Yesterday I reported that, on Chuck's question, regarding a three way summit between the leaders of the Palestinian, Israeli, and American peoples to promote a peace plan here in the Middle East. It looked like everyone wanted to get together. What a difference one day can make…
Now – it seems that perhaps Mr. Obama may have to settle for separate meetings with Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Abbas…
But there still is time for President Obama to unveil an updated Middle East peace plan.
It is mostly thought that Obama will propose to get the sides talking face to face – as former Prime Minister Olmert did with Mr. Abbas during the Bush administration.
The big issue has always rotated around just how to proceed in the negotiations. Do we go step by step, or do we go straight to the permanent settlement that would include all of the contentious issues. Those issues are the future of Jerusalem, the Palestinian refugees right of return, borders and Israeli settlements.
Mr. Obama has indicated that a timetable for negotiations would be two years. Most everybody over here says 'good luck'. The chances of success in this timeframe are slim at best because the moment that the controversial issues are put on the table, conflict comes into focus.
In the simplest of terms Mr. Obama is worried that neither Mr. Netanyaho or Mr. Abbas will be in office and able to garner their governments to move their constituencies twords ratifying a peace deal. And lest we forget – there is also Hamas to deal with in Gaza…
What is for certain is that there are many things undone, and these issues to must be managed while we all move toward peace – be it one step at a time or in a broad stroke – whether comprehensive or de facto.
One of the things you can do is to pray – pray for the leaders and the people – for peace in the land and hearts of all who are here.
Thanks for checking in – and I wish you all well!