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Finding a "Zone of Possible Agreement" for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations¬Ě


(National Interest) Michael Singh - For Israel, the overriding interest implicated in any peace negotiation is security. A recent poll by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs found that 76% of Israelis felt Israel should retain full security control of the West Bank in any future peace agreement, and that 57% would not support a deal without such a condition. Israel has other territorial, economic and diplomatic interests, to be sure, but will only consider a prospective deal if it clearly advances the nation's security. Polls also suggest that most Palestinians continue to harbor maximalist aspirations, as Daniel Polisar of Shalem College has noted. There is clearly no squaring Israel's interest in security with maximalist Palestinian territorial ambitions. Whether conflict leads Israelis to prefer negotiations to the status quo depends in part on whether they feel the Palestinians' aim is to compromise with them or eliminate them. Not only Hamas but many ordinary Palestinians, through polling, have made clear that their aim is the latter. The writer is managing director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
2017-05-23 00:00:00
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