Question asked of Jerusalem Post columnists: "Do you believe that a significant renewed peace process has begun? Who do you think will make a significant concession at Annapolis: Israel, the Palestinians, both or neither?" For all replies, see "Burning Issues #41: Has a renewed peace process begun?"
No significant peace process exists now, nor has it ever. Israel's signing of a diplomatic agreements with Egypt (1979), Lebanon (1983), the PLO (1993), and Jordan (1994) all proved ineffective at best and counterproductive at worst.
Preliminary skirmishes suggest that the usual pattern will hold in Annapolis. The Israeli side makes "painful concessions," the Arab interlocutor imperiously disdains these even as terrorism and other forms of violence continue. Jerusalem responds with several more rounds of ever-more painful concessions until finally the Arab side grudgingly accepts them, offering airy promises of "peace" that promptly turn into just the opposite – greater levels of hostility and violence.
It's a mug's game that next month will mark its 30th anniversary. The Israeli body politic still has not wised up, much less all those do-gooder mediators, to what I have dubbed the "war process." As the spectacle resumes next month, one braces, prepares for the worst, and hopes for only limited damage from this iteration. (October 10, 2007)