The price of success

After 20 months, Barack Obama’s administration may be close to injecting some much-needed stability into the on-again, off-again Israeli-Palestinian peace process. The deal concluded last week in New York between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — if it gets through the Israeli cabinet and the Palestinians — should allow the ...

By , a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images
TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images
TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images

After 20 months, Barack Obama's administration may be close to injecting some much-needed stability into the on-again, off-again Israeli-Palestinian peace process. The deal concluded last week in New York between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu -- if it gets through the Israeli cabinet and the Palestinians -- should allow the negotiations to resume in the wake of a three-month moratorium on settlements. But as I've written before, the administration shouldn't pray for anything it really doesn't want and isn't prepared for. The upcoming challenges will severely test a president and secretary of state who badly need a foreign-policy success.

First, the good news. Any advance in the excruciatingly painful world of Arab-Israeli negotiations is significant. The Obama administration deserves much credit for keeping the Israelis, Palestinians, and key Arab states on board during some very tough times. The U.S. president has seized on this issue and isn't giving up -- a central requirement for success.

After 20 months, Barack Obama’s administration may be close to injecting some much-needed stability into the on-again, off-again Israeli-Palestinian peace process. The deal concluded last week in New York between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — if it gets through the Israeli cabinet and the Palestinians — should allow the negotiations to resume in the wake of a three-month moratorium on settlements. But as I’ve written before, the administration shouldn’t pray for anything it really doesn’t want and isn’t prepared for. The upcoming challenges will severely test a president and secretary of state who badly need a foreign-policy success.

First, the good news. Any advance in the excruciatingly painful world of Arab-Israeli negotiations is significant. The Obama administration deserves much credit for keeping the Israelis, Palestinians, and key Arab states on board during some very tough times. The U.S. president has seized on this issue and isn’t giving up — a central requirement for success.

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Aaron David Miller is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a former U.S. State Department Middle East analyst and negotiator in Republican and Democratic administrations. He is the author of The End of Greatness: Why America Can’t Have (and Doesn’t Want) Another Great President. Twitter: @aarondmiller2

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