The Wall Street Journal reports: Israel’s president warned that there was no prospect of a peace deal with the Palestinians in the near future and urged the European Union to show patience and put its weight behind measures to facilitate future negotiations.
In a speech to the European Parliament on Wednesday, Reuven Rivlin criticized France’s peace-conference initiative, launched earlier this month, which he said amounted to “negotiations for negotiations’ sake” and would only deepen divisions between Israelis and Palestinians.
Later in the day, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who was also visiting Brussels, called the French peace push a “vital conference for our region and the whole world.”
U.S.-brokered Israeli-Palestinian negotiations fell apart in 2014 over disagreements on land swaps and prisoner exchanges. The White House has been working on options for reviving negotiations before President Barack Obama leaves office, although it isn’t clear whether the administration will launch new talks before January.
EU officials said Wednesday they were hoping that Mr. Abbas and Mr. Rivlin would meet and talk in Brussels. That would be the highest level meeting between the Israeli and Palestinian leadership since the 2014 talks. No meeting had taken place by Wednesday evening, though Israeli officials said Mr. Rivlin was ready to meet Mr. Abbas “anytime, anywhere.” [Continue reading…]