Thursday, June 18, 2009

Middle East: New Beginnings Needed

The best thing I have seen on the Palestinian-Israeli problem is Hussein Agha and Robert Malley, "Obama and the Middle East" (The New York Review of Books, June 11, 2009).

In brief, they say the old slogans and terms -- two-state solution, land for peace -- are impotent and should be abandoned. In the past both parties have felt they were provided solutions from third parties and asked to accept or negotiate them.

A new beginning should be made by a process that elicits anew what the essential interests of the relevant parties are--the Palestinians, including both Fatah and Hamas, and the Israelis, including the settlers. This might leads toward a two-state solution, or it might not get anywhere. What is clear, they think, is that merely polishing up the old terms, proposals, and solutions will not work.

I found it provocative and maybe even correct. See:

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