In raging Middle East, Israel wins time with Palestinian peace talks


Pressured by Washington, worried about its international standing and perturbed by Middle East turmoil, Israel had many reasons to return to peace talks with the Palestinians this week after a three year hiatus. On the surface, Israelis saw little reason to jump back into negotiations. The status quo in the occupied Palestinian territories was holding and the question of the so-called peace process had largely fallen off the domestic political agenda. But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may have realized he could not take the rap for cold shouldering US efforts to revive the talks, and recognized that turbulent regional dynamics made it worthwhile to engage with the Palestinians once more. “Resuming the diplomatic process at this time is important for the state of Israel both in order to try to end the conflict and given the complex reality in our region, especially the security challenges from Syria and Iran,” Netanyahu told his cabinet on Sunday before it sanctioned the resumption of talks. The last round of US-brokered negotiations collapsed barely after they began in 2010 in a row over continued Jewish settlement building in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem on land the Palestinians want for their future state. Although Netanyahu continues to reject Palestinian demands that he halt the construction, he has agreed to release 104 Arab prisoners as a goodwill gesture, drawing heavy criticism from rightist allies who say it will encourage terrorism. The fact he made such a politically sensitive concession suggests he was put under enormous pressure by US Secretary of State John Kerry, who visited the region six times in just five months to try to revive the long-moribund peace process. “No one wanted to lose the blame game, so that’s why we went to Washington,” said Amos Yadlin, a former Israeli military intelligence chief who now heads the Institute for National Security Studies. The same is true for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and that pressure could also produce progress: “Whoever botches the Americans’ plans will have a price to pay,” one Israeli official told Reuters on condition of anonymity. CHAOS However, US arm-twisting alone does not fully explain Netanyahu’s decision to head back to the negotiating table. Turmoil in the region also played an important role. In the three years since the last failed effort, the Arab world has been turned upside down by uprisings that have transformed the Middle East.


  1. American Government is evil genious. They are trying to revert attention from their dirty involvement in bringing military back to power by throwing elected government of Mursy and now announcing a peace process that is going to die down after a while as usual.
    Read the Kerry! Egyptian government was removed throug the mass protest of people of Egypt financed by the known secrete hands.

    • What a pile of lies…no one paid millions of Egyptians to demonstrate…typical Pakistani conspiracy theory based on no facts…

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