Today, Yasir Arafat and Hamas denounced Abu Mazen’s peace efforts at the Aqaba summit. They contend that he gave away too much to the Israelis and didn’t get enough (or anything) in return. They contend that Mazen didn’t address the big issues that are important to Palestinians like Jerusalem.
The Israeli settler movement has also made its vehement opposition to the summit known in the streets of Jerusalem, where they demonstrated en masse. They worry that Sharon is prepared to “sell them out” by giving up the settlements in return for a peace agreement.
The truth is that they are right to be worried about their respective positions and power bases. Because a peace agreement will undermine, if not destroy their roles in their respective communities. With Israel and Palestine at peace, the demeaners, the spoilers will not be needed. What will be needed are politicians and activists who can get practical things done on the ground that materially improve the lives of their constituents. And each of these individuals and groups, unless they profoundly alter their views, will fall by the wayside of history and become a mere footnote (which they should be).