No, we’re not back from summer break yet. Once again we’re just making good on a promise to pop in if any issues of international import developed. The Obama administration’s latest efforts to reignite the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks qualifies.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and freshly appointed Martin Indyk, V.P. and director of Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institute as U.S. Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations, announced significant strides toward encouraging the opposing parties to at least talk about talking. After six months of “shuttle diplomacy”, and burning up a hole in his travel budget, Secretary Kerry says “top negotiators” are set to meet to discuss future meetings. Exact details remain under raps by agreement of all invested interest. Hip Hip Hooray?
Still, with everyone’s positions nearly set in stone on the most critical and divisive issues preventing an equitable solution to the decades old conflict, one can hardly fathom the point of entering negotiations at this time or any other. Could it all be just be political stage crafting to fill foreign policy void. One would be justified in reasoning so, since U.S. foreign policy as it relates to the middle east seems rudderless.
Bottom line: Neither the extremist types (Yisrael Beiteinu) within the Israeli government nor the hard liners of Hamas will yield to any meaningful compromise. Too much bad blood has been allowed to flow for too long for either to give up or give in now. Certain elements of Israel will settle for nothing less than a racially and religiously purified state for the Jewish People and many Arab and Palestinians would love nothing more than to see the “state of Israel evaporate under the desert sun.