The impasse on negotiations between Israel and Palestinians continues and attempts by the Egyptian government to jump start talks has failed. The bottom line is the Israel government wants to continue expanding settlements on the West Bank even as it accepts a “moratorium” on future settlements. Of course, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would not put it so bluntly since he believes there IS a moratorium on housing, but it does not include Jerusalem because in his view the eastern section of the city now belongs to Israel so how could one prevent citizens from building houses.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abdul Gheit has been trying to get both parties to the table of discussion but he has run into the stumbling block of building and building. According to Gheit, his nation wants to move ahead on negotiations, but “we will not negotiate while settlements continue.”
Perhaps, the madness in the Israel approach is a cynicism of seeking to hold out and hold out until the opposition grows weary of trying to get talks going.