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Middle East Peace Talks

Friday, August 16, 2013

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, and Palestinian Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat address reporters on the Middle East Peace Process Talks at the U.S. Department o (U.S. Department of State/Wikimedia Commons)

Events in Egypt have overshadowed the first-in-five-years peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians, brokered by Secretary of State Kerry. David Sanger, New York Times chief Washington correspondent and author of Confront and Conceal: Obama's Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power (Broadway, 2013), updates the progress and how turmoil in Egypt might affect the region.

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David Sanger
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Comments [11]

robert ragaini from NYC

I'd like to suggest another approach to the Palestine problem, one which I would like to see introduced into the current talks, not that I expect it will be. But you might introduce it into the conversation on WNYC.

Israel returns the West Bank and the settlements, which it leaves intact, to the Palestinians for an undivided state of Palestine. The Palestinians give the Gaza Strip to Israel except for a corridor to the sea for a port city.

The government of Palestine compensates the former citizens of Gaza, possibly by giving them title to homes in the former settlements. The Israeli government compensates the former dwellers in the settlements, possibly by giving them title to property in Gaza. Jerusalem is temporarily left out of the arrangement so as not to prevent the larger solution. Each side gains enormously.

Each side may argue that it loses more than it gains. Regarding a state of Palestine, does anyone not believe that the steady increase in the number of Israeli settlements is a plan of permanence in the West Bank, "Judea and Samaria?" The above proposal gives Palestinians more than they are likely to get in any other way. As for Israel, it adds to its land mass as it would by permanently annexing the West Bank. Not as much in quantity, more in quality. It would also give Israel the opportunity to refashion its global image. Currently, Israel has only one friend. With the above solution, its occupation ends and it can devote its energies to being a good neighbor and a full participant in the United Nations. As I said, each side gains enormously. Once the two states are established and, one hopes, thriving, even the question of Jerusalem will have a chance of resolution.

Aug. 16 2013 07:09 PM
Carlos from Queens

Democracy requires patience. To sit there and say that what is going on in Egypt is "OK, because it's the Muslim Brotherhood and who cares anyway." is the opposite of democracy. It is partisan hackery. That is the stuff that the Balkan wars were made of.

Morsi (incompetent as he may be) proved that the Muslim Brotherhood were for the most part a bunch of civilian bureaucrats, much like everyone else. By not waiting him out now you have a massacre AND no democracy. They threw the baby out with the bath water.

Imagine if they had done this in Turkey when Erdogan won. The circumstances were almost the same. In the end Erdogan and the Islamists turned out to be a bunch a bureaucrats who played by the rules. With the peaceful transfer of power many other good things came like their economy improving and better relations with their neighbors.

I think Egyptians have a lot to learn...

Aug. 16 2013 10:50 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

There isn't a single Arab state that is democratic and stable and isn't in the process of falling apart, and yet "the world" wants Israel to to give up the liberated Jewish territories of Judah, Samaria and Golan to create yet another, 22nd Arab state within walking distance of Israel's capital, and rifle distance from its only international airport!? It's insane.

Aug. 16 2013 10:48 AM
tom from astoria

Does Israel have a part in the power of the military in Egypt? I can't help feel that Israel must have infiltrators - and at least tremendous financial influence-- in the deep rooted pewee of the Military in Egypt, and they must be happy to see an Islamist government fall, as long as the status quo is preserved for their interests.

Aug. 16 2013 10:39 AM
Siah from Upstate NY

Because, gunning down hundreds of protesters is democratic???? The callers are making me more confused.

Aug. 16 2013 10:36 AM

Good that we will hear from some actual native /Egyptians/!

Now how about having someone like Sharif Abdel- Kodous, currently in his native Egypt, where he reports firsthand on the situation as it develops?

And more Palestinian voices?

Aug. 16 2013 10:34 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan


Obama Doctrine: Speak Softly and Carry No Stick - James Traub, FP

Obama's Dangerous Passivity on Egypt & Syria - Jackson Diehl, Wash Post

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/08/15/walk_softly_and_carry_no_stick_obama_administration_egypt

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/jackson-diehl-obamas-dangerous-passivity-on-egypt-on-display/2013/08/15/69d085fc-0522-11e3-9259-e2aafe5a5f84_story.html

Aug. 16 2013 10:33 AM
Sinai Rocketeers

Israel traded the Sinai (a larger land area than all of Israel) for peace with Egypt some years ago.

Now it's part of Egypt -- and the latest launch point for rockets launching into Israel.

Has this development, considered inevitable by Israeli hard-liners, been noted or discussed? Is it relevant to the so called Peace Process?

Aug. 16 2013 10:31 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Obama is an insignificant, incompetent punk.

Aug. 16 2013 10:31 AM

How can anyone take the Israeli government seriously when they defiantly proceed with ever-increased settlement expansion and have done so /throughout/ all these years since Oslo.

Aug. 16 2013 10:30 AM
Peter from North Carolina

Palestinian and Israeli negotiators are saying very little in their public statements about these negotiations. Does this suggest a real possibility of progress?

Aug. 16 2013 10:12 AM

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