Friday, October 15, 2010

Introduction to a Farce: The Current State of Israel-PA Negotiations

By Barry Rubin

What, you might ask is the current state of Israel-Palestinian negotiations. Well, something like this:

After almost two years with no direct talks, the two sides had a couple of meetings.

Then the Palestinian Authority demanded an unconditional extension of the freeze on construction of buildings on West Bank Jewish settlements.

Israel said that it would do so if the PA first recognized Israel as a Jewish state.

The PA came back by saying that it would never ever do that. But if Israel defined it's final boundaries before negotiations, the PA would return to the talks. Israel won't do that, of course, but the U.S. government termed the Palestinian statement a step forward.

So at the end of 2010, victory is defined as getting Israel and the PA to hold a meeting every two weeks. If this were to be achieved there would be cheers as to the great success! And even this minimal step forward (bringing us to the level of around 1991 or so) is unlikely.

Oh, by the way, the president of the United States gave the opinion in his UN speech that he would solve the issue within one year.

That is what diplomacy is reduced to on this issue. How can anyone seriously argue this is a problem ripe for solution?

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