Israel Defense Minister Ehud Barak spoke bluntly when calling upon Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “make some difficult decisions” and proceed with peace discussions even though everything has not been worked out in detail. The PLO executive committee on Sunday approved a proposal allowing the Palestinian president to begin indirect negotiations with Israel through assistance from American mediation. Palestinian officials made clear they would walk away from any further talks unless there was real progress within four months. President Abbas had been refusing to have any talks until Israel halted further housing development on the West Bank. Barak expressed the feelings of many Israelis. “I hope that these discussions will advance the political process with the Palestinians in a manner that will enable quick resumption of actual negotiations on core issues..”
The key point made by Barak is simply this: “Israel’s leaders today have the responsibility to ensure that we don’t miss this chance and that requires leadership and the intention to make difficult decisions.” Amen!