Timing is Everything

Apparently, Washington is drafting two “letters of guarantee” to Israel and the Palestinian Authority that will hopefully help relaunch the peace talks between the two.  I don’t know what a letter of guarantee is, but delivering them right after Israel signaled its intention to build 700 more homes in occupied East Jerusalem during a so called settlement freeze is just an awful idea.  If the US can pressure Israel into an actual settlement freeze then the US can deliver as many letters of guarantee as they want.  Under the current circumstances, the Palestinians would probably think about making an paper airplane on White House stationary with their letter.

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3 thoughts on “Timing is Everything

  1. What motivation does Israel have to freeze settlements? Actors in the international system react to punishment and incentives. At this point, no international punishment has appeared in the international community.(thanks to the United States) However, the larger issue rests with incentive. Why should Israel stop? They receive no punishment while gaining more territory, often times very precious territory (religiously or economically).

    Further, the West Bank and Gaza have become so small and fractured that a two-state solution seems unlikely. Furthermore, I think it is quite obvious that the Palestinians, and Arabs generally, do not see the U.S. as an independent mediator. As such, the ability of the U.S. to move dialogue along has halted.

  2. There is no incentive. Until there is a US gov’t that will stand up to Israel, I find it hard to believe that Israel will ever seriously sit down looking for peace. Right now the US won’t punish Israel and the US is already giving Israel its incentive.

    And while I agree that the two-state solution is looking less and less likely, there does not seem like another option (short of kicking the Palestinians out of the region). If Israel swallows Palestine, it is no longer a Jewish state and there is strong opposition within Israel to this. I have to believe that something will be done by the international community before Israeli settlements eat all of Palestine.

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