Daniel R. DePetris January 4, 2014 10:02
Commentary: There could be dire consequences if negotiations end with no deal.
Cranes are seen in the Israeli settlement of Har Homa in east Jerusalem on November 10, 2010 as construction goes on after Israel ruled out a freeze on the building of new settler homes in east Jerusalem, defying world powers who have warned the issue risks wrecking fragile peace talks with the Palestinians. (AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty Images)
SAG HARBOR, New York — Compelling Israelis and Palestinians to stick to the negotiating table was always going to be a difficult task. Previous negotiations have typically collapsed either in the middle of the process or at the very last minute. The reasons were many: domestic political obstacles, continued settlement building by the Israeli’s, immovable Palestinian preconditions or a lack of leadership from both sides. So, when U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced to the world that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas were returning to direct negotiations after three years, there was a lot of skepticism about the prospects for success.