April 26, 2010

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Israel-Palestine conflict: Imposing solutions Peace talks in the Middle East could be about to resume this week after a gap of 16 months. The optimism, if such a concept applies to this moribund lifeform, is contained in hints last week that Palestinian negotiators were considering inducements to start talking: the release of 1,000 prisoners, the lifting of some roadblocks, the easing of the Gaza blockade. The Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu has refused to halt settlement construction in East Jerusalem, and his partial freeze on construction in the West Bank is anyway due to expire, so the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas will not talk directly with him. After two decades which saw meetings between Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, Netanyahu and Ehud Barak, the fact that a Palestinian leader universally deemed to be more pliant than his predecessor can only engage in indirect talks shows how deadlocked the conflict has become. Former true believers in the peace process are renouncing their faith. Aaron Miller, an adviser on Arab-Israeli negotiations who served six US secretaries of state, is one of them. Arguing against many of the memos he penned to past political masters (after the Wye River accords which were never implemented, he declared the move toward peace was irreversible), Mr Miller now questions whether the conflict is capable of a negotiated solution and if it isn’t, whether it should continue to be regarded as central to the stability of the region. There are ample grounds for thinking that neither Mr Netanyahu nor Mr Abbas can negotiate a solution, one because he won’t and the other because he can’t.

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I'm a watchman for Christ, looking on the horizon in expectation for the fulfillment of God's Word.

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