Stumbling Down the Road to Annapolis

My e-mail box has seen a great many messages in the past week calling for protest of the upcoming Middle East peace conference at Annapolis, MD. These have provided more evidence of how well the extreme right and left actually get along quite well despite disliking each other so intensely.

Americans for A Safe Israel is bringing its demonstrators to Annapolis. They essentially object to any settlement of the conflict that is not tantamount to a complete surrender on the part of the Palestinians and Arab states. They will be joined by the starkly Orwellian-named Shalom International, a Christian group that opposes any withdrawal by Israel from the Occupied Territories on religious grounds.

While no left-wing groups have, as of yet, announced any intention of physically protesting the conference, messages of protest from various small groups have been circulating. Most of these have been based on the point that the “Bush agenda” is being forwarded at the conference and therefore it should be opposed out of hand. Typically, alternatives are not presented nor, from my experience, even thought about for a moment.

Two liberal Jewish groups, Americans for Peace Now and Ameinu, have also announced that they plan to demonstrate in support of the conference.

In truth, this is much ado about nothing. The agenda for the conference has yet to be set, but the past few months have seen the Americans, Israelis and the Palestinian Authority all working overtime to tamp down expectations of this conference. And with good reason. Continue reading