Shai Feldman

Judith and Sidney Swartz Director of the Crown Center for Middle East Studies and Professor of Politics at Brandeis University. He is also a Senior Fellow and a member of the Board of Directors of Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs where he serves as co-chair (with former Under-Secretary of State Nicholas Burns) of the Crown-Belfer Middle East Seminar. Prof. Feldman is also an Associate Fellow of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in London. 


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Pressing the “Reset Button” on Arab-Israeli Negotiations

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Prof. Shai Feldman
Middle East Brief 48, December 2010


The Obama administration's announcement that it was dropping its efforts to persuade the Israeli government to freeze settlement construction has led to widespread opinion that without a clear plan B, Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are dead. In this Brief, Prof. Shai Feldman analyzes the reasons for the almost two-year long U.S. failure to restart negotiations and the implications of this failure. He argues that in view of this setback the Obama administration needs to press the "reset button" on the negotiations. In the last section, Prof. Feldman elaborates on what such a change in approach would entail, namely the creation of a blueprint for solving the core issues dividing Israel and the Palestinians, fast tracking on borders and security issues, a new and improved Arab Peace Initiative (API), further encouragement of Palestinian state-building, direct and honest communication with U.S. policy makers explaining to key constituencies the rationale for the proposed blueprint, and the creation of a Czar who would oversee all U.S. efforts at Mideast peacemaking.

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