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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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