Hopes for the resumption of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians rekindled last week with the creation of a broad and more centrist governing coalition in Israel. The leaders of the Likud and Kadima parties declared that they would work to “advance a responsible peace process.” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reportedly told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel that she welcomed the commitment. “No more excuses for Netanyahu,” titled an editorial in the Financial Times. Now that he is freer from the influence of ultranationalists, “the real measure of a reinvigorated Mr. Netanyahu” will be “Israel’s regional and Palestinian policies.”
Is this hope well-founded? Probably not. Those who assume that a new centrist coalition can advance peace talks have also been assuming that the talks stalled, at least partly, because of the previous, not-so-centrist coalition. That may be a comforting view, but it hardly is accurate.
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