Having a a young baby has made it harder to blog as I haven't had time to write or to compose my thoughts over the past couple of months. Over the past two months I could have written about the great hope of the negotiations restarting but I am glad I didn't because it was always obvious that they would not lead anywhere. That was the case when the Americans were putting huge pressure on Israel and the Palestinians to restart negotiations, and yet there are no huge benefits to negotiating where there are no clear solutions.
In the Jerusalem Post two weeks ago the new British Ambassador to Israel said that it was a great job to have because in international diplomacy, the Israeli-Palestinian issue is the most important issue to solve.
However, for Israel what has 18 years of negotiation achieved. When peace was closest in the 1990's and then 10 years ago at Camp David,the result was continuous suicide bombs killing hundreds of Israelis. Living on Emek Refaim in Jerusalem, I am continuously reminded of this when I walk past the memorial signs on cafe's that were blown up during these terrible times.
However, now when we are living in relative tranquility (albeit with the threat of rockets from Hamas in Gaza and a nuclear bomb from Iran) what would be helped by having proper negotiations. At the same time the Palestinian's are benefitting from huge economic growth in the West Bank (and so probably the best standard of living the region as ever had).
That is why neither Israel or the Palestinians are shouting for peace negotiations to carry on. As Israeli's we don't want the threat of a return to the intifada where it was not safe to go outside, with the potential of having the West Bank turn into a terrorist state as in Gaza. While the Palestinian's don't want to have to give up anything to Israel. They don't want to have to give up any land in the West Bank to Israel and they certainly don't want to have to accept (for all-time) Israel as a Jewish state and the Jewish homeland.