Is it possible that the Israelis and Palestinians will settle?

As Secretary of State Kerry undertook a form of shuttle diplomacy between Israeli authorities and the Palestinian Authority this Spring, his work has been treated as the feckless mission of a man who thinks he knows a lot about foreign policy. YET, that he was able to announce on Friday a meeting in Washington between two representatives without announcing any agreed upon preconditions has raised the hope that this time.... something might really be achieved. That would be a great achievement and a welcome blessing.

Stephen Walt sees several reasons why there may have been a breakthrough at the moment (if a breakthrough it is), and he hopes that this round will succeed where previous ones have not. There are reasons for hope and reasons for well, despair. Here are his calculations: "Faith over Experience. 

Further comments: Yuval Diskin, head of Shin Bet, 2005-11, asks whether Israel is reaching a point of no return for a two-state solution and will become a bi-national state with demographic consequences. Tablet Magazine (not the London Tablet!). HT: Harold Hartinger

 

Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages.

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