Abbas-Netanyahu Impasse Continues

One senses after over a half century of conflict and refusal to reach an agreement, the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Authority will be a topic of conversation in 2110. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would like to engage in some form of dialogue with President Abbas in order to get President Obama off his back, but the two opponents are deadlocked over which one will enter discussions without guarantees their ideas will be the focus of negotiation. Of course, Netanyahu may still be centered in the old saying of former Israel prime minister Ben-Gurion who mockingly insisted Israelis should not be concerned with what Gentiles(and, Muslims) said, but what Jews want to do. At some point there can not be an agreement unless Netanyahu agrees to some form of joint governance of Jerusalem and limits the amount of land Israelis will keep of the West Bank. Abbas is prepared to allow Israel control of some portions of the West Bank in exchange for territory exchange, and an agreement concerning Palestinian refugees that is an “agreed and just solution.”

Ironically, both sides can secure about 90% of what they desire if they so desire peace. The question is whether both men are so anxious for peace that they will defy extremists in their own camp.

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