Thursday, April 11, 2002

Powell is here of course. He will call for an immediate ceasefire followed by immediate peacetalks. Arafat will agree to a ceasefire. Powell has made a point of opining that the IDF operations can never end the jihad bombings. Sharon will agree to the ceasefire, though probably dragging his feet a bit while getting winked at by Pres. Bush.

And then what? Beats me. People around me aren't talking much about Powell. I think that there's a sense of fatalism - though not specifically pessimism. By this I mean: no one expects anything from Arafat, no matter what concessions he might be given. No one expects any sympathy or understanding (or even common sense) from the Europeans. And regarding Bush/Powell/Zinni, I think no one knows what to expect.

A series of political and PR tradeoffs, rather than anything rational, will determine what happens next on the diplomatic front. Israel does have a small set of unilateral actions that it can take. Maybe these have even been discussed with the Americans - you never know.

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