Your Washington correspondent, James D. Besser, has written a comprehensive piece concerning the talks between Israel and the Palestinians on a face-to-face level (“Renewed Talks Seen Carrying Big Risks,” Aug. 27). The truth is that no one, neither in America or in Israel, has high hopes for a successful outcome of the talks.
Sam Lewis, a well-liked and respected former U.S. ambassador to Tel Aviv, expressed his opinion that there are “low hopes.” But in Israel, most believe that there simply are no hopes. Israelis cannot be concerned about President Barack Obama’s success in foreign affairs. In most polls, the majority of Jewish Israelis do not particularly like him. Many believe that he is a Muslim and therefore are suspicious of his motives. The concern Israelis have is not about how proposed talks will affect American foreign policy in the region. Except for Israel and a few Arab countries, America is not well loved in the Middle East.
Israelis are only concerned about what is best for us; what can we live with.
No one thinks seriously of dividing eternal Jerusalem again. No one thinks of repatriating Arab refugees from the 1948 war. And while settlements in Judea-Samaria [the West Bank] may be a problem, most Israelis are agreeable to a “settlement of the settlements” by land swaps or other accommodations with Palestinians.
Abu Mazen (Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas) is a weak leader. If he meets Israel’s demands, his political and possibly physical life will be ended and Hamas will appear as the winner. In the meantime, Arab communities in the West Bank are thriving. Their economy is growing by leaps and bounds. Prosperity is visible. So there is a possibility of an agreement with Israel and the Palestinians to maintain the status quo.
Israel will remain a sovereign Jewish nation without Obama’s mediation. And maybe peace between the Palestinians and us may come with the arrival of the Messiah. Until then, no one should hold his breath.