Makes no sense to "rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic" - discuss first details of borders and refugees - if there isn't going to be a Palestinian Arab State at all. And there is no give at all on what has been demanded of the Palestine Arabs by the UN since 1947. Obama's "2 states for 2 peoples" means mutual reciprocal recognition of a Jewish State and an Arab state. Abbas rejecting this at the outset means they don't want a peace settlement that embraces a Jewish state among the regions numerous Arab States - what they want is a phony Islamic "hudna" that recognizes a binational Jewish-Arab Israel until they can take it over, as happened with the Christian State (Lebanon) that was formed alongside the Muslim stste (Syria) when French colonial Levant was broken up after WW1. No Israeli is going to go for this fraud, and if Obama doesn't go to bat for his own "2-states for 2 peoples" in an unambiguous way (i.e., Jewish State - Arab State), his influence will grind to a halt for good, both in the mideast talks and especially in the US. "Jewish State" is as legitimate as "Arab State" (e.g., Arab Republic of Egypt, Syrian Arab Republic, Libyan Arab Republic), or the numerous constitutional Islamic states like Saudi Arabia, Iran and Pakistan. UK has a state religion (Anglican), Italy and Spain have state religions (Catholicism). Israel has this same right of self determination, and no other state gets to "vote" on this. In the case of the PA state, it's the price of their independence - now as it was in 1947.
from the article: Israel and Palestinians clash over agenda for direct peace talks