Palestinian-Israeli Talks: Time for a “Time Out”

The National Interest - April 29, 2014

Shai Feldman is Judith and Sidney Swartz Director of the Crown Center.

In basketball, when a team scores a number of baskets in a row, the opposing team’s coach usually calls for a “time out.” Its purpose is not only to give new instructions to the team, but more importantly, to stop the psychological slide that may be causing the collapse of the team’s defense and the impotence of its offense.

Therefore, it was hardly surprising that, as an avid basketball player, U.S. President Barack Obama reacted last Friday to the news about the reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas by suggesting a “time out” in the currently morbid Palestinian-Israeli negotiations. Implicitly, when suggesting the pause, Obama also acknowledged that the talks had reached a dead end even before the latest crisis, noting that the two sides’ leaders failed to make the difficult decisions that a breakthrough required. ... Read the Full Text