From Friday night’s Fox News All-Stars.
On the upcoming direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians:
Well, I think the one-year deadline is completely artificial and means practically nothing. …
The problem is this — I think most people misunderstand the position of the Israeli government right now. They think of it as a right-wing Likud government. In fact, it’s not only a [broad-based] coalition government in its composition, it is in its ideology.
It is willing to cede the West Bank — that’s a national consensus — under conditions: meaning, guarantees or military control [of] the Jordan Valley, demilitarizing the Palestinian state, and a swap of land. But it’s willing to create a Palestinian state on almost all of the territory of the West Bank.
This is new, historically new to have a Likud-led government that would do that. The problem now is the same it was exactly a decade ago when that was essentially offered by the Israeli government under a Labor government at Camp David here under the Clinton administration. The result was it was offered, it was shockingly generous. The Palestinians said no, made no counteroffer, and started the Second Intifada.
The problem is Israel is ready for a final status agreement that will end the conflict under this government. The problem is the Palestinians appear not near there, and I’m not sure Abbas has the power and authority to deliver even if he wanted to.