By Micah HalpernI've Been Thinking:
US Secretary of State John Kerry is back in the Middle East. On Tuesday night he wrapped up a meeting with Palestinian President in Amman, Jordan.
The United States, using Kerry as the vehicle, is pushing both Israel and the Palestinians to the negotiations table. Truth be told, the US is pressuring the Palestinians in ways that we had not yet seen coming out of Washington during the Obama administration.
The US is, of course, pressuring Israel, too - but that is commonplace. And Israel actually understands the gestures the United States must make to entice the Palestinians to come to the table and resume talks.
The Palestinians have been very reluctant to move without real assurances of real concessions by Israel. But the United States cannot give them those assurances. That is the purpose of the DIRECT talks. If the US could give assurances as to what will result from the talks and give advance notice of just how much Israel was willing to give they would be the intermediary and the talks would be called INDIRECT.
Israel wants direct talks with the Palestinians - as does the United States. The Palestinians want to know what the results will be before they begin. That just cannot happen.
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