After a three-year hiatus in Mideast talks, Secretary of State John Kerry invited Israeli and Palestinian negotiators to Washington, D.C. to set up a plan for future negotiations. While there’s plenty of hope, no breakthrough is expected anytime soon.
First of all, such a complex problem with security; territory; refugees; and geostrategic interests at stake probably cannot be resolved with just one diplomatic push. A consistent multi-year effort is needed.
Israelis and Palestinians should be able to have communities in each other’s countries, as long as they’re peaceful. I don’t necessarily see the Israeli settlement issue as a problem, but as an opportunity for agreement and a catalyst to restarting negotiations on more difficult issues, like territory and security.
Israel must also understand that an independent Palestine ought to be one political entity uniting Gaza and the West Bank. It is in Israel’s best interest to train and equip the Palestinian Authorities, so they can stop terrorists themselves before they strike.
Otherwise, any meaningful diplomacy will be hijacked by terrorism, leading to Israeli retaliation and more violence and misery.