August 23, 2010
Posted: 836 GMT
"We are coming to talks from a real desire to achieve a peace agreement between the two peoples."
So pledged the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to his cabinet Sunday after agreeing earlier in the week to participate in direct peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.
"I know that there is a considerable skepticism after 17 years having passed since the beginning of the Oslo process." he said. "It is possible to understand why this doubtfulness exists. We are seeking to surprise the critics and the skeptics"
If this latest round of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians delivers an agreement within a year as proposed those critics and skeptics will not only be surprised - they will likely be stunned beyond belief. It is, of course, easy to wager against the prospects of such talks; 60 years of history is on the side of the naysayers. But as wonderful as it would be to say that this time will be different it is difficult seeing an end to the current state of deadlock.
Despite the time, money and careers invested in the "peace process" there is very little in this latest diplomatic initiative to offer hope that these talks will not come to the same ignominious end of peace talks past. Remember Madrid? Oslo? Wye River? Annapolis?