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article imageIsrael, U.S. push for renewed peace negotiations with Palestine

By Andrew Ardizzi     Aug 4, 2011 in Politics
The United States and Israel are working together to revive peace talks with Palestinians in a desperate attempt to avoid a diplomatic confrontation when the United Nations convenes in September.
CBS News reported renewed discussions would focus on sensitive issues that have hampered Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in recent years–the borders separating Israel and a future Palestinian state, as well as recognition of Israel as the Jewish homeland.
The report states the Israeli-U.S. alliance are painstakingly trying to find acceptable language for all sides, noting that although there is no imminent breakthrough, Israel is willing to show flexibility on the contentious issue of establishing mutually agreeable state borders.
Sensitive issues aside, peace talks have been mostly stalled over the last three years, with the Palestinians refusing to continue negotiations with Israel while it continues to build settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem–Israel captured both areas in the 1967 Mid-East war, however Palestine claims both areas for their future state.
The CBS report notes that in the absence of a negotiated peace deal, Palestinians will ask the U.N. to recognize their independence, a move which, although symbolic, would give Palestinians a better negotiating position in the future and potentially isolate Israel on the international stage diplomatically.
U.S. and the Israel wish to desperately avoid any diplomatic solution born from the U.N., preferring to mediate a peace agreement between the two sides.
Despite being opposed to the idea in the past, Israel has reportedly softened their stance on negotiating founded upon 1967 boundary lines, offering to use those borders as a baseline for renewed talks, the Jerusalem Post reported.
The report states Israeli officials would use the 1967 boundaries as a framework for constructing a package deal fundamentally inspired by two speeches on Middle-Eastern peace given by U.S. President Barack Obama in May. It's hoped this would lead toward the ultimate goal of negotiating a two-state solution, with Israel reportedly believed to be willing to concede this in exchange for recognition of itself as a Jewish state.
The Post reports the United States, European Union, U.N. and Russia are working together to find workable language both the Israelis and Palestinians can agree upon to resume talks, with the primary sticking points believed to be the size of swaps between the two sides, the issue of recognizing a Jewish state and rejecting a Hamas role in a Palestinian national government.
Israel fears that if the Palestinians present their case for statehood at the U.N. and are recognized as a nation, it will harm Israel's international standing and could escalate hostilities in the region, the Jeruslam Post reported.
It's hoped that restarting the peace process will dissuade Palestinians from pursuing their initiative at the United Nations. This may not be realistic, however, as the Palestinian Authority dismissed the concept of renewed peace talks as "valueless" and were determined to proceed with their plans to seek international recognition, the Post reports.
Even if Palestine continues forward to the United Nations, the resolution to recognize a Palestinian state must escape being vetoed by one of the five permanent members of the Security Council, of which the U.S. is a member.
More about Israel, United States, Palestine, IsraelPalestine conflict, United Nations
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