Israel's favorite excuse for avoiding talks has been that there was no one to talk to. Well, Abbas has always been there. Now he will not talk until Israel completely freezes ALL settlement construction in the West Bank. So Israel has someone to talk to and knows the conditions. Why should Abbas talk when his adversary's only goal is to halfheartedly negotiate a partial and temporary freeze which changes nothing and thus upholds the current status quo? If Israel wants to negotiate (which I doubt) then she can go the extra mile and compromise by accepting Abbas' condition. That has been the problem all along. Israel always wants someone else to compromise but is never willing to do so herself. Israel wants Palestine to capitualate. That she will never do! Obama and his advisors should understand that and begin thinking in terms of what Israel may GIVE instead of TAKE. Else there will be no talks.
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from the article: Abbas refusal to meet Netanyahu could scuttle tripartite talk plan