CMEP Bulletin: Peace Process Persists Amid Regional Turmoil
While the world debates what to do about the atrocities in Syria, Israeli and Palestinian peace negotiators are operating “beneath the radar” and meeting regularly.
Shlomi Eldar writes, “The rest of the world may be in turmoil, but Justice Minister [responsible for negotiations] Tzipi Livni and Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat still insist on talking about peace.”
But as the tragic situation in Syria unfolds, some are asking whether peace between Israelis and Palestinians is worth spending energy on now. Eldar responds by writing that, “Maybe all the upheavals occurring in the world provide some kind of advantage to the current round of talks. With everyone paying such rapt attention to the goings-on in Egypt and Syria, and with the concurrent lack of public interest in the talks, there is far less pressure on the negotiators, who have plenty of room to maneuver without fear of being interrupted.”
An article in Politico also tackles the question. Lee Hamilton writes:
“I think the reason we find ourselves back in this familiar position is because we rightfully recognize that resolving the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians is among the most important steps we can take toward reducing the overall tension in the region. Arabs continue to view this conflict as a very important dispute, and the plight of Palestinian refugees is both part of their identity and the lens through which they judge Washington and U.S. policies in the region.”