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The illusion of complacency in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks

The only one who seems in a hurry is US Secretary of State John Kerry.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry boards his plane to leave Rome, en route to Amman March 26, 2014. Kerry is travelling to Amman, Jordan to meet with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, according to the State Department. REUTERS/Jacquelyn Martin/Pool (ITALY - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR3IMEH

The peripatetic US Secretary of State John Kerry is at it again. Kerry will be traveling to see PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Amman today, March 26, and will talk with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu via video link soon thereafter. The issues — finessing a couple of self-imposed deadlines — are for Israel to release Palestinian prisoners by month’s end and for negotiations to continue past the end of April, both set when discussions commenced in July.

Notwithstanding Kerry’s famously frenetic pace, negotiations between Israel and the PLO, which will celebrate their 21st anniversary in September, have never been marked by hard and fast deadlines. Yitzhak Rabin, the Israeli architect of this process, famously insisted that “there are no sacred dates” — and the process since then has followed his instruction.

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