Send in the clowns

As the Annapolis conference convenes today, Andrew McCarthy salutes it perfectly in “Farce.” Rick Richman takes off from McCarthy’s outstanding column in “Selling the same promise three times.” Barry Rubin explores one of the conference’s many anomalies in “Drilling a hole in a lifeboat.”
JOHN adds: This morning, President Bush says “the time is right for Mideast peace.” That would suggest that something has changed, but it’s hard to say what. A Palestinian participant explained to the Associated Press why talks on a “workplan” have stalled:

A member of the Palestinian delegation, speaking on condition on anonymity because talks were still going on, said three main obstacles have emerged:
-All sides have agreed that two states should be established, but the Palestinians have objected to referring to Israel as a “Jewish state.” The Palestinians and their Arab backers are concerned that a specific reference to a Jewish state would prejudice the right of Palestinians who claim a right to return to land they once owned inside Israel.
-American and Israeli officials are resisting Palestinian efforts to include language about “ending the occupation that started in 1967,” a reference to disputed Jewish settlements in the West Bank. The West Bank would form the bulk of an eventual Palestinian state and the two sides must decide which settlements would remain a part of Israel.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
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