This commentary was published in The Jordan Times on 01/06/2011
President Barack Obama’s speech on the ongoing popular uprisings in the Middle East, followed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent visit to Washington, was intended to kick off a renewed effort to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Things are not turning out as planned.
Instead, Netanyahu took the opportunity of Obama’s address to emphasise his own well-documented opposition to a two-state solution based on a return to the pre-1967 borders. He chose not to address either the issue of using those borders as a starting point for negotiations, or Obama’s idea of land swaps (a very common element of international peace negotiations) as the means to get from that starting point to the endgame.