SWP Comments, Vol. 21 (May 2014) – Middle East Peace Talks at the End of the Road? One-State Reality Consolidating

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The nine months of negotiations agreed last summer by the US mediators and the two parties ended on 29 April 2014. US Secretary of State John Kerry has since announced a pause in US facilitation activities. Yet, a definitive breakdown or failure of the Middle East peace talks bears far-reaching risks. Even if the mediators were to succeed in effecting a restart of talks, there is scant hope of bridging the rifts within the year envisaged – at least if the previous approach were to be maintained. That will lead to a further consolidation of the one-state reality that has long since emerged between the Mediterranean and River Jordan. Germany and its partners in the European Union must face up to the alternatives: either a much more robust approach to propel the talks to a two-state solution, or insistence on equal political, economic and cultural rights for all in the territories controlled by Israel.