I am currently taking a course on the International Politics of the Middle East and as a weekly assignment we as class have to blog and comment on each other’s posts. I was initially intimidated by the idea of having my writing shared with others hopefully I get over this fear as I will have to be posting throughout the semester.
For our short response piece I choose to read Chas Freeman’s speech to the Royal Norwegian Ministry. I thought his speech was very persuasive in his argument of how the world and the United States have become obsessed with the concept of the Peace processes and not actually achieving any kind of substantial goals. The one thing that I disliked about his speech was how he seemed to not mention any kind of wrongdoing or faults of Hamas or Fatah. If he had included more about what Hamas and Fatah could do or participate it would have left a more balanced impression on the reader. All conflicts have two sides to them, and I feel like he is not providing a balanced view to the conflict.
One of the points Freeman makes about the involvement of other nontraditional partners to the peace processes like Hamas. I’m not an expert on this subject but from what I remember one of the reasons the Oslo accords fell through was because Hamas and PLO were not willing to accept the existence of an independent sovereign Israel. I understand Freeman’s worries about representing the Palestinian people but Hamas fundamentally is against the two state solution then how can you even negotiate?
I fully agree with him in terms of involving regional powers like Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt who have been excluded or have played minor roles in the past.
Another important point Freeman makes is that the current peace processes is centered on Arab recognition of Israel. If this is the case, which I’m not sure about then that seems like a hard pill for the Palestine’s to swallow.
Freeman proposes that the Arab League and other members of the league should buy up Israeli media time to offer a different perspective to Israelis about the peace processes and the conflict. This seems like a effective method of allowing Israelis to see the other side of the story.