The conference, which will begin with a preliminary meeting in Washington on Nov. 26 and move to Annapolis on Nov. 27, is supposed to initiate final-status peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians to settle the long-running, seemingly intractable issues that have bedeviled peace negotiators since 1979.
“This is the holy grail of diplomacy,” a senior administration official said. “We’re trying to rally the Arab world for support of this process, and they are master fence-sitters.”
Mr. Bush is expected to begin the Annapolis conference with a substantive speech, and part of the American effort to woo Arab leaders includes assurances to them that he will lay out an ambitious agenda that will pin all sides to firm negotiations on the status of Jerusalem, the dismantling of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and the contours of a Palestinian state.
In Christian mythology, the Holy Grail was the dish, plate, cup or vessel that caught Jesus' blood during his crucifixion. It was said to have the power to heal all wounds.
Is Israel's blood to be shed?
Is this what Annapolis is about?