New York Times and Israel

In the Middle East, Time to Move On
New York Times editorial, 2014-04-15

The pointless arguing over
who brought Israeli-Palestinian peace talks to the brink of collapse
is in full swing.
The United States is still working to salvage the negotiations,
but there is scant sign of serious purpose.
It is time for the administration to lay down
the principles it believes must undergird a two-state solution,
should Israelis and Palestinians ever decide to make peace.
Then President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry should move on
and devote their attention to other major international challenges like Ukraine.

Among those principles should be:
a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza with borders based on the 1967 lines;
mutually agreed upon land swaps that allow Israel to retain some settlements
while compensating the Palestinians with land that is comparable in quantity and quality;
and agreement that Jerusalem will be the capital of the two states.

[I agree entirely with those principles as a baseline for negotiations.
I am glad that the New York Times also supports those.
But the practical, operational question is:
What can the United States do to get Israel to accept that those principles
should form the basis of a settlement?
The lessons of the post-1967 period show, I believe,
that without (gasp) outside pressure on Israel,
Israel is quite content with the status quo of
ever-expanding encroachment on Palestinian-occupied lands.
If the U.S. continues to extend to Israel
a blank check in support of its current policies,
Israel will not accept those principles.]


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