Of course, their are other interpretations. One of my favorites is a reader's response in al-Arabiya to an offered analysis of the poll. Besides pointing out that most polls only ask a few hundred people their opinion, which may not be a good sample of millions of opinions, there may be: "That Arabs are not interested in the peace talk does not mean they don't care about the Palestinians. Arabs, as most of the rest of rational human beings, understand these talks are nothing but a charade aimed at giving cover to Israel while it continues its ethnic cleansing, giving a few brownie points to Obama to show off, give some air to poor old Abbas to cling to power, and little else. Nothing will ever come out of these talks, and everybody knows it. Hence the disinterest." - froyo. Perhaps the poll should have judged the cynicism of the average arab on the street...
As for what is actually being done in negotiations right now, Mahmoud Abbas has asked representatives from the PA, Israel, and the US sit down next week and set the agenda for the talks.
"Abbas said he is demanding that Netanyahu accept the principle that negotiations over the establishment of a Palestinian state will be based on the 1967 borders, with exchange of territory, and that he wants the talks to focus on borders and security.""I want to go to direct negotiations, but I don't want surprises"
"Netanyahu is ready to set a timetable for completion of negotiations, and thinks it will be possible to do so within a year. He is prepared to debate any of the core issues of the final-status agreement - Jerusalem, borders, refugees, settlements, security and water. Netanyahu also wants most of the talks to take place between him and Abbas. He is prepared to include Mitchell in direct talks with the Palestinians to resolve difficulties that arise, but he doesn't want to include Mitchell in every meeting." Which may be a bad thing, as Netanyahu tends to be a huckster, and may try to pull something slick. If their meetings were videotaped and then broadcast on television, it might keep him more honest. I get the impression that Abbas is considered to be too old, perhaps suffering from mild dementia, and giving him something shiny and sparkly might distract him from the larger business at hand. Meanwhile, the children of Gaza live without electricity, running water, plumbing, or available jobs. Hamas is doing a worse job that the Iraqi government does for it's own people, if you can believe that. No-one is allowed to go from Gaza outside to either Israel or Egypt unless you have connections, and Corporal Gilad Shalit is still in jail...
Of course Mahmoud thinks that he is a clever fellow, after all, doesn't he keep on cracking up his fellows in the Revolutionary Guards whenever he makes statements on Iranian television? But, little dude, please think again before trying to debate Barack in public. He took on the entire House Republicans in debate and made them look vain, arrogant, and foolishly out of touch! If he can do that to the GOP's best and brightest, you're going to be toast. SOS... and if he has the Daily Show writers help him with rejoinders and his opening monologue, you will have done more to re-establish Obama's popularity than any other event before the mid-term elections...
- Khatam al-Anbia construction firm: employs 20,000 workers and boasts of hundreds of government contracts
- Iran Telecommunications Company - 50% stake bought in government privatisation scheme
- Angouran - the largest lead and zinc mine in the Middle East
- Bahman Automobile Manufacturing Group - (manufactures the Mazda brand) - 45% stake
- Iran electronics industry - comprises electronic, computer and communications companies
- Iranians' Mehr Economic Institution - financial institution with hundreds of branches (one of the largest banking networks in Iran)