The United States is trying to keep direct talks brokered by Obama between Israel and the Palestinians on track.
Note that it is the Palestinians who are threatening to quit negotiations if they do not get compliance from Israel in agreeing to extend a concessionary 10-month building moratorium. Yet, for Holland and Bull, it is Israel -- and only Israel -- that is responsible for the risk of negotiations collapsing.But Israel's refusal so far to extend a moratorium on settlements in the occupied West Bank has put the process at risk, with the Palestinians threatening to quit the negotiations if settlement construction resumes when the partial moratorium expires on September 30.
Holland and Bull make no mention of any of the Palestinian provocations and positions that continue to endanger the peace process. Like:
- Four Israelis, including a pregnant woman, murdered in a Palestinian terrorist attack 3 weeks ago;
- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas asserting that he will not make a single concession in negotiations with Israel;
- Palestinian television labeling Jewish worship at the Western Wall "sin and filth";
- The Palestinian Authority affirming the death penalty for any Palestinian selling land to a Jew.
- Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad rejecting the concept of "two states for two peoples".
Nor do Holland and Bull mention that the Arab League, whose support is essential to a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs, met just last week to reject once again recognition of Israel as a Jewish state -- the central issue in the conflict for nearly a century.