Israeli and Palestinian officials are formally moving on from the go-nowhere peace process, which has been stalled since September, and entering the always important “blame game” phase of the talks, in which both sides insist the failure was entirely the other’s fault.
Palestinian officials were quick to label the lack of a settlement freeze as the reason the talks didn’t continue, while Israeli officials insisted that despite their unwillingness to trade billions of US aid dollars for a three month freeze, they were the only side truly commited to the peace deal all along.
They agree on one thing though, that President Obama’s effort to mediate a deal has ended, and it is a miserable failure. Indeed, President Obama’s inability to bribe Israel into agreeing to even an extremely short term freeze has Palestinians pessimistic about the long term ability of the US to actually lead such negotiations in the first place.
US officials say the abandonment of the freeze talks is just a “recognition of reality,” but when they start talking about tackling “core issues” in the peace talks it the grasp of the more important reality, that these talks are over, seems to elude them.