Read this snippet from Matt Yglesias:
I’m not quite sure I grasp what’s supposed to be going on here. Most notably peace has not, in fact, broken out between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The hopeful signs we’re seeing lately are just signs that we may see a return to peace talks. But of course the failure to have such talks is precisely what critics of the Bush Israel policy have been criticizing Bush for. The proximate cause of all this is that with Arafat dead, the Bush/Sharon policy of not negotiating with Arafat is non-operative. But if Bush and Sharon had never adopted that policy, we could have had hopeful talks years ago. Maybe those talks would have come to nothing, but maybe (indeed, I would say “probably”) they will still come to nothing now.
It appears that to Matt, what is really important are peace talks- not the outcome of any such talks, but the peace talks themselves.
The reason there have been no peace talks in ther past several years is because Sharon and Bush realized, from the 30 years of experience Arafat has provided them, that Arafat was a bad actor and would never follow through with any peace talks. It really isn’t that hard to grasp- ask Bill Clinton, Ehud Barak, or anyone else on the planet.
Continuing to harangue Bush because there were no Israeli/Palestinian peace talks recently shows me what is really important to some critics- peace talks, and not real peace.