Unsurprisingly, it didn't take Israelis and Palestinians long before they declared with conviction that US Secretary of State John Kerry's first "shuttle" trip to the region failed. Conditions are "unacceptable" and the "obstacles are too big." And this is before either was asked to do the fundamentally reasonable thing: compare maps delineating the two-state model.
The eventual implementation of the two-state solution is simply too important to Israel’s long-term security and future as a Jewish and democratic state for Israel to sit by idly, passively looking on as the prospects for establishing two states slip away. Instead, Israel should capitalize on its extraordinary economic, political and military advantages over the Palestinians to take the lead where the PA falls short.
The PA has recently been facing mounting pressure at home to go to the ICC. From the Fatah youth movement, to Palestinian academics, to Al Arabiya broadcasts, a chorus of voices has been urging the PA to go to the Court, chastising Abbas for failing to do so already. “Israel’s injustices are bad enough,” wrote one Al Arabiya columnist, “but not utilizing the means to effectively counter and end them"—i.e., going to the ICC—"is even worse.” He concluded with a call for a national protest movement to spur the PA into action.
"Even if they do not admit it and provide other explanations for their feelings about Obama, Obama’s true great sin in the eyes of many Israelis is that he thinks that Israel is a normal country," writes Alon Pinkas in Yedioth Ahronoth.
What Obama will see is what he will get in the near future: A right-wing government with unprecedented power and influence in the hands of settlers and their supporters.
A collection of ministers from Likud and "The Jewish Home" who are all on record as opposing the two-state model, a settlement-building freeze, the "Clinton Parameters" of 2000-2001 and the Olmert-Abbas understandings of 2008 as terms of reference for any kind of negotiations.
"If this brings new energy and courage from individuals less beholden to tired political machines, and more willing to promote what is for the good of the country over what is for the good of the party, we may see Israel slowly returning to the values of Zionism and democracy that most Israelis, and Diaspora Jews, have long identified with."