By James Gundun – Washington DC
Like a room filled with methane, the combustible element of failure waited silently for a spark. Neither special envoy George Mitchell nor President Obama could budge the Palestinians from their demand for an Israeli settlement freeze.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, with an established pro-Israeli bias, is known to bite. Coming off a three day jaunt in Pakistan that left America with even less friends, she detonated another bombshell in another conflict, her diplomacy more stagecraft than statecraft.
‘What the prime minister has offered, a restraint on the policy of settlements, which he has just described, no new starts, for example, is unprecedented in the context of prior to negotiations,’ an upbeat Clinton said in Jerusalem, next to the solemn Benjamin Netanyahu.
An Israeli cheer session so late in the hour poses obvious obstacles to a two-state solution, indicated by the Palestinians’ swift and harsh response.
Nabil Abu Rdainah, spokesman for PA president Mahmoud Abbas, warned, ‘The negotiations are in a state of paralysis, and the result of Israel’s intransigence and America’s back-pedaling is that there is no hope of negotiations on the horizon.’