Generational Dynamics: Forecasting America's Destiny Generational
 Forecasting America's Destiny ... and the World's


Generational Dynamics Web Log for 2-May-2010
2-May-10 News -- Israelis and Palestinians to resume indirect talks

Web Log - May, 2010

2-May-10 News -- Israelis and Palestinians to resume indirect talks

Westerners in New Delhi warned of possibly 'imminent' terrorist attack

Arab League approves Mideast 'proximity talks' to begin next week

The phrase "proximity talks" refers to talks between opposing parties indirectly through an intermediary.

Proximity talks between Israelis and Palestinians were supposed to begin a couple of months ago, but they were derailed by an Israeli announcement that 1600 new Jewish settlements would be built in east Jerusalem.

On Saturday, the 22-nation Arab League, meeting in Cairo, endorsed the resumption of these indirect talks, according to Al-Jazeera. The endorsement is for "one last round" of indirect talks within a four-month deadline. The four-month period will be extended if the negotiations go well. It's not clear what the intended action will be if the negotiations don't go well.

The announcement came after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that George Mitchell, the US special envoy to the Middle East, would travel to the Mideast to mediate the peace negotiations.

I realize that these peace talks are deadly serious for the people involved, but I have to chuckle, because these peace talks never lead anywhere, and can't possibly lead anywhere.

My first major prediction on this web site came in 2003, when the Bush administration announced the Mideast Roadmap to Peace. At that time, everyone thought that they could have side-by-side Palestinian and Israeli states by 2005, and that the only thing standing in the way of peace was Yasser Arafat, who was considered a terrorist.

I wrote that Arafat may well be a terrorist, but he was to some extent the only thing standing in the way of a wider Mideast war. He was in the generation that survived the genocidal war between Arabs and Jews that following the partitioning of Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. Whatever acts of terrorism Arafat approved, he would have done anything to prevent a repeat of the 1948 war. (See "Mideast Roadmap - Will it bring peace?")

When Arafat died in 2004, there was worldwide rejoicing, because it was thought that now there would be an immediate peace treaty. And things did go pretty well -- for about a month. And then things started falling apart. I wrote about the situation frequently in 2005, and there was hardly a day that went by when things didn't get worse than they were the day before. And since then, there have been three wars in the Mideast: Israelis vs Hizbollah in Lebanon in 2006, Palestinian Fatah vs Hamas in Gaza in 2008, and Israelis vs Hamas in Gaza in January, 2009.

It's been a while since the last war -- over a year!! -- so there's a lot of talk about a new war this summer between the Israelis and the Palestinians or Hizbollah, or even the Syrians and the Iranians. That's why the Arab League is willing to conduct peace negotiations after all -- even if they are "indirect."

But they're not going to bring peace. That's impossible; Generational Dynamics tell us so. And it's easy to see why. As I used to write all the time, the average age of the people in Gaza is around 16 years old. So what you have in Gaza is kids running around with guns and missiles. They don't give a shit what the old fogies in the Arab League, or even what the old fogie leaders in Hamas and Fatha think. They're like kids everywhere. They know what they have to do, and they're not going to let some doddering old fools tell them differently.

Shanghai world expo opens

The World Expo in Shangai will be running for six months. Over 70 million visitors from around the world are expected to vist the 170 or so country pavilions.

This AP video shows the opening ceremonies:

Those planning to visit the expo should be wary of the long queues and the hot Shanghai sun, according to the Telegraph.

Additional links

The U.S. Embassy in India is warning of possible "imminent" terrorist attacks on places in New Delhi where Westerners are known to congregate. Suicide attacks on markets are "especially attractive targets." Bloomberg

Far left-wing political columnist Paul Krugman gloats over the problems faced by Europe and the euro currency. NY Times

Thousands of Greeks took part in May Day rallies on Saturday, to protest the announced austerity cuts. I heard one demonstrator in BBC radio, complaining about the Greek government: "They steal the money, they borrow the money, they steal the money, now they borrow the money again, and they'll steal the money again." BBC

There are 621 "ghost estates" across the Irish Republic now, vacant blocks of homes left over from the housing bubble. One in five Irish homes is unoccupied. If the country immediately used them to house every person on the social housing list, there would still be hundreds of thousands left over. BBC

Bankers' salaries are astonishingly high, according to the chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland. Independent

"We are wall Street. We are smarter and more vicious than dinosaurs, and we'll survive, even if you don't." FT Alphaville

President Obama gave a good speech about bankers, but it's disappointing that he's unwilling to use the F word -- "fraud" -- according to William K. Black, interviewed by Bill Moyers. PBS

Obesity has become a national security threat, because more than a quarter of young Americans are now too fat to fight. Washington Post

Americans are the gloomiest they've been about the economy in over four decades. By the way, for the record, I'm still the gloomiest person in the world. NY Times

"Bee rustlers" in Japan have been stealing bee hives, as the price of bees has skyrocketed. BBC

Friday was the 55th anniversary of the German announcement that Hitler was dead. The report said that he had "fallen at his command post in the Reich Chancery fighting to the last breath against Bolshevism and for Germany". It later came out that he had committed suicide. BBC

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 2-May-10 News -- Israelis and Palestinians to resume indirect talks thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (2-May-2010) Permanent Link
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