- Pathfinder

Reply To: Do you think the U.S. should assist in mediating negotiations toward a resolution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Why or why not?

Dan Harre

I think that U.S. mediation should be predicated on a genuine desire by the Israelis and the PA to come to the table and reach a deal. Today, that desire is very much in doubt. While both sides are certainly exhausted by the ongoing conflict, there are signs of retrenchment. Under the leadership of former PM Netanyahu, the rightward drift of Israel empowered and popularized its settler movement. Stronger Israeli backing for settler communities in the West Bank will only complicate mediation efforts. The PA, for its part, still suffers from endemic corruption and political pressure from a constituency that has shown a willingness to abandon PM Abbas for the more radical Hamas.

If these conditions do not change, I fear that U.S. mediation efforts toward a long-term peace deal are futile.