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Bridget Johnson

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July 29, 2013 - 11:54 am
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The restarted Mideast peace talks that began with a concession from Israel get underway after an iftar dinner at the State Department tonight.

President Obama called the meeting between negotiating teams “a promising step forward, though hard work and hard choices remain ahead.”

“During my March visit to the region, I experienced first-hand the profound desire for peace among both Israelis and Palestinians, which reinforced my belief that peace is both possible and necessary. I deeply appreciate Secretary Kerry’s tireless work with the parties to develop a common basis for resuming direct talks, and commend both Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas for their leadership in coming to the table,” Obama said in a statement.

“The most difficult work of these negotiations is ahead, and I am hopeful that both the Israelis and Palestinians will approach these talks in good faith and with sustained focus and determination. The United States stands ready to support them throughout these negotiations, with the goal of achieving two states, living side by side in peace and security.”

The talks got green-lighted by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision, approved by a divided cabinet, to free 104 Palestinian prisoners.

“This moment is not easy for me. It is not easy for the ministers. It is not easy especially for the families, the bereaved families, whose heart I understand,” Netanyahu said yesterday. “But there are moments in which tough decisions must be made for the good of the country and this is one of those moments.”

Haaretz reported that the released Palestinians are responsible for the deaths of 55 civilians, 15 soldiers, one female tourist and dozens of Palestinians suspected of collaborating with Israel.

At the State Department today, Secretary of State John Kerry claimed the new momentum “began with President Obama’s historic trip to Israel and Ramallah in March of this year.”

“And without his commitment, without his conversations there, and without his engagement in this initiative, we would not be here today. The President charged me directly with the responsibility to explore fully the possibility of resuming talks,” Kerry said. “And in our meetings with President Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu, he conveyed his expectations for this process.”

Kerry saluted “both” leaders “for their willingness to make difficult decisions.”

“Going forward, it’s no secret that this is a difficult process. If it were easy, it would have happened a long time. It’s no secret, therefore, that many difficult choices lie ahead for the negotiators and for the leaders as we seek reasonable compromises on tough, complicated, emotional, and symbolic issues. I think reasonable compromises has to be a keystone of all of this effort. I know the negotiations are going to be tough, but I also know that the consequences of not trying could be worse,” he said.

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Top Rated Comments   
Until the Palestinians unequivaclly state acceptance of a permanent Israeli state, negotiations are useless.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (23)
All Comments   (23)
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The last time Israel conceded any land, the Palestinians wrecked a thriving flower business. I bet BeBe remembers.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Here we go again. A side show while Hamas rearms. An invented people with an invented homeland. Trans Jordanians is what they REALLY are.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
The released terrorists should have been implanted secretly with homing devices. Let them go and catch up to them later and dispatch them to the very warm place waiting for them.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Bottom Line: While it is absolutely the case that the Islamist-in-Chief twisted Bibi's arms into pretzels, the fact of the matter is that the onus lies on Bibi. Why is this?

First and foremost, it is up to Israel's leaders to withstand all pressure to release blood soaked Jew-killers. However, Bibi is spineless and unable to withstand pressure. He is not a statesman.

Not only that, Egypt's ! rulers gave Obama Inc the finger when they demanded that they 'do business' with Morsi's Mafia. Okay, so we know that others can ignore the dictates.

Most significantly, it is ABSOLUTELY against both Israel's 'Basic Laws', as well as international law to release terrorists - Nullum Crimen Sine Poena, No Crime Without Punishment. In effect, these releases - like all others in the past - make both Israel, and the US in demanding it, 'legal outlaws' - http://adinakutnicki.com/2012/11/01/pa-statehood-its-violations-of-international-law-u-s-leadership-must-addressadhere-to-legal-constructs-israels-peace-obsessed-too-commentary-by-adina-kutnicki/

Simple as that.

Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama administration, having failed everywhere else in the middle east is going to bet all they have on the one thing they can do. They can pressure our only ally into meaningless concessions and call that a victory.

Pathetic excuse for a policy. These idiots have nothing left to use. Netanyahu has many bigger threats on his plate so Obama goes for the low hanging fruit because he can get something there. Bibi will go for it because this is small stuff to get press release to show how he is willing to make " hard decisions for peace" without giving up anything else.

America is an official paper tiger everywhere. Nobody really thinks we matter anymore.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hope springs eternal resting upon the mushy foundation of naivete.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Please pardon my skepticism. But, historically....concessions to Palestinians are what they sell to the bystanders who watch Israel, yet again, give up something for nothing.

The sound of these peace talks has always been the sound of one hand clapping.

Having Obama design a foreign policy, with Kerry executing it...is like having a blind man take a photo and a mute man narrate its contents.

When a yes man is in the room with me, I feel one of us is unnecessary. When a yes man is in the room with Obama, I feel both of them are unnecessary.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
karloff summed it up.
The real question is why Netanyahu is buying into this craziness? Perhaps to keep Obama's ego from boiling over. Whatever the reason it does seem insane.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have lost most a great deal of respect for Netanyahu. Anymore concessions and what is left will be gone.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Trying the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is a defintion of insanity.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
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