By Micah HalpernI've Been Thinking:
The first round of peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians is over and now. The talks were short and painless.
There are very low expectations for these negotiations towards peace. Ironically, low expectations work to the benefit of the talks. When people think nothing will result, then something actually can emerge from the negotiations.
The most important decision to emerge from the two meetings is the decision to meet again. That meeting will, most probably, take place in two weeks. It was also agreed that, at a minimum, the talks will last nine months. And the talks will deal with all the substantive issues including borders, refugees, Jerusalem and security.
Both the Israeli and the Palestinian street is conflicted about the meetings.
Some say: what is there to lose. Others say: what a waste of time. So far, the optimists have defeated the pessimists.
The first of the two meetings included a Ramamdan Iftar (break fast) eaten after sunset. The second meeting the next day was a working meeting at the State Department.
This formula did not guarantee success - but having only two meetings protected against the potential for certain and immediate failure.
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