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The Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations: The US Framework for Peace Must Be Enforced


There are many who doubt that the current Israeli-Palestinian negotiations will lead to a solution, in spite of US secretary of state John Kerry’s efforts and the presumed commitment to peace of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas. What has characterized the intractability of the conflict in the past, including the future of Jerusalem, the Palestinian refugees, Israel’s national security concerns, and, in particular, the psychological dimension behind these conflicting issues, still remain in play. That intractability has been further aggravated by a faulty framework for the 2014 negotiations, the absence of leadership, the continued public recrimination of each side toward the other, mutual distrust, and the lack of commitment to reach an agreement that of necessity requires mutually painful concessions. This essay proposes a number of mechanisms and corrective measures that could appreciably enhance the prospect of reaching a peace agreement. Undergirding these proposals is the need for the United States to put its foot down and warn both the Israelis and Palestinians that, unless they negotiate in earnest based on Kerry’s proposed framework, there will be serious consequences resulting from a reassessment of its bilateral relations with both parties.