Waiting for Uncle Sam

(Cairo Review of Global Affairs) Daniel C. Kurtzer - Is it still reasonable to believe that a peace settlement, brokered by the U.S., is possible between Israel and the Palestinians? I believe that determined, persistent American leadership can change the calculus of the Israelis and Palestinians and move them toward a fair and conclusive peace settlement. While it may not be possible now to move expeditiously toward a final peace settlement, and while it may be impossible to rely on the parties themselves to do the right thing and to get serious about negotiations, it is possible for the honest broker, the U.S., to take a number of steps that, at a minimum, can preserve the idea of a two-state peace settlement and also establish conditions that will provide an impetus to negotiations whenever they do resume. The U.S. should take the lead in developing and empowering an international support mechanism for the peace process. An international Quartet (the U.S., Russia, the EU, and the UN) already exists, but it has never been very effective. There is an Arab quartet (Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, and the UAE) created to follow up the Arab Peace Initiative, but this too has not been very effective. The point is to engage with others to develop a mechanism or a series of mechanisms that could play effective roles in advancing the prospects for peace. The writer served as the American ambassador to Israel (2001-2005) and to Egypt (1997-2001). He is currently the S. Daniel Abraham Professor in Middle Eastern Policy Studies at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

2017-11-21 00:00:00

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