Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

The resumed Israeli-Palestinian peace process is not four weeks old, and it seems to have already been reduced to the realm of a Gilbert and Sullivan farce. Utilizing the issue of the West Bank settlement construction freeze as a point of contention, the two sides now appear to be negotiating over whether to negotiate. U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell, acting as a harried go-between, is frantically seeking a breakthrough, just on the issue of whether the two sides can be coerced to meet face to face again.   The reasons for the impasse are ostensibly clear: neither the Israeli leadership nor the Palestinians wish to be seen as weak by bowing to the others' demands on settlements. But a more incisive observation would be that progress in talks will not occur because the results might actually shatter the peace.This might sound like an absurdity to some, but the facts are these: Besides the murderous assault on an Israeli family near Hebron on September 5, violence on...(Read Full Article)