Today's excellent post on ForeignPolicy.com is by Noura Erakat, former National Organizer here at the US Campaign, and now an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University and a human rights attorney.
Posted By Noura Erakat
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
This year may bring a close to American mediation of Palestinian-Israeli peace talks. Expectations, usually low, have collapsed in the face of an unwilling, and increasingly self-impeding, U.S. peace broker. Indeed, freezing settlement expansion, as opposed to removing them altogether as mandated by international law, was long regarded as the lowest hanging fruit in peace negotiations. President Obama himself emphasized that the Jewish colonies in the Occupied Palestinian Territories hindered peace efforts and securing Palestinian statehood.
Yet, on the heels of a rekindled peace process, the Obama administration failed to successfully push Prime Minister Netanyahu to extend a ten-month partial moratorium on settlement expansion. More tellingly, the U.S.'s failure was marked by Israel's public rebuff of its military aid incentive. Suffering no consequences, Israel chose to continue its expansionist policies and to retain its existing U.S. aid package, thereby demonstrating the hollow nature of American pressure.
The crumbling negotiations and unwillingness of the United States to exact legally required Israeli obligations has finally compelled Palestinian negotiators to look beyond a U.S.-brokered peace and to a multilateral one overseen by the United Nations.