Well, I suppose the entry today will focus on the talk talk talk around the peace process… where are we at?
Funny enough, the issue is not direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, the issue is ironically just how to restart those talks.
After the press at the White House has been shown that the relationship between Israel and America is A-OK and, the relationship between the Palestinians and Americans is A-OK, lets get down to business then shall we?
Behind the photo – ops and the broad smiles and pleasant words there is the reality that there are two leaders with two opposing agendas to get to peace. There's a tinge of mistrust and a lot of skepticism, but their relationship has got to improve to the point that the leaders can talk.
The Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu says he's doing all he can in traversing the minefield that Israeli politics are, and that he is willing to do more than any other Prime Minister to accommodate Palestinian demands. Proof, he says, is in making the gestures he has like the freezing of new settlement building in the West Bank.
With these concessions as the Israelis see it, the Palestinians should come to direct talks.
But the Palestinian leaders say the Israel is merely playing games to buy American praise and prolong the diplomatic solutions to peace while continuing to build and expand – particularly in the Arab areas of Jerusalem, what they see as their future capital in the upcoming Palestinian State.
Mr Netanyahu has always been clear that Jerusalem will remain under full Israeli control and undivided. The Israelis are continuing a massive development plan in Arab Jerusalem and this really upsets the Palestinians. Further distractions are the demolitions of Palestinian homes.
Members of the Prime Minister's own Likud party and others in the right-wing political coalition are already demanding a complete resumption of all building in the settlements on September 27th. Mr. Netanyahu was even caught on tape promising the settlers that building will resume after the freeze.
From the Palestinian perspective one questions if the Israeli “gestures” gone far enough to warrant a resumption of face-to-face peace talks. It seems that the leadership prefer the modus operandi of indirect talks through Senator George Mitchell. It's safer testing the waters this way in the run up to the Arab Leagues big meeting on July 29th to discuss largely the elusive peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
Middle East Correspondent