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Kerry has reason for optimism on Israeli-Palestinian talks

The US secretary of state's optimism over the Israeli-Palestinian talks is reasonable, considering their current goals: Right now, the sides are mapping out the points of disagreement, something they may well accomplish.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry picks up his notebook after answering questions from members of the media before his departure from Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, December 6, 2013. REUTERS/Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Pool (ISRAEL - Tags: POLITICS) - RTX166GA
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"Opsimism" is a term coined by the late Israeli Arab writer and winner of the Israel Prize for Arab Literature Emile Habibi (1922-1996). This term, which embodies a rare combination of optimism and pessimism, best describes the negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians in light of the contradictory statements voiced this week (Dec. 6-8), which succeeded in further confusing those who track the talks' progress or lack thereof.

After shuttling between Jerusalem and Ramallah one more time before heading back home, US Secretary of State John Kerry surprised everyone with his optimistic statement: "I believe that we are closer to a peace agreement than ever before."

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