US Secretary of State John Kerry is due to arrive tomorrow for what some are calling as the “last opportunity” for a two State solution to the Israeli Palestinian peace effort.
We have, of course, heard that before.
There is no doubt to the increasing pressure on both sides to resume the diplomatic process.
According to the latest accepted rumors… Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has agreed to negotiations on the basis of '67 lines, but Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu refuses to allow for that.
Palestinian sources say that Mr. Abbas is ready to be flexible and return to the discussion table.
But they are skeptical of that in Jerusalem, saying that Abbas has previously conducted negotiations before and walked away – some even suggesting he has torpedoed them.
Israel is leaving it down to actions on behalf of the Palestinians to determine their sincerity of pursuing peace.
If the Palestinians do not respond – they will be seen as having refused the peace initiative of Mr. Kerry, who is working hard to get the sides re-engaged.
Israeli press is reporting that there has been some significant progress in the contacts between both sides on jumpstarting the diplomatic process.
Mr. Netanyahu is rumored to have decided on a series of confidence building measures.
He now, after obvious pressure, is open to releasing some Palestinian prisoners held in Israel, and is even considering the Palestinian's long sought after freeze in settlement construction – however only in those outside of major settlement blocs.
That would be Israel's bait for the Palestinians, while wanting them to drop the precondition of beginning the resumption of negotiations on the future borders of the Palestian State at the 1967 cease-fire lines.
One can be certain that both Israel and the Palestinian Authority will be preparing persusive aurguments for Mr. Kerry as to why it is the other side who is to blame for the failure of his initiative.
In this right now, the Palestinians may have the upper hand, with their support in some areas of the international community and the global media.
I will have an update for you tomorrow on the Harvest Show – so be sure to tune in and join me!
Middle East Correspondent