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Will the Israeli-Palestinian talks make any difference?

WHYS Team WHYS Team | 16:47 UK time, Tuesday, 31 August 2010


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will join Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas for talks in Washington D.C. on Thursday. Mr Netanyahu says he is hoping for peace and "good neighbourly relations".

But many are saying that the same old issues - Israel's borders, the political status of Jerusalem, Palestinian right of return - remain as intractable as ever.

Alex Whisson, an Australian blogger, says that little has changed since the last time talks broke down:

We have seen this tawdry and transparent script played out endlessly in the past 20 years. Israel promises to negotiate in good faith, delivers nothing, (and) scarcely even hints that it might deliver something in the future.

However, Aluf Benn argues in this editorial that it's too early to write off the talks:

Mr. Netanyahu has been reluctant to use military force, and has slowed settlement growth. Security and economic co-operation with Mr. Abbas's Palestinian Authority is as strong as ever.

The return to direct talks has been seen as a triumph for Barack Obama, who has set a 12-month goal for achieving peace. But Bruce Gordon, an American blogger thinks the talks are all about Obama's position at home:

President Obama, whose job approval hovers around 45% desperately needs a political success and ... if significant progress was achieved on the ... seemingly intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict, that would help.

Do you think 12 months is too short to achieve peace? Will the talks make any difference?

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