All You Really Need to Know About the Israeli-Arab Peace Talks


Secretary of State John Kerry in Tel Aviv


Tzipi Livni (Israeli Minister of Justice) and Saeb Erekat (Member of the P.A. Parliament)

— by Steve Sheffey

On Friday, Secretary of State John Kerry announced an agreement that establishes a basis for resuming direct final-status negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Expect to be deluged with spin and speculation from the right and the left about how it happened, the details, and what will happen next. Read it for grins if you have time on your hands. If not, all you need to know for now is what Kerry said on Friday:

The agreement is still in the process of being formalized, so we are absolutely not going to talk about any of the elements now. Any speculation or reports you may read in the media or elsewhere or here in the press are conjecture. They are not based on fact because the people who know the facts are not talking about them. The parties have agreed that I will be the only one making further comments about this.

If everything goes as expected, Saeb Erekat and Tzipi Livni, Minister Livni, and Isaac Molho will be joining me in Washington to begin initial talks within the next week or so, and a further announcement will be made by all of us at that time.

There will be plenty of leaks from anonymous sources with hidden agendas. Keep in mind what Kerry said and take them with a grain of salt. As events unfold, we will learn more. This is a positive development. That is all we know for sure.

Click here to sign up to Steve Sheffey’s newsletter.