When it comes to the latest Arab peace initiative, two questions are circulating in Washington: Why Qatar? And why now?
Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, has reportedly refused to accept the 1967 border as the basis for a final Israeli-Palestinian border prior to negotiations.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday he would put any peace deal with the Palestinians to a referendum, raising expectations that direct negotiations might soon resume following a two-year stalemate.
The Prime Minister's Office of Israel said it was ready to restart negotiations without preconditions after welcoming the Arab League's Middle East peace plan allowing for agreed-upon land swaps.
Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday the Arab League's acknowledgment that Israelis and Palestinians may have to swap land in any peace deal was "a very big step forward."
The Arab League agreed to a Middle East peace plan that would allow for agreed-upon land swaps.
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad called on Arab countries to pay their aid pledges, in order to prevent the end of the PA.
The Cairo-based Arab League will discuss the Israeli attack on Gaza at a special meeting to be held either on Thursday or Saturday, a senior League diplomat told Reuters.
Russia said on Tuesday Syria's shooting down of a Turkish warplane should not be seen as a provocation and warned world powers against using the incident to push for stronger action against Damascus.
The Arab League stepped up sanctions against Syria over its violent suppression of a popular revolt.
The Arab League called on its member states to offer more financial aid to the Palestinians in response to a report that the United States has frozen $200 million in assistance.
Amr Moussa, the head of the Arab League and an Egyptian presidential candidate, said he would not break his country's peace treaty with Israel. According to several news outlets, Moussa said he would keep the treaty but would plan to renegotiate the deal supplying natural gas to Israel.
Irked by the slow rate of progress in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, major Arab players are threatening to withdraw their offer to normalize ties with Israel once a Palestinian state is established. Underlying the Arab reassessment is a deeper problem: Arab belief in the viability of "the two-state solution" is diminishing. And the worry in Jerusalem is that this growing lack of confidence could undermine the fragile negotiating process so carefully put in place at the regional peace conference in Annapolis, Md., last November.
Being in the region -- I was in Cairo at the beginning of November, and I'm writing this from Tel Aviv -- it's easy to see why Annapolis produced nothing new: Both Arab and Israeli politics have failed to produce anything new for years now.