He notes four reasons for that optimism:-
First, violence is down considerably in the region...Today, the Palestinian Authority is policing its West Bank territory...Hamas...is doing the same in Gaza.
These efforts, combined with more effective Israeli security measures, have meant that the number of Israeli civilians killed in terrorist attacks has dropped from an intifada high of 452 in 2002 to 6 last year and only 2 so far this year.
Second, settlement activity has slowed significantly...The settlement moratorium, however, is due to expire on Sept. 26. The Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, seems unlikely to extend it...there could be a workable compromise if Mr. Netanyahu restricts building to modest growth in the settlement blocs that will most likely be absorbed into Israel in the final agreement...
Third, the public on both sides supports a two-state solution. So do a majority of Arabs...
Fourth, there isn’t a lot to negotiate..If an independent Palestinian state is to be established, the zone of agreement is clear and the necessary trade-offs are already known.
We've heard that phrase before: "already known".
As Dore Gold has noted:
It is a problem when U.S. officials say, “We all know what the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will look like,” because they base this claim on Israeli concessions at the Camp David and Taba negotiations at the end of the Clinton administration, which never produced a signed agreement.
The major elements of an agreement are well known.
(Brent Scowcroft and Zbigniew Brzezinski)
Everyone knows the basic outlines of a peace deal," said one of the senior officials, citing the agreement that was nearly reached at Camp David in 2000 and in subsequent negotiations.
Jonathan Kuttab, Palestinian human rights lawyer: "Everybody knows what it will take to achieve a permanent and lasting peace that addresses the basic interests of both sides
everyone knew then and knows now that the Clinton plan is the only realistic framework for peace - (Thomas Friedman)
Now that weve illustrated how unoriginal and trite Indyk is, the main point is that we really don't know what he claims we are supposed to know. After all, we all "know" that since 1937, the "sole solution" is partition. But we partitioned in 1947 and we compromised territorially in 1957 (we returned the Sinai); in 1981 (we yielded the Sinai); in 1989 (Taba yielded); 1994 (Area A); 1994 (Jordan got some territory); 2005 (the Disengagement). And do we have peace?
Some of my friends and I would respond, "well, we all know that the Arabs want all of Israel, despite what they say and sign".
And back to Point One: they are policing but every night Israel has to go in and arrest suspected terrorists as well as heroically stop suicide bombers from crossing into Israel. And Hamas is "policing"? Ha.
Point Two: if there are Arab settlements in Israel, there should be Jewish residential communities in "Palestine". And if not...
Point Three: the "public" does not support the 'two-state' solution inequivocally but with conditions and who determines the future of a country and its people on polls?
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