Listening to the Palestinians

The biggest failure in the American diplomatic quest to midwife the State of Palestine has been a failure to listen to the Palestinians, who don't hide much. (One wag said that generally parties to a negotiation lie on the outside and tell the truth in private; the Palestinians, however, lie in private and tell the truth in public.) This is not a failing only of the present administration, but it is reaching a fever pitch as Secretary of State Kerry alternately cajoles and threatens the parties to accept his view of what the disposition of their conflict should entail. At the World Economic Forum in May, Mr. Kerry told Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli President Shimon Peres that he had an agreement ready and waiting in his pocket, should they want to come on stage and sign. Having not seen the text, they reasonably enough declined. Undeterred, Kerry took his parameters and tried to sell them piecemeal, dashing from Jerusalem to Ramallah. "This has become a commute," he joked to the...(Read Full Article)

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