Who’s the Fool on the Middle East?

Seventy nations attended a conference in Paris this past weekend in an effort to revive interest in a two-state solution. The fact that Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas (which already governs the independent Palestinian state in all but name in Gaza) didn’t participate indicated the event had little to do with facilitating negotiations. Indeed, since the concluding joint communiqué of the participants laid out surrender of all of the West Bank and East Jerusalem to the Palestinians as part of the requirements of a two-state solution, there is nothing for Israel to negotiate over. As such, it was yet another blow to hopes of a negotiated peace rather than a path to jump-starting talks. It gives the Palestinian Authority no reason to return to the negotiations that they blew up by going to the United Nations and signing a peace pact with Hamas rather than Israel. They can now continue to stonewall Prime Minister Netanyahu’s repeated invitation to open-ended talks with no preconditions, secure in the knowledge that the international community will support their stand, no matter how unreasonable it might be.

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Who’s the Fool on the Middle East?

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