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Saturday, November 24, 2007


Executive Editor

“Factually Correct, Not
Politically Correct”


(CHICAGO)(November 25, 2007) I am going to be busy next Tuesday (November 27th) and so I thought I would get one piece of busy work out of the way early, by writing about the outcome of the Annapolis Conference on the Middle East. How can I write about an event that hasn’t yet happened? It’s no happening.

I start with several biases, which I will list. First, I am an optimist that Palestinians and Israelis will eventually make peace. Soon thereafter, they will all feel stupid at the way they wasted sixty years of their collective history. So, yes, I am an optimist on peace.

Second, President Bush is sincere in his desire to reach a solution. President Clinton came close to a Palestinian-Israeli solution, and the Nobel Prize he coveted, but Bush has more chance of achieving a deal. Nixon-to-China is the metaphor. Bush is desperate for a legacy. Cutting the Gordian Knot of the Middle East would surely overshadow the fiasco in Iraq. Bush has openly and consistently committed himself to the Two-State solution. That’s important. History shows that when he’s a believer, he puts his beliefs into action. Don’t we know it.

Third, Bush is going to realize he has to apply pressure on the Israelis, where pressure needs to be applied. Not next week, but soon. I believe Israelis need to be pressured because time is not on their side; indeed, the sands of time (dare I use that cliché) are against them. And Israel’s impossible conditions for peace are the principle barrier to a deal. What pressure can the United States impose on Palestinians? None. They live under occupation.

The Annapolis conference itself will be a waste of time. Anyone reading this column has been to a meeting, or conference or convention. Allowing one day to solve the problems of the world is like, well submit you own suggestion. It’s goofy. What is taking place on the 27th is worse than nothing at all. It is a photo op that will leave everyone unhappy and everyone free to criticize the lack of progress. How do you “conference” with fifty nations? At once. Are 50 nations really part of the solution? Obviously not.

Ironically, peace may be advanced precisely because the Annapolis conference is going to be an embarrassing failure, not because it succeeds. At some point Bush is going to have to impose his will. If he were serious about a solution, he would invite two parties and only two parties to the White House, the Israelis and Palestinians, allow each of them a maximum of three people per group, and lock the whole lot in the basement until the proverbial papal smoke was rising to signal a deal.

By creating a carnival in Annapolis, we have shown that the U. S. is not really in control of the situation. Yet.

Condo (“This Condo should be Condemned”) Rice seems to know nothing about negotiations or solutions. She is probably as bright as everyone says but she has no Middle East “street smarts.”

On July 27, 2000, after the initial phase of President Clinton’s efforts to achieve a solution/Nobel Prize, I announced the Andy Martin Middle East Peace Plan. I recently posted the 2000 release on the net. It is a public document and can also be purchased from for a small fee. My comments came in the wake of the collapse of the “Camp David” peace conference, when President Clinton was trying to scapegoat Palestinians for the conference’s failure. I knew the scapegoating would prove counterproductive, and it did.

At my 2000 news conference I outlined the critical factors that could bring peace:

1. There must be parity between the parties. As long as U. S. policy favors Israel, there will be no peace. Only when the United States decides to recognize both parties as standing in parity to each other will a settlement be possible. Parity remains the essential ingredient for peace today. Arabs know that; Israelis do too. Americans are afraid to admit the obvious. But my view in 2000 that the United States must recognize the existence of Palestine as a state before, not after, negotiations remains as true in 2007 as it did in 2000.

2. “Peace” would not come suddenly or overnight. Hostilities would persist from extremists on all sides. The type of “peace” Israelis were (and still are) demanding was not attainable in one fell swoop. Unless and until the United States also realizes that “peace” would not mean complete tranquility for a period of time, no realistic solution was or is possible. In the long run peace is inevitable. In the short run, every activist could engage in violent acts and many most probably would. Violence could not be allowed to undermine the imposition of peace through the U. S.’s recognition of Palestine.

3. The United States would have to patrol the peace. I suggested the 82nd Airborne. Only with a U.S. security commitment to both sides, and the guarantee that neither side would invade the other, as is currently the case, would peaceful relations have a realistic opportunity to develop.

4. The United States would take the lead in resolving the “right of return.” I suggested we sweeten the post by offering visas for Palestinians holding a right of return. Many would come here. Some would be received into Israel. Others could exchange their rights for monetary compensation. “Is it better to buy peace, or better to buy weapons,” I asked. We can sill empty the refugee camps if we want to reach an agreement.

Seven years later my views have stood the test of time. The war I predicted, broke out. The legerdemain over Israel’s borders continues, with The Wall. Even Israel’s supporters realize that Israel inches closer to becoming a pariah state.

It is a tragedy of our times that the Israel lobby seeks to brand any intelligent discussion of Israeli/Palestinian issues as “anti-Israel,” or worse still “anti-Semitic.” That is simply not the case. Israel’s best friends are those whom the lobby has scourged and cast into the wilderness. History reflects the lobby has been on the wrong side of history. Disastrously wrong.

Comparing a deal today with a deal seven years ago, is the Middle East a safer place for Israel than it was seven years ago? Who can make that claim? Are the “oil nations” more or less powerful than they were seven years ago, when oil sold for a fraction of today’s price? Is the United States stronger? The hourglass of history is emptying once again. When the risks become apparent to all concerned, and belatedly to Condo herself, that’s when the real negotiating will start. After Annapolis.
Chicago-based Internet journalist, broadcaster and media critic Andy Martin is the Executive Editor and publisher of © Copyright by Andy Martin 2007. Martin covers regional, national and world events with forty years of experience. He is currently a candidate for U. S. Senator from Illinois. He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois College of Law. Columns also posted at; Comments? E-mail: Media contact: (866) 706-2639. Web sites:


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