Israeli Prime Minister’s recent speech announcing his nation would recognize the existence of a Palestinian state provided— and then came the list of “buts” has only reinforced views in the Muslim world there is slight likelihood of a resolution of the Palestinian-Israel dispute. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stated bluntly that Netanyahu’s speech torpedod all chances for successful peace talks. He said the “Middle East will remain a scene of stability for as long as a peaceful and fair settlement for the Palestinian cause remains evasive.” Even Robert Serri, the UN’s special envoy for the Middle East was hesitant in making any positive remarks about the Israel offer.
There is growing feeling the Obama speech failed to energize Israel leaders to engage in meaningful discussions with Palestinian leaders. At some point, Israel must confront reality– a peace between Palestine and Israel requires compromise on the part of both sides. Instead of announcing what Israel demands, it might be wiser to begin negotiations without any preconditions. How would Israel react if President Abbas said there were preconditions that must be met.