Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Shalom to Palestinians: Let's break bread

Even as a Western movement to pressure Israel to go back to the negotiating table is preparing to launch, Israel’s interior minister, Silvan Shalom, is inviting the Palestinians to the negotiating table. But there’s an interesting precondition to the invitation. There can be no preconditions.  It’s a theme echoed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
This is the problem with getting both sides to talk. And one’s perspective may color one’s interpretation of who is to blame for the lack of negotiations.
On the one hand, Israel maintains any issues, including the status of Jerusalem, must be decided through negotiations. On the other hand, the Palestinian Authority wants the issue of Jerusalem resolved before they’ll sit down.
So it’s easy for one side to blame the other for recalcitrance.
In all likelihood, this status quo will remain long after a deal is hammered out between the West and Iran on Tehran’s nuclear program. The inking of such a deal will signal the push to get the two sides to sit down again.
Western nations, the EU and the UN have already signaled that much of that pressure will be put on Israel, not the Palestinians. The predictable outcome is that there will be no negotiations. And each side will continue to blame the other for that.

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