Bush's memoir says Abbas was ready to make deal

by Hilary Leila Krieger, Jerusalem Post Former US president George W. Bush indicates that both Ehud Olmert and Mahmoud Abbas were willing to publicly back Olmert’s proposed peace agreement before Olmert’s ouster as prime minister ruined the deal, according to a memoir to be released on Tuesday. Bush also excoriates the US intelligence agencies that…

Artificial 'obstacle' to Mideast peace

by Nicole Brackman and Asaf Romirowsky, Philadelphia Daily News About a week ago, the freeze on construction in Israeli towns in the West Bank expired. The hiatus had been reluctantly enacted by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier in the year under pressure from President Obama. Obama has been trying to persuade Netanyahu to renew the…

Netanyahu Must Refute Obama's Assumption

by Amb. Yoram Ettinger George Mitchell, President Obama’s special envoy, is testing Prime Minister Netanyahu: Has he learned from past errors by repeating them – which would demolish his credibility – or by avoiding them, which would resurrect his domestic and international clout? In order to enhance his own clout and Israel’s posture of deterrence…

Are the U.S. and the West starting to get it?

by Barry Rubin, GLORIA Center After acceding to U.S. requests for nine months by freezing construction on existing Jewish settlements in the West Bank and also not building over the pre-1967 frontier in Jerusalem, Israel got nothing. While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seemed willing to continue it in some form, pressures from within his coalition…

Fayyad storms out of New York meeting with Ayalon

by Jordana Horn, Jerusalem Post Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad angrily left a UN Ad-Hoc Liaison Committee meeting and canceled a scheduled subsequent press conference with Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon in New York on Tuesday, after Ayalon refused to approve a summary of the meeting which said “two states” but did not include the…

Ashkenazi: Army preparing for talks' failure

by Roni Sofer, Ynet The army is preparing for the possibility of increased violence in case Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations collapse, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi said Tuesday. Speaking before the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Ashkenazi warned of possible “outbreaks of violence,” including terror attacks, but predicted that any escalation would not…

U.S. role in Israeli-Palestinian talks is a problem

by Mort Zuckerman  Seventeen years ago, the world was astonished to learn that the Israelis and Palestinians had concluded a far-reaching understanding to advance peace—the now-famous Oslo agreements. This negotiation has ever since served as a role model for how two hostile parties might settle. One essential feature of Oslo was that nobody knew about…

Israel and Palestinians clash over agenda for Sharm peace talks

by Avi Issacharoff, Barak Ravid and Natasha Mozgovaya – Haaretz Israel and the Palestinians are at odds over which subjects will open their next round of peace talks, set to start Tuesday in Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants to begin with security arrangements, recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and…