Know More About Palestine

Tuesday Feb. 8, 2011 12:27 PM (EST+7)

RAMALLAH, Jan 8 (JMCC) - Until the events in Egypt and the rest of the region come to a resolution, observers are saying that the Palestinian-Israeli peace process will be on indefinite hold.

Stalled since the middle of last year over Palestinian demands that Israel stop building settlements in the occupied territories, negotiations were in peril prior to the Egypt unrest, which began some three weeks ago.

All in all, events of the past few weeks seem to have dimmed rather than brightened the prospects for Middle East peace. “What this did,” says Aaron David Miller, a Middle East expert at the Woodrow Wilson Center and veteran of many past negotiations, “is to not just put an exclamation sign on an already grim situation, but to hang a ‘Closed for the Season’ sign on efforts between now and whatever point it becomes clear what new polity will emerge in the Middle East.”

Miller was already deeply skeptical about the prospects for peace; but even the more bullish David Makovsky, an expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy who has been promoting a swap of territory between the two sides, says, “Two weeks ago I felt like there was a plan; now everything’s been thrown up in the air.” Both men say they believe that the Netanyahu government will conclude that the world, for now, is yet more dangerous for Israel, and thus it will be even more loath to make painful concessions on borders or security arrangements. Indeed, a senior Obama administration official concedes, “We have stepped back to a certain extent over the course of the last several weeks.”

Read the analysis from the New York Times...







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