Ambassador Edward S. Walker, Jr, former assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, former Ambassador to Israel, Egypt, and the U.A.E., and Deputy Permanent Representative of the U.S. to the U.N. with Ambassadorial Rank, writes about this week’s futile Obama/Netanyahu/Abbas meeting and ends with a question that nobody wants to seriously consider:
Perhaps President Obama will have to stop thinking about this problem in the short term and stop looking for a quick fix. It seems clear that no progress is possible on the critical issues so long as the Israeli government continues in its current configuration. And in all probability no progress can really be expected so long as the Palestinians are a hair’s breadth away from committing mutual suicide. So perhaps the Palestinian Prime Minister Salem Fayyed has it right. This may be the time for the Palestinians to get their act together and form a credible government in the service of the Palestinian people. And it may be time for Israelis to consider their future and decide whether or not they want peace to be held hostage by a rigid minority of the settler movement. Or we can just mark time until Palestinians living on land from the Jordan river to the Mediterranean outnumber their Jewish neighbors. Then what?