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Give It a Rest

Jackson Diehl on why -- my interpretation of his words -- it would be foolhardy to double-down on peace talks right now:

Abbas has resisted negotiating with Netanyahu ever since he took office early last year, saying he doesn't believe the right-wing Israeli leader will ever offer serious peace terms. But Abbas also turned down a far-reaching offer from Netanyahu's predecessor; and he's never spelled out his own terms for a settlement. By now it should be obvious: at age 75, he prefers ruling a quiet West Bank to going down in history as the Palestinian leader who granted final recognition to a Jewish state.

Netanyahu has made an effort to show that he is ready to negotiate seriously about Palestinian statehood. But the terms he has talked about -- including a long-term Israeli military presence on the West Bank -- are considerably more stringent than those Abbas already turned down. Even the suggestion by Netanyahu that he would consider concessions such as a division of Jerusalem would probably cause the collapse of his right-wing coalition.