Middle East Peace

Another missed opportunity

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas blew it. 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu handed him a major political victory on a platter and Abbas dropped it.

In his zeal to block a French-led effort to convene an international Middle East peace conference, Netanyahu told his French counterpart that such a meeting would be useless, but he's ready to "fly to Paris tomorrow" for one-on-one negotiations with the Palestinian leader.

When Yes Means No

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week unequivocally rejected the French proposal for a Middle East peace conference involving some two dozen nations to be held in Paris this summer.  He said the only way to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is by "direct bilateral negotiations" and he's "ready immediately to begin" talks "without any preconditions."

That may be what he said, but it's not what he meant.

The French say their goal is to revive negotiations for a two-state solution.

Mideast Peace: Search and Rescue

The coalition guidelines Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented to Knesset on Wednesday revealed more by what they did not say that what they told about where he wants to lead his newly minted right wing government diplomatically.

The guidelines offered only vague language about peace and made no mention of the two-state approach or any new diplomatic vision or peace initiatives for the Netanyahu's fourth term.

Instead it offered what the Jerusalem Post defined as "a rather anemic clause" declaring:

Praying For Peace Like Talking To A Wall

Pope Francis should have learned in his visit last week to the West Bank and then to Jerusalem that praying for peace between Israelis and Palestinians is like talking to a wall. But he’s not one to give up easily, so he invited Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to come to the Vatican on June 8 to seek divine intervention.

That may be the best hope for peace, and that’s a very sad commentary. 

Israeli-Palestinian Talks: End Of The Road?

04/29/2014 - 20:00
Editorial

Taking stock as the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations deadline passes this week, one can ask whether the two sides are any closer to peace than they were when Secretary of State Kerry launched the energetic initiative last summer. The good news is that despite the endless recriminations and implied threats — like Mahmoud Abbas saying he may dissolve the Palestinian Authority and Benjamin Netanyahu talking of withholding funds for the PA — the Israeli homeland has remained secure, with few acts of terror.

Lapid: Freeze Settlements In Bid For Peace

Vows to bolt coalition if negotiations collapse.

04/07/2014 - 20:00
JTA

Tel Aviv — Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid said he supports freezing settlement growth to help jump-start peace negotiations and vowed that his centrist Yesh Atid party would leave Israel’s governing coalition if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were responsible for the collapse of the peace process.

In Mideast Peace Talks, A New Obstacle

Netanyahu’s requirement that Abbas recognize Israel as a Jewish state draws controversy in Israel and U.S.

03/18/2014 - 20:00
Israel Correspondent

Tel Aviv — Israeli-Palestinian peace talks appeared at the edge of a breakdown after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visited the White House this week, but this time, the deal-breaking disputes don’t seem to be the status of Jerusalem, the fate of Palestinian refugees, or recognition of the 1967 Green Line as in the past.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas meets with President Barack Obama Monday at the White House. Getty Images

ADL's Foxman To Abbas: Recognize Israel, Change The World

03/17/2014 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Sometimes a simple sentence by a nation’s leader can do more to build trust than volumes of words and speeches.

Never would this be more true than in the cases of two of the most volatile issues in the Middle East — the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Iran nuclear challenge.

Abraham H. Foxman

In Washington, Bibi Upbeat On Peace, Firm on Iran

At AIPAC, Netanyahu envisions Israeli-Palestinian cooperation and the dark future of a nuclear Iran.

03/04/2014 - 19:00
JTA

Washington — Benjamin Netanyahu came to Washington determined to hold the line on Iran, but he also brought something new: an expansive vision of Middle East peace.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking Tuesday at the AIPAC conference in Washington. Getty Images

Bloomberg To Donate Genesis Prize To Promote Israeli-Palestinian Ties

Outgoing mayor, surprised by honor, says he wants to boost trade; but the framework is unclear.

12/02/2013 - 19:00
Assistant Managing Editor

As he prepares to step down after 12 years as New York's mayor, billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg says he wants to play a role in the Mideast peace process by fostering economic ties between "the people in Palestine and the the people in Israel."

Bloomberg: Can't we all just get along? Jacob Kornbluh
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