THE HOPE FOR PEACE
The announcement by Israel’s Vice-Prime Minister Shimon Peres that Israel wants to resume talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is a glimmer of hope in the Middle East.
The proposed meeting is conditional upon the release of a captured Israel soldier. Some reports in the Arab news media suggest a prisoner exchange is imminent. For example: President Abbas recently told the Bahraini Akhbar al-Khaleej newspaper that: "An agreement has been reached about exchanging prisoners that is based on Egypt taking the soldier as a deposit, and after that the number of Palestinian prisoners would be announced."
Is it possible Israel and Palestine can successfully negotiate the "roadmap" plan that outlines steps and a timetable toward establishing a viable Palestinian state? It’s not only possible, but imperative. Still negotiations will require enormous patience and leadership.