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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Indyk: Hard to believe parties can reach agreement

Martin Indyk's moment of candor in January 2012 may yet come back to haunt him.

Indyk was named this week as the Obama administration's representative to the 'peace talks' between Israel and the 'Palestinians.' But in January 2012, Indyk told Army Radio that 'it's hard to believe' that the parties can reach an agreement.
Asked in January 2012 by Army Radio’s Ido Benbaji whether he was optimistic about the talks, Indyk said he was not “particularly optimistic, because I think that the heart of the matter is that the maximum concessions that this government of Israel would be prepared to make fall far short of the minimum requirements for a Palestinian state that Abu Mazen [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] will insist on.”
“It may be possible to keep the talks going, which is a good thing,” Indyk added. “But I find it very hard to believe they will reach an agreement.”
He was right; those talks fell apart a few months after they started.
Benbaji asked the State Department in a written query whether Indyk “changed his views of the matter prior to his new appointment.”
He received a written response Tuesday stating that Indyk said himself he was “proud to serve” US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry as the special envoy to the talks, and that “he admires their commitment to test the possibilities of peace.”
The statement, which danced around the question whether Indyk had indeed changed his mind regarding the prospect of reaching an agreements, said that the US understood that the challenges will “require some tough choices,” and added that “both sides have shown a recent willingness to make some very difficult decisions in the face of domestic political opposition.”
The response did not spell out what exactly those “difficult decisions” were.
So the Obama game plan is to keep the talks going so that they can pretend that there's progress? That makes a lot more sense than actually believing the pipe dream that a deal that could pass a referendum will be reached in nine months.

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2 Comments:

At 4:18 PM, Blogger Gershon said...

Or that Bibi will actually call a referendum despite his promise

 
At 4:44 PM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...

Gershon,

Based on past precedent, I think the bigger question is whether Bibi will abide by the results of a referendum.

 

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