Mideast Chaos Lends Urgency to John Kerry's Peace Push

With Syria and Egypt Ablaze, Window for Progress

Troubled Neighborhood: The U.S. pushed both sides to come to the peace table in part because of widening chaos elsewhere in the Middle East.
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Troubled Neighborhood: The U.S. pushed both sides to come to the peace table in part because of widening chaos elsewhere in the Middle East.

By Ron Kampeas

Published July 31, 2013.
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Netanyahu may be following in the footsteps of other Likud party leaders such as Ariel Sharon, Menachem Begin and Ehud Olmert, hardliners who ultimately abandoned the idea of keeping all the lands Israel captured in the 1967 Six-Day War.

“The question is, what is the alternative,” Medding said. “There is a part of Bibi that understands however terrible it is that a two-state solution is the only way to go as far as Israel is concerned. This may be best way for Israel to proceed in an Arab world which is having its own significant problems.”

Kerry has been relentless in pushing the sides to the table, making six trips to the region in recent months and shuttling continuously between Jerusalem, Ramallah and Amman.

“This is the man, Secretary Kerry, who showed everyone that nothing can stop true believers,” Livni said Tuesday. “And thank you for that.”

Two factors were central to the strategy pursued by Kerry and President Obama, who met Tuesday morning with the negotiators: reassure the Israelis that they would not be sold out and keep as much as possible under wraps.

Obama’s March visit to Israel, in which he emphasized the closeness of the defense relationship between the United States and Israel, as well as historic Jewish ties to the land, did much to advance the first element. And Kerry vowed to maintain the radio silence that got him this far, emphasizing that only he was authorized to speak publicly about the talks, per agreement with the parties.

“That means that no one should consider any reports, articles or other — or even rumors — reliable unless they come directly from me, and I guarantee you they won’t.”


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