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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Peace talks doomed - but keep it quiet until November

From McClatchy:

The Obama administration has secured pledges from senior Mideast leaders to continue their fitful peace negotiations until after next month's U.S. midterm elections, largely to avoid handing the Obama administration an embarrassing diplomatic setback before the Nov. 2 elections.

Israeli and Palestinian officials told McClatchy Tuesday that efforts to reach a compromise would continue until at least Nov. 3, a move they said "served the current American government."

"The time frame we are following has been designed around the elections in America," said a senior member of the Palestinian negotiating team. "We have been asked not to issue announcements that could embarrass negotiation officials."

He and Israeli officials declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the issue.
So when the Obama administration says it wants peace in the Middle East, is this because this is a vital imperative to further world stability - or is it a way to get more Democrats in Congress?

This sort of contradicts the idea of the administration being an honest broker. An arbitrator should have no personal stake in the outcome - or existence - of negotiations.

Can you say "farce"?

UPDATE: Barry Rubin figured this out two weeks ago.