THE PLANK AUGUST 25, 2009
That's what Aaron David Miller tells Politico-bound Laura Rozen will come from the peace-process announcement expected from the Obama administration next month. But Miller remains a deep pessimist about the possibility of an actual peace deal. Former Bush NSC Middle East hand Elliott Abrams, in a separate interview, seems to bolster that opinion:
But in truth the real problem isn't any particular conduct by Israel, it is the fact that most Arabs have yet to make peace with the idea that Israel exists, and has a right to exist forever, as a Jewish state in the middle of the Middle East.
This is speculation, but: I wonder whether Obama's thinking here is similar to his--or at least Dennis Ross's--view of talking with Iran. Namely, in the latter case, that talks are bound to fail, but you have to show the world you made a good-faith effort to expose Tehran's real motives. If the Israelis make a gesture which the Arabs scoff at, Abrams's point becomes more compelling to the international community.
Ha'aretz, meanwhile, reports that Bibi Netanyahu and George Mitchell will meet tomorrow as they close in on a final settlement deal.