Now this is going to sound somewhat familiar… the White House is hosting direct talks, starting today, to begin brokering an Arab-Israeli peace agreement, ideally to be formalized within the next year. Both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas will be in Washington today for the first face-to-face talks in two years.
Expectations are low, and the inevitable question arises: is anything really new this time around?
Aaron David Miller, a former Middle East adviser to both Republican and Democratic secretaries of state, is the author of “The Much Too Promised Land: America's Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace.” He says, like the country song, there is a feeling of "one more last chance" in the talks. He describes an urgency and a feeling that this is a unique opportunity, even though the odds are against a real agreement.