Writing about the Mideast Peace talks in the Wall Street Journal, the zionist Bernard Lewis, said that if the Annapolis summit is about the size of Israel, we might achieve something, if it is about the existence of Israel then it is doomed from the time it begins. Nothing substantial has emerged from the summit.
The right of the refugees to return to their land is rejected by Israel, the question of making Jerusalem, the capital of the proposed state of Palestine is un-welcomed by Zionists and Christian Zionists, the issue of tearing down settlements has unsettled many Israeli politicians, the demand to give unconditional recognition to the state of Israel is unacceptable to Palestinians close to Hamas, the idea of dismantling the nuclear arsenal of Israel was never an option and the defining of the borders of Israel was never brought up.
Other important issues such as water, transportation and the so called security wall could not find any serious discussion among the participants. The White House, on the other hand was optimistic and hopeful that by the end of next year a significant deal will be made. It is with this optimism that President Bush wants to sell to the Arab and Muslim world. Being a born again Christian, it is hard to conceive that President Bush or his Christian right friends in the state Department or Pentagon would abandon the ideology of a greater Israel essential for the return of Jesus. It is unthinkable that the US leader who spends hours and hours discussing the Middle East prophecies with his colleagues and Christian right religious leaders would promote a peace deal that would recognize the presence of the so called antichrist amidst â€œthe pious believers.â€ The United States is not run on religious laws, but when it comes to the Middle East, President Bush appears more like a religious zealot eager to ensure that the will of God is done according to Biblical prophecies.
He has famously attributed his intervention in Iraq (trainwreck though it is) to God, who reportedly instructed him to do what was necessary to bring the world to an end so that the pious Christians could be raised up in heaven.
Why then has President Bush twisted the arms of many gulf leaders and greased the palms of others to conduct this Annapolis conference? The answer is clear. Before he leaves the Oval office, the President wants to decimate any potential nuclear capabilities of Iran and if possible of Pakistan.
Of those two countries, Pakistan can be dealt with more easily, since its leaders are effectively dependent on the US for their survival in their country.
Iran, however, is a tough nut to crack. The White House is fully aware that a unilateral attack would further destabilize the region impacting many Gulf countries. Without creating a broader coalition of the Middle Eastern countries, attacking Iran might become counter productive. The destruction of Iranâ€™s nuclear capabilities is in the best interest of Israel as well as the monarchies of the Gulf.
Israel genuinely fears that a nuclear Iran would constantly threaten its existence and the monarchs fear that the idea of a people propelled government as practiced in Iran would weaken their hold over their people. Both Israel and the gulf rulers would gain something substantial from any campaign against Iran.
Iran, on the other hand, is trying to provoke the US into some sort of military action in order to further bleed the US economically. Iranian leadership apparently believes that a prolonged recession in the US would lead to major disasters causing the US to lose its influence on the world.
Iranians also believe that otehr Middle Eastern countries would rise against aggression by the US, ultimately weakening US interests worldwide.
What is obvious is that the Annapolis conference is a prelude to some other major events that might unfold in the near future.
The conference could have become meaningful if the US had invited Hamas, something Israel would never accept.
What they have failed to realize is that peace must be built by an honest broker–The Bush administration is not an honest broker and thus those it brought to a glorified lunch in Annapolis remain at odds.