Monday, March 22, 2010

Another Quartet statement, cont.

Rosemary Hollis at FP's Middle East Channel has much more to say on the Quartet statement, though the upshot is basically the same:

All that being said, this latest Quartet initiative does not constitute a breakthrough. It provides no new ways to oblige the parties to make "the difficult choices" required to deliver "an independent, democratic and viable Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel." That will require more than an end to settlement expansion. It will require the removal of a good many settlements plus land swaps.

What she says it does do is hopefully give Abu Mazen cover to begin proximity talks despite the settlement debacle during Biden's Israel visit, as well as give the US the opportunity to "use the Quartet as a vehicle to send a strong message to the Israeli government that Washington's support is not automatic."

I don't see this as all that strong of a message to that effect in the light of the U.S.'s fairly rapid drawdown of displeasure since the incident. Washington needs to make a much sharper gesture than what we've seen if that's the message it wants to send.

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