More and more reports are suggesting that the U.S. is planning to put forward an offer that would end the impasse in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
Martin Indyk, the American envoy for Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, gave an hour-long address at the end of the J Street Conference in Washington last month. Indyk said nothing about the talks themselves but some commentators noticed a couple of references to them: first, the American envoy said the talks’ goal was to reach a final status agreement and nothing else; second, that by next year’s conference, he said, “the leaders will have had to make their choice.”
Since most people estimated – and still do – that the talks themselves will go nowhere, the last statement was seen as indication that somewhere along the way the American administration would put forward a proposal of its own – a bridging idea or agreement that the two parties will have to accept or reject (no need to hold your breath, I explain what I believe their response will be by the end of this post).
In the month since Indyk’s speech, speculation about an American-led initiative has become more frequent and explicit. A two-page feature in Yedioth Ahronoth this weekend claimed that the United States has already given up all hope that the parties can reach an agreement on their own. According to the article, an American offer will be put forward before the end of the nine-month designated negotiation period.
The Yedioth report was light on specifics but it did claim that the American proposal will be made of an interim agreement and a certain framework or illustration of a final status agreement. It wasn’t noted if the interim agreement will include evacuating settlements (my hunch: a handful at best, but more likely none), or whether the Palestinian Authority would be upgraded to a recognized state (more probable, since there is no political cost attached to such a move). According to the report, some parts of — Oslo-designated and defined...Read More