Rich – A couple points off the top of my head. First of all, when you say this is precisely the sort of thing we should want from Palestinian and Israeli civil societies, I understand your point, but I can also understand the Israeli government’s rage. After all, I’m sure you would have considerable contempt if private citizens here started working on peace treaties, environmental accords etc. without approval of the US government. If Jimmy Carter cut a deal with North Korea — without consulting the White House — I bet you’d be livid. And whether you were or not, Carter would be in violation of the Logan Act — as Charles Krauthammer recently noted.
Second, I’m not sure you should be as confident that these pressures on the Palestinian side are coming from their “civil society.” Rabbo has admitted to being in contact with Arafat through the negotiations and it’s not like you get to freelance that sort of thing on Arafat’s watch (their version of the Logan Act is a pistol in a back alley).
Third, the actual terms of the deal don’t strike me as anything the Israeli public would really accept if they thought this would actually happen. I know it’s popular now, but so was Hillary’s healthcare plan until the possibility of its passage became concrete.
Fourth, again as Krauthammer notes, why on earth are we supposed to believe that any Palestinian Authority still run by Arafat will be true to its word?