Deluded realists

We’ve all heard the story of the psychology professor who was convinced that babies could swim from the time of birth. When his own child was two weeks old, the prof dumped her in a pool and the infant sank like a stone. After reviving his baby, the professor declared that he obviously had waited too long, and that the child wasn’t young enough any more.
It’s pretty clear that the Annapolis conference on Middle East is going to sink like the professor’s baby. Noah Pollak reports that our foreign policy “realists” — in this case Daniel Levy, Robert Malley, Ghaith al-Omari, and Steve Clemons — know why. We won’t be able to broker an agreement (or induce serious movement towards one) with the “moderate” Palestinian Authority because we haven’t engaged the ultra-militant Hamas. Israel’s peace partner, in short, isn’t committed enough to destroying the state of Israel any more.
The “realists” don’t put it this way, of course. They maintain instead that they wish to bolster the Palestinian “moderates” while engaging the extremists. It seems not to have occurred to the “realists” that, in Pollak’s words, “U.S. diplomatic attention directed at Hamas thoroughly would discredit Mahmoud Abbas, whose only selling point to the Palestinian people at this point is the fact that he is the Palestinians

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