Jewish Journal


May 18, 2012

Can the new Israeli coalition bring about peace?‎



Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz at a press conference in Jerusalem to announce the new Israeli coalition, May 2012. (Photo: Reuters)

Here are two paragraphs from an article I wrote for the NYT. You can read the full piece here:‎

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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