Chuck Freeby asked a question the other day about the peace process here in Israel with the Palestinians.
Well – that's today's headlines as Israel's Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu has said that he wants to separate from the Palestinians. This statement comes a week after Mr. Netanyahu said that the Middle East conflict is unsolvable.
Government opposition leader Tzipi Livni said today before the World Jewish Congress that Netanyahu is not serious about peace with the Palestinians. So were are we at right now?
Why can't the current Israeli government begin some tangible diplomatic negotiations with the Palestinians, and why can't they come to the table with the Israelis?
Some are suggesting the answer right now (and it changes), is that both sides are trapped by the conditions they have created.
One the one hand, Israel is demanding the Palestinians recognize Israel as 'the national state of the Jewish People'.
On the other, the Palestinians are trying to get Israel to negotiate with a government that includes Hamas.
What if negotiations could happen?
Many analysts feel that the gap in the positions predetermines failure.
Some say that the main goal of the Israeli government must be to cultivate a more positive reality in the daily life of the ordinary Palestinian by easing the economic situation and reducing the restrictions of trade and people in the West Bank.
Others say the Palestinians better talk now – or risk losing more later.
It has long been spoken that steps need to be made by Israel to empower Mr. Abbass, the Palestinian leader, to convince his people that peace talks and compromises are the legitimate way forward.
The presumption here is that such actions are the way to deter terrorism, maintain the general security and quiet, and develop hope in a partnership with Israel.
For their part, the Palestinian Administration is often criticized for not doing enough to alter the negative imagery of Israel in order for such a hope to flourish.
Middle East Correspondent