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Ukraine Offers Lesson on Mideast Negotiations

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The United States and Russia need a negotiated understanding on Ukraine, in order to defuse the crisis and secure the upcoming Ukrainian elections. Yet no one sees any such deal as likely to succeed, despite the self-interest of both nations in finding agreement.

How, then, does the Obama administration expect Israel and the Palestinians to manage to conclude their vastly more difficult negotiations in the Middle East? The trouble in Ukraine in no way threatens Russians who live in Moscow or St. Petersburg, and it’s a world away from America, but the two powers still find it tough to compromise.

For Israelis, on the other hand, any peace deal is very literally a matter of life and death, potentially putting all major cities in mortal peril. If nothing else, Ukraine shows that negotiated settlements aren’t always easy, or even attainable.

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  1. gary  •  Mar 14, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    Tell Israel to back off or else

  2. James  •  Mar 21, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    Excellent point, and it might go a step farther, namely that the involvement of both the West and Russia, however well intended, is overcomplicating an already difficult situation in the Ukraine. Left to themselves the Ukrainians might be better able to work out their differences or come to some understanding. The intrusion of Western and Russian interests might be more than Ukraine can handle. If Ukraine could somehow become independent of both the West and Russia, the western and eastern parts of the Ukraine may be able to federalize as one nation.

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