Clinton: No ‘Magic Formula’ to Restart Mideast Peace Talks
October 24, 2010
(ChattahBox World News)—The U.S. led direct peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel have been at a standstill for six-weeks and there are no plans to resume the talks in the near future. With the expiration of the West Bank settlement freeze, any hope of achieving results in the ongoing conflict between the Jewish State of Israel and the Palestinians has come to a quick end. What’s next? The Obama administration will continue to pressure Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for a temporary settlement freeze to allow peace negotiations to go forward. But it’s unlikely the hardliners in BiBi’s shaky coalition government will go along with extending the settlement moratorium. That leaves the distinct possibility that the Arab League and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas would appeal to the U.N. Security Council, to demand statehood based on the borders that existed in 1967.
The U.S. led peace talks certainly looked promising on the surface, but from the very start it was clear the any resumption of West Bank construction would end negotiations. The Palestinians demanded a stop to all West Bank settlements as a condition of entering viable peace talks and the Israelis are unwilling to do so.
The Washington Post calls the talks the “shortest round of peace negotiations in the history of their conflict.”
“Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas haven’t met since Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton brought the two together on Sept. 15 in Jerusalem, two weeks after President Obama launched the resumption of negotiations on Palestinian statehood in Washington with much fanfare, including the presence of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and King Abdullah II of Jordan.”
And with Republican congressional gains expected in the November elections, the Israelis know they would benefit from a more right-wing, neo-conservative pro-Israel, ‘let’s bomb the hell out of Iran’ group of lawmakers. In essence, there is little to be gained for Netanyahu politically, in risking his shaky right-wing coalition government to push through an unpopular settlement freeze at this point.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is seemingly acknowledging the end of peace negotiations before they really started. “I cannot stand here tonight and tell you there is some magic formula that I have discovered that will break through the current impasse,” said Clinton to a Palestinian peace group.
And she pushed the possibility of peace farther down the road. “The future holds the possibility of progress, if not in our lifetimes, then certainly in our children’s,” Clinton said.
All in all, a discouraging turn of events.
Photo Source: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza