Direct Talks Unlikely to Go Far

(Foreign Policy) Steven J. Rosen - The opening of direct talks between Israelis and Palestinians has been rumored for weeks, but it is hard to see how American mediation can succeed. Almost no one in the region shares Obama's audacity of hope. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas enters the talks as the reluctant dragon who wishes he did not have to be there. Neither Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nor the Israeli public believes that sweeping steps like those advocated by many in the Obama entourage can be taken without unacceptable levels of risk to Israel's security. Netanyahu is coming to the talks with ideas that can measurably improve the lives of the Palestinian people and move them toward their objective of a sovereign Palestinian state with territorial contiguity. The writer served for 23 years as foreign policy director of AIPAC. He now heads the Washington Project of the Middle East Forum.

2010-08-20 08:49:44

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