Two years is a long time between conversations for anyone; two years is especially long for two warring nations’ leaders to go without shooting hay. Leave it to Hillary Clinton to bring these two forces back to the table. The Israel/Palestine “thing” has been going on for years now. Countless people have died and the unrest in the area is palpable for residents, vacationers, pilgrims, missionaries, and dignitaries all. Everyone has a vested interest in peace in the Middle East too, not least of these being Hillary Clinton.
The Obama administration is on the ropes, taking jabs from all sides; Tea Party folks, moderates, independents, conservatives, and even Democrats who had hoped he would be further along in his presidential mission statement. So, while the Middle East brokering some kind of sustainable peace deal may shine well on the Secretary of State’s record, her boss could also use the distraction. President Obama needs to be able to point to some measurable token of his administration’s success. But what is success for the Middle East talks? How likely is true peace to be had through these discussions?
What’s At Stake:
As many already know, the main issues with Israel and Palestine are vast and numerous. ABC News reports Hillary Clinton’s understanding of that when she said: “The core issues at the center of these negotiations — territory, security, Jerusalem, refugees, settlements and others — will get no easier if we wait, nor will they resolve themselves.”
However, Clinton knows she can’t be the one to sign their names on the line; only with mutual cooperation can these discussions be fruitful.
“We cannot and will not impose a solution. Only you can make the decisions necessary to reach an agreement and secure a peaceful future for the Israeli and Palestinian people,” she said.
Clinton has one of the most adept political minds in the business at her immediate disposal: her husband, former President Bill Clinton. While former President Clinton has kept a low profile in recent years, you can bet that Hillary has used his candor to full effect. Despite that fact, even former Bill knows the wild tenor of these discussions; his failed attempt at peace during his tenure in office was disheartening. Former President Clinton was unsuccessful in making anything stick, though he was able to get Israeli and Palestinian leaders to the table and acknowledge each others’ existence in the Oslo Accords.
ABC News reports that “Clinton regards President Jimmy Carter’s 1979 Camp David Accords brokered between Israel and Egypt as the gold standard for negotiations.”
It was Carter’s folksy persistence and his ability to think outside the box which were able to make the Camp David Accords work. “When then-Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin refused to authorize the dismantling of any Israeli settlements, Carter’s team suggested having the Israeli Parliament make the decision — and it did. Carter has credited thinking outside of the box and being innovative as the key.”
Hillary Clinton will have to bring the same creativity, energy and positivity to these talks if she is likely to succeed.