Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Yossi Alpher, Highlights from "Jordan, Egypt and Hamas: The evolving facts of life," BitterLemons, September 1, 2008.

No one refuses to see him and he is treated with respect. But then nothing happens.

The Arab world appears to accept that Hamas is here to stay in Gaza and, at least as a political actor, in the West Bank as well.

And both Jordan and Egypt remain highly suspicious of, if not openly hostile to the Muslim Brotherhood that, in Egypt, spawned the Palestinian Hamas and in both countries threatens regime stability.

Jordan's rapprochement with Hamas, in particular, appears to reflect an assessment that the Annapolis process has failed. The Bush, Olmert and possibly Abbas governments are nearing their end, Bush's Middle East ventures are widely deemed a failure and there is little if any prospect of a serious Israeli-Palestinian peace process in the coming 6-12 months.

But one initiative we might gradually become aware of in the months ahead is a Jordanian effort to seat Israeli and Hamas intellectuals and public figures together in quiet informal talks.

Read the whole new BitterLemon here =>
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