Beyond the Freeze Deal: A New Agenda for U.S. Efforts on the Peace Process

In the article, Satloff first discusses where the parties are at and whether they are capaple of making peace. Then he gives his suggestionss which I have extracted below. He admits it “may not work”. I think for sure it will not work. The gaps are too wide to be bridged.

By Robert Satloff, Washington Institute for Near East Policy/strong>

[…] In this environment, the demise of the U.S.-Israeli settlement freeze proposal gives Washington the opportunity to engage in a different type of diplomacy to advance President Obama’s goal of Israeli-Palestinian peace. Key elements should include:

    * Testing the potential areas of Israeli and Palestinian diplomatic progress through an intensive exercise at winning parallel deposits from each party as to what it would be willing to do, on core issues, should the other meet essential conditions. This would not be a return to the dead end of proximity talks, which were, in practice, talks about talks. Rather, it would be high-level engagement with leaders exploring a set of hypotheticals: If the Palestinians acceded to Israel’s security requirements, what territorial withdrawal would be on offer? If the Israelis indicated a willingness to meet Palestinian demands for negotiations based on the 1967 ceasefire lines (with mutually agreed changes), what security arrangements would Palestinians countenance? How would Israeli and Palestinian confidence in each other’s commitment to security and territory, respectively, affect perceptions on Jerusalem? These exchanges — which would require discretion, candor, and authoritativeness — would not replace eventual direct negotiations, but they would prepare to launch them at a much more advanced stage than is currently the case.

    * Complementing this exploration of high diplomacy with a U.S. decision to give equal diplomatic, bureaucratic, and political weight to the bottom-up process as it does to the top-down process. At the moment, the former is the poor stepchild to the latter. Top-down is sexy and headline grabbing, while bottom-up is messy, unattractive, and to many, boring. That mindset must change.

    This strategy may not work, of course. The spoilers are powerful and the obstacles are high. The potential for conflict on Israel’s northern border — a conflict that could escalate into multifront fighting — is regrettably real. The persistence of mixed messages from Washington on such a basic issue as whether Iran should believe that the threat of military force is or is not on the table is deeply damaging to U.S. power and influence in the region. And, even with the best of intentions, which should not be taken for granted, there may just not be a deal in the offing.

December 11, 2010 | 1 Comment »

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  1. He admits it “may not work”.
    I think for sure it will not work.

    It surely, surely will not work!
    By Hillary, it will not work!
    By Sir William, it won’t work!
    By the Dubya, it won’t work!
    By the Quartet, it won’t work!
    By Camp David, it won’t work!

    Wye, oh Wye, will it not work?
    Because it hasn’t, doesn’t, willn’t,
    Billn’t, Bamn’t, Bushn’t, shouldn’t,
    couldn’t, wouldn’t, ever, never,
    ruddy, muddy, bloody WORK!