Israel-Palestinian Authority: US Secretary of State Clinton said on 20 August that Israel and the Palestinians agreed to resume direct negotiations for the first time in 20 months. A senior PLO official said the Palestinians accepted the U.S. invitation to begin direct peace negotiations between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on 2 September in Washington. He also said that the talks would be threatened if Israel fails to stop settlement building in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. Clinton said the goal is to reach a peace agreement within one year. No news service has reported a promise by Netanyahu to stop settlement construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.
NIGHTWATCH Comment: During President Clinton's administration, the US pursued process over substance in the conviction that repeated process would produce substance. In this policy theory, talking was considered a result. That approach failed everywhere it was tried. Apparently, Ms Clinton has brought the same view to the Obama State Department, namely, that form is substance. The talks today are not likely to ease the tension, produce a durable peace or create a philosopher's stone. One reason is that HAMAS and the Gaza Strip Palestinian groups are not parties to today's agreement.
Phi Beta Iota: The Middle East is the epicenter of future world management by informed consensus. As Howard Bloom points out in Global Brain–The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century education (or lack of it) is at the heart of the matter. Children on both sides “learn” by the age of five that the “other” is a pig or monkey. We also have centuries of colonial imposition of artificial boundaries, and colonial deceit, as well as decades of Israeli water theft and Arab corruption–the circle of dictatorships. The Middle East is a 50 year problem that requires holistic decision support and a global commitment to fund the side by side education of all parties in the context of an imposed peace that includes a five year buy-out of each dictatorship as proposed by Ambassador Mark Palmer in his book, Breaking the Real Axix of Evil. HOWEVER, before we can help heal others we must heal ourselves and stop Shooting the Truth in America while being a Dishonest Broker abroad.