Tuesday, December 7, 2010

And A Partridge In An Olive Tree?

The U.S. has given up on its effort to persuade Israel to observe a 90-day moratorium on West Bank settlements in exchange for 20 fighter jets, an aircraft carrier, four Knicks season tickets (courtside), and Benyamin Netanyahu's right of first refusal to replace Joe Biden on the '12 ticket. At end of the New York Times article, from think tankniks, come these glimmers of hope for a comprehensive settlement in place of a new round of direct negotiations predicated on the Palestinians' understandable but unsustainable demand that settlements stop first:

Analysts said that, while embarrassing, the administration’s decision to abandon the freeze would enable it to reassess a policy that has been stuck on a single issue. “If it encourages that more comprehensive review, then it’s not a bad thing,” said Daniel Levy, a senior research fellow at the New America Foundation.

David Makovsky, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said, “It’s the end of a phase for the administration: ‘We’re not focusing on the appetizers anymore; we’re focusing on the main course.’ ”

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