Reactions to Middle East Peace Talks
When it comes to Israeli - Palestinian peace talks nothing comes easy. Just ask Aaron David Miller.
He's a scholar now with the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. For years he worked in the US State Department advising on the Israeli Palestinian peace process. He's focused on the "gaps."
Aaron David Miller, Israeli-Palestinian Analyst: "On borders and security, they are narrower. On refugees and Jerusalem, think in terms of the Grand Canyon. The distrust and suspicion on the part of the public and leaders is huge."
Yet, Miller calls Secretary John Kerry's efforts to jump start the talks a major step forward in the process. A process we hear may play out over the next nine months.
Aaron David Miller, Israeli-Palestinian Analyst: "If negotiations are serious, it doesn't matter if they go well beyond the deadline and they probably will. If they are not serious, that deadline won't be nine months. It will be half of that, if that."
Guy Ziv is an international relations expert who teaches at American University. He's just back from Israel and thinks peace has a 50-50 shot this time around.
Guy Ziv, International Affairs Expert, American University:
"The vast majority of public in Israel are supportive of the peace process, supportive of the two-state solution. At the same time, the majority are skeptical such a solution can be reached in the near future."
He points out the Palestinian reaction mirrors that. So, it ultimately will come down top the resolve of the two leaders--Netanyahu and Abbas.
Guy Ziv, International Affairs Expert, American University: "Are they doing this in order to relieve pressures from the Europeans and Americans or are they doing this because they are prepared to confront their domestic audience at home? Are they prepared to take difficult steps necessary to reach a deal?"
Miller doesn't see a wide-sweeping deal on all five core issues: borders, security, Jerusalem, refugees and recognition of Israel as the official nation of the Jewish people. But maybe this...
Aaron David Miller, Israeli-Palestinian Analyst: "An agreement on borders and security with a lot of bells and whistles including economic assistance to the Palestinians, security assurances to the Israelis. Some form of contact with Arab states for Israel. But the full Monty? Right now (that) seems a real stretch."
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