According to reports citing Palestinian negotiators, the Israeli government is engaged in “secret’ talks with the Obama Administration with an eye toward setting the borders for a potential Palestinian state.
But perhaps the most interesting aspect is that the Israeli government would be “leasing” the portions of the occupied territories that they intend to keep in the founding of a future Palestinian state. The lease term would be from somewhere between 40 and 99 years.
Which might defer some of the more contentious issues with regards to the borders and allow Israel to keep its settlements program going for the forseeable future. Palestinian willingness to lease occupied East Jerusalem and the holy sites that go along with it will no doubt be a very controversial issue, if indeed the Palestinains are even consulted on the lease.
But while the latest effort is certainly a novel attempt at saving the struggling peace talks, reports from last week that both sides had promised not to declare the talks dead until after the US election as a favor to President Obama must inevitably raise the question of whether the talks are a serious effort at achieving a deal or simply a serious effort at convincing American voters that the administration is accomoplishing something.
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