Marc Schulman


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April 30 New Arab League Peace Intiative- Obama Punts


The Arab League, under Qatari leadership, and with the prodding of U.S. Secretary of State Kerry has renewed their peace offer with a small change. That small change calls for Israeli to return to 1967 borders with agreed land swaps. Qatar's Foreign Minister also stated that the peace agreement has to be fair for all sides. The Arab Peace initiative includes full normalization of relations between Israel and the whole Arab world– if a peace agreement is reached.
While Tzipi Livni, Israel's Justice Minister and the minister in charge of peace talks with the Palestinians, as well as President Shimon Peres have welcomed the move, so far there has been complete silence from the Prime Minister's office. It is clear the Americans are going to endorse the Arab initiative– one way or another – and try to get negotiations going based on it. Livni who negotiated with the Palestinians before is anxious to try again. However, she warned that this situation is like two magnets, they first rush to get close together, but when they get close they suddenly repel apart. She fears that although a great deal can be agreed to easily, the end agreement may allude us. She does not believe in any interim agreement, but rather an end of conflict agreement. One can be both hopeful and cynical at the same time, but I for one believe we have to try.

President Obama has continued his ridiculous prevarication on Syria. I know he really does not want to do anything, but he needs to stand by his words. Richard Cohen said it best in the Washington Post in his column "Red Lines as Red Herring in Syria".


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