard the reality of the situation.
In the Palestinian reconciliation, it seems like the only thing that Fatah and Hamas can agree on is that the signing of the accord will take place in Egypt. There is disagreement on the rights of both parties, over the reconstruction of Gaza as well as the right of Hamas to continue its struggle against Israel.
In the Israeli Peace talks, Netanyahu deemed the time just right despite ordering the expansion of settlements in Jerusalem, a possible split in the Israeli-PA security partnership in the West Bank, not to mention the fact that Hamas (aka half of Palestine) is being left out of the negotiation.
It amazes me that the politicians here have the audacity to make such absurd statements with total disregard to the actual state of affairs. The refusal to regard reality in praising the proximity of peace in both these cases is perhaps due to the pressure that all the parties in question are receiving. The United States, Saudi Arabia and Egypt are all pushing for a Palestinian-Israeli peace while Egypt and Saudi are heavily pressuring for a Palestinian reconciliation. That Meshaal made his announcement immediately after meeting with Saudi FM Prince Saad al-Faisal is telling; as is the timing of Netanyahu’s declaration that peace talks must start soon (after having talks with US President Obama and after Abu Mazen was in Egypt). Perhaps there is more going on in both Palestine and Israel than meets the eye, but events that are staggering in number and increasing daily show that neither reconciliation nor peace with Israel is likely soon. Am I wrong here?