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Israeli-Palestinian Talks: A Process without Peace

Without accepting the legitimate claims of self-determination by the Palestinians and the historical injustice suffered by them, there can be no "peace" between two unequal participants in the Israel-Palestinian "peace talks". Yet, the Barack Obama-led US administration continues to insist upon a "framework" for such talks without learning the lessons of failure from earlier US-led initiatives.

It all looks so familiar. The drama of Israeli-Palestinian talks every time runs on a predictable script – American president invites Israelis and Palestinians to end their conflict; parties meet only to depart by each accusing the other for the failure, signifying nothing except its p redictability. Although this is surprising given that “the outlines of a solution have basically been understood for some time now”, as noted by two of the most astute commentators of the conflict (Agha and Malley 2002), the predictability results from the parties’ inability or unwillingness to learn from the past. The current US President Barack Obama-led initiative is doomed because it refuses to draw the lessons from the history of American mediation, which formally started with the Oslo Accords of 1993, and continued through Camp David in 2000 under Bill Clinton, a road map in 2003, and the Annapolis conference in 2007 under George W Bush. Minus the rhetoric, the Obama a dministration, in line with the basic approach taken by all the preceding administrations, has merely asked the parties to agree on a “framework”, that it expects them to do it within a year is only a measure of American contempt of history.

Bane of Framework Agreement

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