HP blogger James Zogby always has something to say about the Arab-Israeli conflict and it's pretty much always the same. His latest article Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations Will Require Public Support is no exception.
Zogby leads off with claiming to be seeking peace and not wanting to be negative:
Nevertheless, I choose not to be negative, partly because it is always easy to sit on the sidelines and take potshots. The more important consideration is, because peace is so essential to the lives and futures of the peoples of the region and to American interests in the Middle East, that any good faith effort deserves support and a chance to succeed.
We'll see if Zogby hold up with his self-congratultory decision to "not be negative." He goes on to state that public opinion is very important to make a peace agreement work, and there is an issue among public opinion, according to his poll results. According to Zogby, "the most Israelis indicate a willingness to give in any peace agreement falls far short of the Palestinian minimum requirements for a just settlement," but to his credit he doesn't immediately launch into an inditement of the Israeli site, instead reporting that there will be a referendum on any peace agreement signed.
After that, Zogby launches into the blame game, which he promised he wouldn't do above:
"Just recall how after the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993, even before the ink had dried, the LIKUD activated their networks in the US and pushed Congress to pass legislation to negatively encumber any Palestinian aid program that might have created Palestinian confidence in the process. Or how after the Wye Agreement was signed in Washington, Ariel Sharon, who opposed the agreement, urged his supporters to "take the hilltops" and establish settlement outposts in sensitive areas of the West Bank. Or how Hamas, in response to each step forward in the peace process, stepped up its campaign of violence in an effort to take the process a step backward by embarrassing the Palestinian leadership and creating fear and mistrust among Israelis.To recap: Zogby names three "impediments" to peace the Israeli side committed to the one of the Palestinian side, and that one is Hamas, which most Palestinian apologists pretend doesn't have anything to do with the actual Palestinian side. This must be Zogby's idea of balanced reporting. Note also he points a finger at Israel for being concerned about the freeing of 104 Palestinian murderers and terrorists (or as Zogby would call them, "long-term prisoners"). Apparently it's not enough for Israel to obey Palestinian demands of freeing murderers, all Israelis have to be happy about it too.
We can be sure that the opponents of peace will be active this time, as well. Even a casual reading of the recent press and political commentary on both sides makes this so very clear. Look, for example, at the hysteria being created in Israel over the government's agreement to free 104 Palestinian long-term prisoners."
Zogby then wraps up with three paragraphs of calling for dialogue and the involvement of President Obama and Americans with interest in the region. It's all very nice, but after Zogby's blaming of Israel, it fails to convince.
Luckily, the HP comments section wasn't fooled, all of the top comments were strongly pro-Israel. Here's a selection: