Recently resigned U.S. envoy to the Israel-Palestinian peace talks Martin Indyk revealed on Wednesday some of the factors he believes contributed to the failures of the Mideast peace talks.
Speaking to The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, Indyk pointed to the deep mistrust and even hatred between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. “There is a deep loathing of each leader for the other that has built up over the years,” he said. “Loathing is maybe too strong a word for the way Netanyahu feels about Abbas, but it is certainly the way Abbas feels about Netanyahu,” noting that Abbas would refer to Netanyahu as “that man.”
At certain points it appeared that the two sides were approaching in agreement, Indyk said. At one juncture, six months into the direct negotiations, Indyk said Netanyahu had “moved into the zone of a possible agreement,” and was ready to make serious concessions.
Suddenly, in mid-February, “Abbas shut down.” Indyk told Goldberg that by the time Abbas went to visit U.S. President Barack Obama in March, he had effectively “checked out of the negotiations,” telling U.S. officials he would look over their proposals but never actually giving an answer.
Indyk then cited Abbas’ subsequent decision to strike a unity deal with Hamas and signing of 15 international conventions, the latter of which he agreed not to do at on the onset of the talks in return for Israel’s release of Palestinian prisoners.
Read more at Israel Hayom.