Wednesday, July 31, 2013

John Kerry, peacemaker?

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Well, this is something:

Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday that Israeli and Palestinian negotiators would convene again in the Middle East within two weeks and that their goal would be to work out a comprehensive peace agreement within nine months that would lead to an independent Palestinian state. 

"The parties have agreed to remain engaged in sustained, continuous and substantive negotiations on the core issues," Mr. Kerry said at the State Department, flanked by Tzipi Livni, Israel's justice minister, and Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator.

"Our objective will be to achieve a final status agreement over the course of the next nine months," Mr. Kerry said. "We all understand the goal that we're working towards: two states living side by side in peace and security."

It's good to see the U.S. again assuming a productive leadership role with respect to the Israeli-Palestinian situation, something that only seems to happen when a Democrat is in the White House, but a meaningful agreement on a two-state solution, however desirable, seems less likely than Kate giving birth to another undeserving "royal" in nine months.

Nonetheless, if Kerry pulls it off, the Nobel is his, deservedly so, and all of us who thought he was a fantastic pick to be secretary of state, perhaps better even than Hillary, and thought he would have been a similarly fantastic president, will be proven right.

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