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Unwillingness to negotiate

"Israel missed and continues to miss opportunities to normalize relations with the Palestinians and with the Syrians not because of mental blocks, but rather because of domestic political considerations. Mahmoud Abbas and Bashar Assad are defined as non-partners not because Ehud Olmert and Amir Peretz have an emotional problem preventing them as partners in dialogue, but because they do not have the political power to do so. The real deterrent factor acting upon Israeli leaders, including Ehud Barak, Bejamin Netanyahu and Ariel Sharon, has come from within the domestic political system: They feared the residents of the Golan Heights and the West Bank settlers more than they did the plotting of Arafat, Hafez Assad and his son. Olmert and Peretz suffer from the same weakness."

Startling you might say - but that is the underlying trust of this op-ed piece by Uzi Benziman in Haaretz. Read the complete piece here.

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