As the United States plans to spur Mideast peace efforts, CFR expert Elliott Abrams says progress in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will come through development and building a legal system in the West Bank, not negotiations when the conditions aren't ripe.
Explanations for the lack of progress in the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians fail to acknowledge one fact: the Palestinians’ repeated rejection of increasingly attractive Israeli offers, write Elliott Abrams and Michael Singh. The reason behind this lies in demographics, evolving regional dynamics, political realities and increasingly asymmetric means of warfare--all of which are tilting the Palestinian people away from a two-state solution with Israel.
Elliott Abrams argues, "In Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech today he took one major step toward the Obama administration, by endorsing a Palestinian state. In every other way, he resisted President Obama's pressure."
Elliott Abrams, former chief Middle East adviser on the National Security Council, says the Obama administration's move to send diplomats to Damascus for talks marks "a real policy change" but he is doubtful it will amount to much.
Elliott Abrams argues, "we are not on the verge of Israeli-Palestinian peace; a Palestinian state cannot come into being in the near future; and the focus should be on building the institutions that will allow for real Palestinian progress in the medium or longer term."