JERUSALEM (JTA) -- The possibility of continuing peace talks with the Palestinians is "not particularly good," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
We "hope that the Palestinians will stay in the talks in order to reach, in the end, concrete negotiations between us on a peace agreement," Netanyahu said Sunday at the beginning of the weekly Cabinet meeting.
King Abdullah brings Israelis and Palestinians to the table, but expectations are lower than ever.
Tel Aviv — Israeli and Palestinian negotiation envoys met for the first time this week in more than a year, but the expectations on both sides for any substantive breakthrough in the coming months have never been lower.
Normally, the first direct meeting of the sides since September 2010 would be considered a breakthrough in itself. And King Abdullah of Jordan’s decision to host talks in Amman for the first time is also a new development.
Israel has agreed to the Mideast Quartet's latest proposal to resume negotiations without any preconditions, but the Palestinians are sticking to their demands for a settlement freeze and more before Mahmoud Abbas will sit down with Benjamin Netanyahu.
Meanwhile, the Netanyahu government announced new construction of Jewish housing in Gilo, just outside the Green Line, which many considered a snub of the Quartet's call for both sides to "refrain from provocative" and unilateral actions.
Bid to stave off ‘isolation’ would likely contain proposal for borders.
Under pressure from the United States and Europe, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is working on a peace proposal that would pave the way for a Palestinian state with temporary borders.
But just how far-reaching his proposal will go is anybody’s guess.
“Nothing is finished,” Zalman Shoval, a former Israeli ambassador to Washington and foreign policy adviser to Netanyahu, told The Jewish Week. “Ideas are floating around and some ministers have their own views. He is absorbing them and the final product is not at all clear.”
With Israeli-Palestinian negotiations back in the deep freeze, the past few days have seen a flurry of speculation about possible movement on the Israel-Syrian diplomatic front. Last month President Barack Obama appointed the first ambassador to Damascus since 2005. This week Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice president of the Presidents Conference, met with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus, prompting speculation he was there at the behest of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
No one likes Avigdor Lieberman, to hear the left tell it. No one on the Israeli left or in the American Jewish Surrender Lobby liked Avigdor Lieberman's speech at the UN -- the J-Soros Surrender Street only advocates Israeli capitulation to any enemy demand (such as building freeze in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria) ordered withoout negotiation by the Palestinians and their corner men in the White House.
Neither side can be seen scuttling negotiations, experts say.
Washington — When the fat lady sings on Sept. 26, it may only be an intermission.
That’s the word from an array of Mideast experts across the political spectrum. They are predicting that the seeming intractability between Israel and the Palestinians over whether Israel extends a settlement moratorium beyond its end date will not scuttle the peace talks.
Instead, the observers say, the sides are likely employing the brinksmanship that has come to characterize Middle East peacemaking.
Isaac Molho — a pragmatic deal broker
and Netanyahu’s longtime personal attorney —
is widely respected as Israel’s chief negotiator.
Tel Aviv — As Israel-Palestinian peace talks resume for the first time since 2008, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be relying on his longtime personal attorney Isaac Molho to broker the deal of his life.
Israel’s chief negotiator to the peace talks, a highly respected Jerusalem corporate lawyer who stays out of the media spotlight regarding his political work, was first drafted by Netanyahu into diplomacy back in the 1990s as an emissary to Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat and as a delegate to the Wye Plantation talks.