Several years ago there was hope for peace in the Middle East since Israel leaders focused mainly on how to achieve that aim rather than how to attain more votes. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, gave assurances to President Obama they were wiling to compromise. The two men met, they discussed what they have been discussing for months, if not years, they agreed that neither could accept current proposals for peace and they both are close to going home. Netanyahu insists the focus of peace negotiations should be on Israel being recognized by Arab nations as a “Jewish” nation despite the fact at least 15% of its people are not Jewish. It is normal in the world of international relations to recognize a government in power, not the majority religious group, but to Bibi, this IS the issue. President Abbas wants a continuation of the freeze while they focus on agreeing to resolve their conflict. President Obama has repeatedly asked Netanyahu, in the interests of peace, to place a temporary freeze on settlement construction. Bibi would only agree that “we won’t build all the tens of thousands of housing units that are in the planning pipeline.”

The West Bank was seized by the Israel army in 1967 during the Six Day War. It originally was supposed to be part of an Arab nation. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton soon will be in the Middle East. She will have a nice trip to a sunny climate. She will have a nice trip back home. Plus ca change, plus c’est le meme chose.–the more things change, the more they are the same is the motto for the Middle East.