Pinkas: Obama understands the gaps are unbridgable
Alon Pinkas, former Consul General in New York,weighs in on the peace process and Obama’s visit:
Obama is not really naïve, nor is he surrounded by dreamers. American policy may lack sophistication or creativity at times, but the president is under no illusions when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. He is well aware of the difficulties involved in implementing the “two-state” model at this stage and understands that the gap between Israel and the Palestinians is too wide at this point.
The equation is quite simple: Netanyahu cannot and no longer wants to accept the “Clinton outline” from 2000-2001 or the Olmert-Abbas agreements from 2008. He cannot agree to a Palestinian state with “temporary borders” because this would require new maps that do not include certain settlements. The Palestinians cannot accept futile negotiations “without preconditions” and without taking past agreements into consideration. A mock process would cause them to lose the support of the international community.
The idea that the process can be reignited with declarations and perhaps a three-way summit in Washington is ludicrous. Moreover, Obama is not coming with an original plan of his own to bridge the gaps. Rather, he is, at best, going to present a package of “trust-building measures.” Therefore, the visit is an important one, but not in relation to the “peace process,” which will remain frozen until a new, paradigm-breaking way of thinking emerges.
I say Pinkas has that about right but I fail to understand what “trust building measures” he is expecting. Trust between whom?
Strangely he makes no mention the alleged pressure Obama intends to apply to Netanyahu.