There is a joke circulating in Israel regarding the forthcoming peace summit in Annapolis: “Why haven’t the invitations been issued yet? For a wedding you send the invitations early; you never get much notice for a funeral.”
Weeding, funeral, or something in between, here are some essential readings on the forthcoming peace summit between Palestinians and Israelis.
The Economist, which features on the cover of its latest issue President Bush confidently walking over a heading that reads Mr. Palestine, curiously believes that with a clever and courageous turn of a phrase Bush can actually make some lemonade out of this seemingly fruitless summit. The magazine also offers an excellent article about the way in which internal Palestinian and Israeli politics have mad the prospects of peace ever more elusive.
Mona Eltahawy writes an excellent piece in Middle East Online on the need of both Israelis and Palestinians to channel the courage, vision, and creativity of the late Egyptian president Anwar Sadat.
In the Electronic Intifada, Laila El-Haddad gives us an insider view into the pessimism and hopelessness that pervades Gazan society days before the summit.
In Slate, Shmuel Rosner asks us to view the Annapolis summit as a big party – one in which people attend only because of the clout of the host.
In Haaretz, Bradely Burston offers us Nine Reasons Annapolis will Succeed.
As the Israeli joke and most of these articles attest, there is much pessimism surrounding this one-day summit. This is with good reasons. However, low-expectations are not all together bad – with lower expectations you have a higher chance for success, while at the same time minimal chance of cognitive dissonance occuring if the shit hits the fan (Ala Oslo).
Let’s wish everone involved good luck. They will need it.