The Philadelphia Inquirer
No one has made a formal announcement, said Trudy Rubin, but “the Israeli-Palestinian peace process of the past two decades is dead.” Israeli leaders don’t believe peace is possible, Palestinians have given up on dealing with Israel, and President Obama “has turned his back on the issue he once championed.” How did we arrive at this dead end?
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In 2008, then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert created a workable framework for a Palestinian state after extensive discussions with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. Olmert proposed returning all but 6.3 percent of the West Bank to Palestinian control, while Abbas countered with 1.9 percent—a gap that could have been closed with further talks and land swaps. But Abbas stalled on accepting the deal, Olmert stepped down, and Israel moved much further to the right under Benjamin Netanyahu. After some bull-in-a-china-shop diplomacy that eroded trust on both sides, Obama has given up. Now Israel is sliding toward a “one-state solution,” in which Palestinians within Israel’s current borders will eventually outnumber Jews. “This ensures perpetual violence,” and an ugly reckoning down the road.
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