September 13, 2011 1:26 AM

Commentary: U.S. politics will trump chance for Middle East peace

There is an old joke, of sorts, about conflicts in the Middle East that has been around for as long as there have been efforts by outsiders to end them. A mediator, frustrated at the lack of progress, asks both sides to get serious. The stronger side replies, "Why should I negotiate when I have such an advantage?" The weaker side asks, "How can I negotiate when I am at such a disadvantage?" That pretty much sums up the situation today as Washington works to get the Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table.

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