It’s good to see see Mahmoud Abbas turning away from violence even if a deal can’t be achieved in the Middle East. He knows that threats of violence have absolutely no impact on Israel and only serve to harden Israeli attitudes.

At the same time going to the UN for a unilateral resolution is not the answer either. Any solution needs the buy-in of all stakeholders, so imposing a solution will not achieve anything. What is needed is time for all relevant parties to realise that peace serves their interests better than war. For that reason it is silly for the Obama administration to set a deadline for September. This conflict has been going on for 3000 years, so it is not going to respond to a US short-term deadline that coincides nicely with their election cycle.

The split with Hamas that is apparently encouraged by Iran shows how difficult it is to get all sides to the table with a common aim of creating peace, and only serves to emphasise the long-term nature of the project.

Expert negotiator Stuart Diamond suggests that maybe giving the two sides some common economic goals to work on would be a great way of moving forward? This would be a way of focusing on common interests which are potentially more powerful than the competing interests which currently divide the two sides.

A response to article (Associated Press)