Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Obstacles That Probably Will Kill Any Israeli-Palestinian Deal

By MJ Rosenberg, Senior Foreign Policy Fellow, The Huffington Post, Sep 18, 2010

The Israeli-Palestinian negotiations are reported to be going well — or as well as they can go with the United States maintaining its insistence that no attempts at Palestinian unity are made.

This is Israel’s demand, conveyed to the lobby, enforced by President and Congress, and then rammed down the throat of even the forces within the Palestinian Authority who want to coordinate with Hamas.

But, forgetting that for a moment, the big worry about the current talks continues to be what will happen after September 26th, when Israel’s partial settlement freeze ends. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu says that he won’t continue the freeze while President Mahmoud Abbas says he will end the talks if the freeze lapses.

The whole settlement freeze issue is one of the three most unnecessary obstacles to peace . The other two are the belief, on the part of some Palestinians, that the 1948 refugees and their progeny are returning to Israel (rather than to a Palestinian state) and Netanyahu’s insistence that Palestinians recognize Israel “as a Jewish state.”

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