No comparison with Egypt - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • ussishkin
    • 05.10.11 | 11:53 (IST)

    Abbas is not a leader of a sovereign nation state with several decades of that experience, however dictatorial Egypt's statehood may have been before Sadat and continued to be after him. Egypt had fought wars with Israel and the Yom Kippur war brought the Egyptians a measure of military parity with Israel and the essential psychological repair to the beaten macho/lost national prestige image of Egyptians up to 1973. If there is any parallel between Sadat and Egypt and Abbas and Palestine, it is that we won and occupied Sinai in 1967 as we won and occupied Gaza and the W Bank. The loss of Sinai to the Egyptians symbolised failure and it had to be taken back. The Palestinians are still under our occupation - not like Egypt where a part of what it claimed as its territory was lost to it. Abbas has discovered a psychological lever which in the short term has given him and his people a renewed sense of pride. And that lever is to 'internationalise' the solution to the conflict. Who should he appeal to? The US, the Quartet, us? He has little to show for engaging with them and much to gain from addressing his own constituency. Who will give him the aid the US is withholding? Not the recessed West for sure, but Saudi Arabia. Abbas took a leaf out of our book, even out of Bibi's book, and rammed home what he saw as his advantage. Neither he nor Bibi are cast in the mould of statesman with the expectations of a statesman that Avineri might rightly have. It is now up to the international community to find the way to act and bring the parties back to the negotiating table.

    from the article: No realistic chance of permanent Middle East peace
    First published 03:06 05.10.11 | Last updated 03:06 05.10.11
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