JERUSALEM—U.S. President Barack Obama finally got his wish for a meeting with the leaders of Palestine and Israel on Tuesday. After months of high-level diplomatic pressure, he hosted a highly anticipated meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York.
The meeting did not bear much in the way of results. It ended with a short remark made by President Obama urging the two sides to come together.
“We have to summon the will to break the deadlock that has trapped generations of Israelis and Palestinians in an endless cycle of conflict and suffering,” said Obama in televised comments after the three-way meeting. “We cannot continue the same pattern of taking tentative steps forward and then stepping back. Success depends on all sides acting with a sense of urgency.”
Obama wants to restart negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians and forge a permanent agreement for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. But the problem lies in the unwillingness or the inability of both the Israelis and the Palestinians to soften their basic demands.