The Joke in Annapolis: How to Get Out?
by Uri Avnery
The Annapolis conference is a joke. Though not in the least funny.
Like quite a lot of political initiatives, this one too, according to all the indications, started more or less by accident. George Bush was due to make a speech. He was looking for a theme that would give it some substance. Something that would divert attention away from his fiascos in Iraq and Afghanistan. Something simple, optimistic, easy to swallow.
Somehow, the idea of a "meeting" of leaders to promote the Israeli-Palestinian "process" came up. An international meeting is always nice – it looks good on television, it provides plenty of photo-opportunities, it radiates optimism. We meet, ergo we exist.
So Bush voiced the idea: a "meeting" for the promotion of peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
Without any preceding strategic planning, any careful preparations, anything much at all.
That's why Bush did not go into any details: no clear aim, no agenda, no location, no date, no list of invitees. Just an ethereal meeting. This fact by itself testifies to the lack of seriousness of the entire enterprise.