David Makovsky, a scholar at a think tank with close ties to the U.S. and Israeli governments, has been named to the U.S. State Department’s burgeoning Israel-Palestinian peace-brokering team.
Israel warned of a ‘diplomatic tsunami,’ Palestinians promised a game changer that would reshape Middle East peacemaking. It all ended with a whimper. Now what?
Every week seems to bring some new manufactured scandal that’s supposed to prove that the Palestinians aren’t really ready for peace. The latest is the phony blow-up over the statement by the Washington representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Maen Areikat, in which he’s supposed to have called for a “Jew-free” Palestinian state. Josh Rogin at ForeignPolicy.com has Areikat’s denial that he said anything of the sort, but Rogin doesn’t quite explain how this thing got started. Well-meaning Westerners are continually asking whether it wouldn’t be possible to avoid a traumatic relocation of Israeli settlers back into Israel after a peace agreement by allowing them to stay on as citizens of Palestine.
The website of Foreign Affairs magazine has a very useful interview with David Makovsky, fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, former Jerusalem Post editor, former Haaretz diplomatic correspondent and one of the smartest Middle East watchers in Washington, on the various uncertainties Israel faces right now. He notes that Israel and Egypt have been engaging in a lot of back-channel diplomacy in the last few days to try and keep the border quiet and maintain the peace. The danger, he says, is