Pressing for Israel-PA Negotiations? Obama Sets Himself Up for Mideast Failure, Again

The PA strategy is to ensure that negotiations go nowhere and instead claim that it is building a state and then declare independence some time in the future. The great advantage of this approach is that the PA can try to get a state without compromise or concession to Israel. Moreover, by such methods, the PA can hope -- as has happened numerous times -- that Israel is blamed for the lack of progress and the U.S. government will pressure Israel.

These expectations may well be wrong -- no unilateral independence declaration might ever happen -- but they suit the needs of the PA leaders. They hope to avoid internal anger at concessions, closing their options for total victory in the future, and Western criticism or punishment.

The likelihood, then, is that Obama’s prediction might fail. Will the media remember that he went out once again on a limb and sawed it off?

Of course, just getting direct talks is no big deal -- they existed between 1992 and 2000! A Washington Post editorial states:

By reaffirming U.S. support for Israel and pressing for direct talks, Mr. Obama has created an opportunity to put both Palestinian leaders and Mr. Netanyahu to the test and to discover who is serious and who is not about a two-state settlement.

Yet we’ve been through this numerous times before. What happens when Netanyahu proves he is for a two-state solution and Abbas shows he is against it in practice? Will the West put heavy pressure on the PA? Will it swing to a strong pro-Israel policy?

Of course not. And that will help guarantee that no progress is made toward peace.