a breakthrough is possible this time — thanks to the unshakable Palestinian peace strategy. Whereas the Palestine Liberation Organization long pursued a dual strategy of military resistance and politics, today’s Palestinian leaders have clearly opposed any form of violence. Most recently this determined nonviolent effort can be seen and felt in every city, village or refugee camp in Palestine. With tactics including the boycott of Israeli settlement products and an international divestment campaign, it has captured the imagination of local groups, international activists and Israeli peace supporters.
Palestinians have good reason to be hopeful about the eventuality of an independent state. If its creation is a result of peace negotiations, good. But if the talks fails because of Israeli obstructionism, Palestinians will have no choice but to declare their state unilaterally and hope the world will recognize it. Those Americans who witness Palestinian conduct in the negotiating room over the coming year will have to decide whether to recognize the state or keep this conflict festering.
the talks appear to be timed with the U.S. political calendar. Holding the talks now allows for positive press and photo opportunities before the midterm elections, while any potential arm-twisting will be completed long before the start of the presidential reelection season.