Publication of the Winograd Report, which sharply condemns Prime Minister Olmert’s actions in Lebanon, is regarded by Arab sources as an impediment to peace. They fear Olmert regards himself as under siege and this “may well induce Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to order an all-out military campaign against the Gaza Strip.” Al-Ahram believes for the foreseeable future, Olmert “thinks that a particularly heavy-handed approach towards the Palestinians, especially a readily provided alibi, namely the firing of the ineffective home-made Qassam missiles across the border with Gaza, would help rehabilitate his image and public standing in Israel, and possibly neutralize voices calling for his resignation.”
Al-Ahram concludes that the Israel’s government and people are completely preoccupied with ramifications of the Winograd Report and obviously there is no mood to restart a genuine peace process with Palestinians. “More to the point, many knowledgeable observers have come to the conclusion that the Bush administration’s monotonous approach to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, coupled with the administration’s inability and apparent unwillingness to pressure Israel to give up its territorial expansion ambitions in the West Bank, will make the occurrence of any breakthrough in the Palestinian-Israel arena very unlikely, if not outright impossible, at least during the remainder of Bush’s term in office.”
Information from Al-Ahram
Bill Clinton worked to get both sides to consider a compromise solution, and few realize how close he was to a resolution of the issue. Arafat’s incompetence helped avoid a compromise, but the basis for negotiation and compromise still exists, provided both sides are ready to give up previous stands. Compromise means a give and take.